Iron Man (2008) – Review, Best Bits, Not Best Bits

Iron Man (2008) – What did we think?

Well, it still holds up.

As the first chapter of the Marvel cinematic universe, Marvel had a lot riding on this film. If it had been a middling success, they would have carried on. But what happened was Robert Downey Jr.

It seems, with the deleted scenes, that Marvel and Jon Favreau were looking at Superman as a potential model – stacking the casting of the supporting roles to help the hero. But instead, RDJ happily carried the film, and most of the universe, on his shoulders.

Which leaves the rest of the cast doing a fine job. Paltrow, Gregg and Howard all make their mark, but don’t do much. Terrence Howard in particular, seems to drawn the short straw, and then he never returned. He was good, he had a great bravado to him, and one wonders what he would have made of the role going forward.

The Marvel villain problem – that they all just go evil for no reason – starts off here, but only slightly. Jeff Bridge‘s Obadiah Stane doesn’t cackle with madness – and perhaps some of his speeches that were cut actually helped the film.

Finally, this feels like such a small film compared to what comes next. It’s a fight between two old friends, on Stark facility. At the end, there was every chance of covering it up and saying nothing big ever happened. Surprisingly low stakes.

Best Bits 

  • Stark’s garage arm giving him his old heart.
  • The final ‘I am Iron Man’.
  • Escape from the cave. Very rabid and messy, and wonderfully done.
  • Iron Man Mark III. It still looks pretty amazing.
  • Obadiah being evil on the sofa.

Not best bits

  • Just how playboy-ey Stark gets. It never gets played up this much again.
  • Slightly painful ‘this is totally the real world’ with pop culture references, magazine covers etc that just take you out of the film.
  • Insufficient Clark Gregg.
  • Pretty sure that Potts pretty much kills Stark at the end. She also doesn’t move at all whilst Stark and Stane are fighting, not even calling for help.

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