At the time of writing this Marvel has created an intertwining set of media that spans 10 movies and a spin off tv series with many more announced. They have acomplished something no one thought possible by bringing the overlapping comic book universe to the big screen, not only suceeding but doing it seemingly effortlessly and it all started in 2008 with the release of the first film Iron Man.
Iron Man is an amazing film. I almost feel like I could stop this review there. The story is obviously an Origin tale of how weapon industrialist playboy genius billionaire Tony Stark becomes Iron Man. During a weapons demonstration Tony gets kidnapped by terrorists who want him to build weapons of their own, instead Tony builds his first suit of armour to escape which sets him on a path realising his weapons haven't been just protecting America as he thought, and how he can right the wrongs using his newly developed armour.
The plot may not sound interesting from what I wrote but the acting, wit and charm of the film is really something else. Robert Downey Jr steals the show as Stark, this is a role he was born to play, he couldn't be any more perfect for it if he tried though the rest of the cast also put in great and often funny performances.
To tie it all off the film looks and sounds fantastic. The special effects are so good I can't tell what's a real suit and what's computer generated and because of the making of extras I know which are which and it doesn't help. In HD the film looks stunning and the soundtrack kicks ass to boot. (Driving with the top down is my favorite song)
The blu-Ray extra features are surprisingly extensive. There is an origins interview with the comic creator Stan Lee as well as other writers and artists involved in his creation. Extended and deleted scenes, a seven part making of documentary (which is really thorough and detailed), special effects making of, Robert Downey Jr's screen test etc etc. It's all pretty great and is a few hours worth of content.
To sum up if you don't have Iron Man, buy Iron Man.
+ Writing and humour are excellent.
+ Robert Downey Jr. Is perfect casting as Tony Stark.
+ Special effects and music are outstanding.
+ Has a decent selection of blu-ray extras.
on 20 May 2010
I saw the movie, bought it on DVD and now moved to blu ray which has really enhanced the visual and sound entertainment. It depends on your taste, but Ironman is a great movie that provides a good storyline into the creation of the Iron Man concept, which has not been lost in Iron Man 2. If you are into action, sci-fi, fantasy and superheroes this is a quality movie of just over 2 hours that keeps you enthralled and entertained.
on 3 October 2015
First and best film of the saga, this Iron Man is truly a refreshing new piece in the world of marvel films.
Maybe due to the background of the director as a comedian and to the presence itself of Robert Downey, this film has a certain brilliant side that reminds a lot of screwball comedies, that surprisingly naturally cohabits with the action side.
The result is a curious and smart mix of genres and an interesting visual look, that switches from classic 50ies style to almost live action and documentarian moments (the first scene when the Iron man reveals coming out of the cave in the desert) to videogame-hitech scenes.
The duet between Downey and Paltrow is brilliantly conducted and focuses on a constant romantic and sexual unresolved tension (as in the best Wilder and Hawks old comedies), while Jeff Bridges is quite believable in the role of the villain.
The blu ray is definitely good.
Surely one of the best comis heroes based films
on 16 July 2009
This is one of the best of the marvel adaptations, from one of the more neglected characters in the marvel universe. I was pleasantly surprised to see all parts of the film cohesively made. Where as spider man had excellent peter parker scenes but dire Spiderman action scenes, and where Xmen and hulk had great action scenes but fairly dry `normal people' scenes, Iron man I felt introduced the right balance, with comedy, serious moments, and actions scenes with real punch.
Robert Downey Jr is perfect in the role, always seemingly smarter and riskier in every single way than the other characters in the movie, and spares the time to crack some spot on jokes. He is convincing as a scientist as well as a playboy and manages to take on both roles convincingly. Gwyneth Paltrow's role was not an amazing one and too be honest many actresses of similar physical build and spoken class could have filled the role. Jeff Bridges was very effective and quite an unreadable character for much of the film.
Plot wise it was all good up until the battle with the final villain who transitioned from a real life kind of bad guy, to the straight up insane comic book bad guy a little too quickly. But arguably this film is about its action scenes and it does not disappoint, the special effects are great in that they might not seem like special effects, just complicated real life shots. The suit of armour is everything it should be, looks wise and equipment wise, featuring all the sorts of gaudy weaponry that it deserves. The only parts of the film where I thought the use of CGI, particularly the animation, weren't up to scratch were the mechanical fitting of his armour which just felt too fake, and the final boss battle which just edged itself out of a realistic presentation.
Iron man really is one of those show off films for a Bluray home theatre, it is wonderfully sharp and the facial textures and pores are extremely vivid, made more so by artificially enhancing your TVs sharpness, although this may make the background picture look slightly more grainy. Particular highlights are the desert scenes in the beginning and any of the daytime Iron man scenes, where the metal grain of the suit can look like brushed aluminium, which would never really come across as effectively on Standard Definition. The CGI is superbly believable and immersive, possibly with the exception of the end battle which was probably the weaker part of the film anyway.
The sound is excellent, with your home cinema system booted up there are plenty of ear candy moments, from the test firing of the missile system to the time he takes out the enemies version of it, but the whole movie is generally spot on. The music sound track is also extra well done, with the guitar used to back up many scenes giving the impression that Tony Stark really is a rock star in his field.
Overall this is a great film even for those who struggle to like such non real life style films, as this one is mostly done with a maintained realism and effects base. The action is coruscating and boldly impressive, and the viewing experience is further intensified by the almost immaculate presentation of the picture and sound on Bluray.
on 13 April 2016
This is how it all began. Iron Man was the first movie based on a Marvel superhero actually produced by Marvel, and as such was the first instalment of the rapidly expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. Iron Man was perhaps a strange choice as outside comic book geekdom he probably wasn’t the best known superhero – certainly not universally known like Superman, Batman and Spider-Man – but that didn’t stop director Jon Favreau forging a brilliant movie that catapulted the character to international fame and set Marvel’s ball well and truly rolling.
Iron Man is by no means a perfect film (I would have preferred to see more set pieces with the Mark III armour, and it does end with a fairly predictable mano-a-mano bash-up between Stark and his nemesis), but the flaws are outweighed by all the good stuff. The decision to cast Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark was inspired; his charismatic, witty performance is a joy to watch and he really makes you believe that he could invent all this implausible technology. The scenes showing Stark developing the suits are brilliant and often hilarious. The supporting cast is also superb; the banter between Downey and Gwyneth Paltrow is marvellous, and Jeff Bridges is a seriously imposing presence as Stark’s father figure-cum-opponent. Terrence Howard is also fine as James Rhodes though I prefer the Don Cheadle interpretation of the character in later movies.
However the real stars of the show are the brilliantly realised suits. Stan Winston’s team did a truly remarkable job creating beautiful, practical suits, which are supplemented by almost flawless visual effects work. A few more scenes with Iron Man in action and a more inventive finale would have made this a five-star classic, but it’s still damn good fun.
Technically the blu ray release is superb: picture quality is almost flawless, though as often seems to be the case with Paramount releases I found myself having to turn the volume up more than usual.
If you’re going to get this movie on BD you have to seek out the 2-disc Ultimate Edition. Sadly this is no longer being made so you’ll have to look on eBay or find a private seller on Amazon, but the difference between it and the 1-disc version currently available is like night and day. On disc 1 you get a 40-minute history of Iron Man, deleted scenes and the rather pointless interactive ‘Hall of Armour’, while disc 2 features a brilliant in-depth ‘making of’, a VFX documentary, Downey’s screentests, storyboards and galleries. Although I’d give the movie itself 4 stars, the extent and quality of the bonus features easily bump this set up to the full five.
on 25 September 2008
I was never a big fan of superheroes to be honest. However I watched this movie prepared for a simple comic book epic, which would of course entail big explosions, great effects, a modest story line and hopefully some not too wooden acting. Thats exactly what you get, all done just about to perfection. You get nothing more, but the finish of it all is so good that you can have no complaints at all. If you expect more then don't watch it. Bonuses come in the form of a great lead man in Robert Downey Jr and the additional sparkle of Paltrow. The story is the generic Superhero plot followed in almost all the recent incarnations: superhero metamorphosis followed by a secondary character harnessing the ability to do the same with a bit extra followed by climactic battle with predictable ending. Its tried and tested and it works well. And this version of it is no exception. Its not deep, its not convoluted, its blockbuster entertainment in its cleanest purest form, for all with the appropriate level of expectation to appreciate. Sit back. Disengage. Enjoy.
on 21 December 2014
With fabulous actors doing this movie and the story is marvellous with that, How the world can you go wrong. I found this to be very interesting and different and something that makes you wonder can this really happen. When my earlier years I could buy the comic books of superman, Phantom and all the others but never had the interest until just the last few years that has had me sit up and take notice. The impossible is still impossible but you never know what's around the corner do we. Captured and using his only talent as a genius to escape, he builds a suit of armour and becomes our hero. I have missed out on a few things but I'm taking a short cut as I have more reviews to do, I rated this an A grade plus for full on action and adventure that has you marvelling at what he can do and we can't. Hurry now as you wont want to miss out on this as it will have you glued to the chair, relaxing with your popcorn in one hand and a drink in the other don't forget to put your feet up. Enjoy!
Iron Man is one of the best adaptations of comic book entertainment to the world of film. In my view only the Christian Bale Batman is as excellent a story and production as the tale of the Iron Man. Robert Downey Jnr is fantastically cast as Tony Stark, playboy industrialist and genious. As a weapons manufacturer and womaniser, Stark is set up as a character without morals and with only his own quest for pleasure able to match his inquisitive desire to build bigger and better weapons. It all goes wrong within moments of the opening credits though as on a trip to Afghanistan (and trust me it really does look like Afghanistan) his convoy is attacked and he is taken prisoner. From there, Stark builds the foundation of his Iron Man.
It is the first part of the film that is truly awesome. Downey Jnr's own decadent lifestyle plays so well into the character of Stark and the arrogance that accompanies a genious who knows his position is delicious. His winning way with people and the awe with which the squaddies look up to him in the moment before his convoy is hit are moments of cinematic greatness.
The part of the film where robots are fighting each other is less fun. I'm not a fan of the Transformers film and I didn't like the same robot action here. The process that turns Stark into the Iron Man both in the cave and then when perfecting the suit in California are what makes this film work so excellently.
There are plot holes just as there are in any blockbuster. The sentimentality of the reporting on a refugee crisis is cringeworthy. The deliberate attempt to de-Arabise the terrorist group is pointless as those who fail to see the difference still won't while those who do will not be convinced. Despite all that this is still a great film. Jeff Bridges is a great presence and his bald pate and beard make his character really stand out. Bridges carries a sophistication in his characterisation that makes him a believable Chief Executive weighing up every situation to his own best advantage. Even Gwyneth Paltrow puts in a decent turn helped by an excellent mop of hair.
The DVD extras are really extensive. The making of documentary is seriously comprehensive and covers a lot of the behind the scenes issues - a genuine glimpse into the role of the director as Jon Favreau takes the production from concepts with the comic book guys through the model making, casting, until post-production. The lengthy discussions with comic book guys is probably more for those with a natural affinity to comics though I noted with some amusement the complete writing out of Barry Windsor-Smith from Iron Man history - knowing the guy personally it doesn't surprise me.
on 6 March 2009
Marvel had a great run of movies in the early noughties but lost steam with more recent efforts such as the painful X-Men 3 and the lacklustre Spider-Man 3. As the cast list was announced for Iron Man it became slightly intriguing as a couple of left field choices suggested this could well be better than the average. And thank all our lucky stars it is.
Billionaire industrialist and genius weapon designer Tony Stark is captured in the Middle East by a terrorist cell who promptly force him to work on creating a hi tech missile for them so they can blow up some Americans. Tony's in even more trouble as a bit of shrapnel is moving toward his heart and will kill him except for a car battery that is being used to keep his heart beating. Ever resourceful though, he uses the materials supplied by his captors to build a super suit that allows him to lay the smack down and escape. On his return to freedom he tries to turn the direction of his company toward less militaristic practices and faces opposition from his friends and colleagues- especially long time confidante Obadiah Stane. Undeterred however, he perfects his high tech armour and starts aiming to do some good in the world.
It's silly stuff, but no sillier than the last survivor of Krypton or a teenager bitten by a radioactive spider. Suspension of disbelief is aided by brilliant pacing and a well crafted script. The scenes where Tony perfects the Iron Man armour have plenty of comedic asides, including the cutest robot buddy this side of Wall-E, and the action sequences look great. Teases are dropped throughout the movie about an organisation called SHIELD (look out for a short scene after the credits) that plenty of Marvel fans have become excited about. Cast wise it's excellent, Robert Downey Jr makes a great Stark, playing the shallow ladies man to perfection and then easily conveying the growing senses of responsibility and conviction. His easy interplay with Gwyneth Paltrow's "Pepper" Potts (his capable personal assistant) is one of the films delights and they prod each other and flirt so playfully that they are easily the best on screen couple from a Marvel movie. Jeff Bridges brings smarm and menace at all the right times to Stane, while Paul Bettany's dry and somewhat cutting asides as computer AI Jarvis help lighten the load in the scenes where Tony is on his own. Terrence Howard is adequate, if a bit anonymous, as Jim Rhodes, Tony's US Military liaison.
As is a flaw in many super hero movies the final third is a bit rushed and suffers in comparison to the majority of the movie, but it's a minor flaw. While this is no Dark Knight style masterpiece, Iron Man is easily the most fun and repeatedly watchable film of 2008's summer blockbuster slate.
RD Junior shines as the obnoxious playboy turned stoic saviour in this fantastic origins tale. The screenplay is first class, the characters are well written and we easily understand their motivations. The visuals are never less than thrilling; the final battle between what are essentially two robots is especially well presented - unlike Transformers for instance when the whole screen is littered with flashy metal and you can't tell what's going on. I found Iron Man - or rather Tony Stark to be more er..human than the other square jawed superheroes, his frailties are nearer the surface. Much of the humour comes from his various weaknesses, booze, cars, women and impetuousness being just a few. I'll be watching the DVD for years to come.