Deep Dive - MCU: Iron Man
We polled our entire team and ranked every MCU film across six categories. We weighted each category based on their overall value to the success of the movie.
Plot - 25%
Character Development - 20%
Villain - 20%
Action - 12.5%
Intangibles - 12.5%
Supporting Cast - 10%
Film: Iron Man
Release Date: May 2, 2008
Rotten Tomato - TOMATOMETER: 93%
Rotten Tomato - Audience: 91%
Opening Weekend: $98,618,668
Gross US: $318,412,101
Gross Worldwide: $585,174,222
Synopsis: After being held captive in an Afghan cave, billionaire engineer Tony Stark creates a unique weaponized suit of armor to fight evil.
Analysis: It only took being held captive in a cave for Tony to invent a miniature core of sustainable energy that could power a super suit and revolutionize the world. Some people work better under pressure. Overall, this film paces out perfectly as it slowly builds upon the origin story of Iron Man.
Analysis: Being loaded up with shrapnel in the chest, held hostage, and tortured will change a man. Arrogant and selfish in the beginning, Tony realizes he can do much more good for the world and actively makes changes for the better. Ok, maybe he's still a little arrogant, but you would be too if you were a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.
Name: Obadiah Stane
Bio: The stopgap CEO of Stark Industries from when Howard Stark died until young Tony was able to take the reins.
Evil Plan: Motivated to make a profit in the arms market, selling weapons to America's enemies, Stane arranged for Stark to be killed by the Ten Rings terrorist group to take full control of Stark Industries.
Analysis: Great name. Great actor. Rides a segway like a boss. The best part of Bridges' performance is how he can slowly open up his character to unveil his true self, even down to an individual scene. He first shows signs of this in his onscreen meet up with Raza, but he takes it to another level when he runs into Pepper in Tony's office. It's because of scenes like this that he doesn't need the Iron Monger suit to be a great villain. He is nowhere near the most memorable part of this film, but for how well it's constructed he doesn't have to be.
Pepper Potts Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers
Don Cheadle's Stunt Double
Analysis: All of these characters have been mainstays in the MCU, with the exception of Yinsen, who gave his life saving Tony's in the cave. Rhodey got a different look following this movie, but this crew was vital to Tony's success and has remained relevant over the years.
Analysis: Watching Tony scratch and claw his way out of a cave with a suit made of scraps will never get old. Also, the aforementioned suit has a FLAMETHROWER. Typically, the first act in an origin story can be a bit underwhelming, especially upon a rewatch. That is not the case with the cave sequence.
Overall, they nailed the action sequences in this film. Every scene with Tony testing out his suit is perfect and has almost become iconic in the franchise. It's only downfall is that there isn't anything particularly memorable about the final face-off with Obadiah.
Analysis: Most of the other MCU actors took a few swings before they truly nailed their character. Downey showed up on day one batting 1.000. Outside of maybe Hugh Jackman as Logan, there isn't an actor out there that has become so beloved in their portrayal of a character. His performance of Tony Stark has become synonymous with the actor that sometimes it's hard to tell where Downey ends and Tony begins.
This film is the perfect origin story. It all starts with the cave scene which we previously alluded to in the Action section. Every additional scene with Tony and the suit perfectly builds this character into the Iron Man we know and love today.
Suit Up 2.0
I am Iron Man
Analysis: The perfect origin story. The film that kicked off the behemoth we know today as the MCU. The revival of Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man is important for so many reasons, but it's also just a damn good movie.