The first instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and directed by Jon Favreau, Iron Man follows billionaire industrialist and genius inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), who is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Instead, using his intelligence and ingenuity, Tony builds a high-tech suit of armour and escapes captivity. When he uncovers a nefarious plot with global implications, he dons his powerful armour and vows to protect the world as Iron Man.
Robert Downey Jr. IS Iron Man.
It’s hard to remember a time before the MCU when superhero films were so sparse, but what I do remember is the hype around how quickly Iron Man became the coolest superhero around, mainly because of how perfect RDJ is in the role.
This first instalment in not only the Iron Man trilogy but also the ever-expanding MCU is a brilliant mix of action and comedy, combined with a well-developed plot and excellent dialogue. Looking at the Marvel films of today, Iron Man seems so simple in comparison. The universe feels much smaller at this point, obviously, but the story is more straightforward, there’s less style and more substance, and RDJ has to do very little to impress us. It’s certainly a humble beginning for both a franchise and actor who are now two of the biggest in the industry.
All of the performances are brilliant and Jon Favreau does an amazing job, not only as a constant support to RDJ but also as the director of this film. He’s definitely done well to get non-comic book fans excited for these Marvel comic book adaptations, anyway.