Iron Man and Iron Man 2 directed by Jon Favreau, Iron Man 3 directed by Shane Black
Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Junior)
Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow)
James Rhodes (Terrence Howard/Don Cheadle)
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)
Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson)
Jarvis (Paul Bettany)
Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg)
Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger (Jeff Bridges)
Ivan Vanko/Whiplash (Mickey Ruorke)
Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell)
The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley)
Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce)
So, Marvel again. This time, it’s a combined review, of one brilliant movie, one okay movie, and one utter disappointment. Try to guess which is which.
Iron Man is a 2008-released Marvel movie, that kicked off the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. In essence, everything depended on this movie. If it failed, we wouldn’t have had The Avengers, or Guardians of the Galaxy, or The Winter Soldier, or Age Of Ultron, or the upcoming Civil War.
And this movie did not fail.
Robert Downey Junior was fresh off his rehabilitation from serious drug problems, and he had his doubters for this role. Not after this movie released though. Definitely not. Right now, I can’t see anyone else playing Tony Stark. The man killed it, and was the first in a line of perfect casting choices from Marvel Studios.
This movie is an origin story, essentially, and what a great one it was. The character arc that Tony Stark had in this movie was amazing, and it showcased that so well. This movie, to date, is considered one of Marvel’s best, and there is reason for that. You see the Iron Man suit go from Mark 1, to Mark 2, to the finally perfected Mark 3, and the suit looks incredible.
One gripe, and it’s the villain. The Iron Monger isn’t the worst Marvel villain, but he isn’t anything spectacular. He’s the best villain of all of them in this trilogy, and that’s pretty sad.
But don’t take anything away from this movie, because it was just fantastic. I’m going to rate this movie based on the truth, and there’s no way around this.
On a scale where M is the lowest, and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:
Iron Man: MIHIR
Okay, now comes Iron Man 2.
Iron Man 2 was released in 2010, and directed by Jon Favreau. With the same director, it should have had the same impact as the first one, correct?
You would be so wrong.
While the first movie actually cared about telling a great story, this one fell behind on every aspect. We got to see Tony Stark build Mark 1 in a cave and overcome all the odds in the first movie, and then we got to see him urinate in an Iron Man suit in this movie. What’s most tragic about this is that people actually made this and thought it was good. It just wasn’t.
Black Widow and Nick Fury are in this movie, and so is Agent Phil Coulson, although he is also in the first one. All three are in this movie for one reason: Setting up The Avengers. I can understand why that would be done, but this was way too much. There’s a point in this movie where Coulson actually picks up an object that resembles Captain America’s shield. When a movie focuses more on setting up something else, rather than actually being a good movie, things go from bad to worse.
That isn’t even it with this film. I’m trying to find positives, but it’s so hard to. For one, perhaps, Don Cheadle is a better pick for War Machine than Terrence Howard. Other than that, everything was pretty much wrong.
The villains, I haven’t even got to them yet. Justin Hammer, who is actually the main villain, I didn’t understand nor care for, and Whiplash, who was marketed as the main villain, was just an idiot with a bird. There was nothing more to his character, and he was so weak, that it’s laughable. There’s a whole conversation between the two villains that wasted so much screen time, arguing about a bird. What were they thinking when they put this in?
I was initially going to rate this movie just above the bottom, but it just doesn’t deserve it, and I’m not going to embed this with euphemism.
Iron Man 2: MIHIR
This is officially the first thing I’ve ever reviewed to get such a low rating.
Now, Iron Man 3.
With a switch in director, Iron Man 3 was the first of the Phase 2 movies, coming right after The Avengers. So, it had a lot on its shoulders. Did it meet expectations? No. Was it bad? No.
Iron Man 3 is the highest grossing of all three films, and is in fact the tenth highest grossing movie of all time (Marvel has three movies in there).
This movie, does in fact, pull from quite a lot of source material, including the Marvel Extremis stories. It was diverse in that way.
Marketed as the main villain, however, was Ben Kingsley’s The Mandarin. Something happens in this movie, with this character, that will divide the audience into people who liked it, and people who absolutely hated it. I am one of the latter kind. That is Iron Man’s arch-enemy. He is his Green Goblin, his Joker, his Lex Luthor. You can’t do that to him. Although, Marvel did attend to this problem with the one-shot All Hail The King. But that doesn’t redeem this movie for me.
Looking past that, however, I like this movie. There are some insanely illogical things that happen in it, but I’ll look past that. This movie barely has any ‘Iron Man’ in it, and really should be called Tony Stark: The Movie. A lot of people didn’t like that, but I did. It showed the effects of The Avengers on Tony Stark, and how broken he is. It added an emotional weight to this movie that cannot be replaced. And the movie is quite a bit of fun anyway.
Another important thing to note, is that Tony Stark evolved from the first to last movie. He changed. This movie highlighted that. He became a better person, but inside he found it harder to survive. I loved that aspect of the movie.
Now, the final sequence in this movie is pretty dumb. It just is.
The villains weren’t the best, but they certainly weren’t as bad as in the previous movie.
Iron Man 3 was a good time. Following The Avengers, it had a lot riding on it, but thankfully the later films of Phase 2 were phenomenal.
Iron Man 3: MIHIR
I’m going to have to rate the trilogy overall, so, because of the spectacular first movie, atrocious second one, and hit-and-miss third:
Iron Man Trilogy: MIHIR