Avengers Week: #1 of #10- IRON MAN

Note from T, The Focused Filmographer:

Welcome to AVENGERS WEEK! -where we take a more-or-less chronological shared look at the “prequel” films and characters in preparation for The Avengers. In case you missed the introductory post explaining the next 7 days, please visit HERE. Let the festivities BEGIN!

To start things off, Dan from Fogs’ Movie Reviews shares his thoughts/expectations of IRON MAN. Thank you, Dan.



2008’s “Iron Man” was the first movie Marvel Studios made and released under its own production banner. It wasn’t the first superhero movie in this recent renaissance to feature a Marvel character… but it was the first that Marvel produced themselves. The others were all licensed to various other studios. The seeds of the Avengers were planted within, so it’s fair to say that “Iron Man”‘s success paved the way for the Avnegers to happen. Had “Iron Man” failed, it would have called the entire plan into doubt.

Of course, it didn’t fail… it was a massive success.

In the film, billionaire weapons designer Tony Stark is captured by a terrorist group after conducting a demonstration of his most recent creation, the Jericho Missle. The group demands that Stark build one for them, but instead, he uses the time and resources they provide to build a suit of armor to escape in. Though successful in escaping, the incident effects a change of heart in Stark. He now wishes to use his intellect, technology, and fortune to defend and help others, as opposed to building instruments of destruction. He announces his company’s intention to cease designing and producing weapons – a decision that doesn’t sit well with his second in command, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges).

The situation is complicated by the fact that Stark took a piece of shrapnel in his chest during the raid on his caravan, and now the only thing keeping it from piercing his heart and killing him is the arc reactor that powers his suit. Stark hits the drawing board to develop an improved version of the suit, and a more powerful arc reactor that will retain its charge longer. He succeeds, and shortly thereafter he takes to the air in order to defend a village that’s under attack by the same group that kidnapped him, and gets into a skirmish with the US military as well.

Along the path, he falls for his assistant Pepper Potts, played marvelously by Gwenyth Paltrow. The chemistry that she and Downey lend to the romance is one of the huge factors in Iron Man’s success, in my opinion. It comes with all the typical superhero origin story bells and whistles, all the action sequences and moral philosophizing… but this is also a movie where the romance doesn’t feel tacked on. It earns its keep

A showdown with Stark Industries’ Obadiah Stane looms. In addition to being unhappy with Stark’s decision to abandon weapons development, Stane is zealous for the applications potential of Stark’s arc reactor. He attacks Stark, steals the reactor, and powers a suit of his own. The slugfest between Iron Man and his armored opponent is inevitable.


SHIELD and Nick Fury were both present here, with Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson appearing in several scenes, and Samuel L Jackson appearing as Nick Fury for the first time in the post credits sequence. Marvel was setting up the massive eventual crossover right from their very first movie. In spite of this, and in spite of the fact that in the comics Iron Man was a key figure in the Avengers, the trailers seem to be poistioning Stark as the loose cannon and rogue outsider of the group. It fits well with the persona Downey has imbued Stark with… and I’m hopeful that the chemistry works as well as I imagine it will.

I expect the Avengers to kick a ton of a#$. It seems as though they’ve spared no expense in the action sequences/effects work, and early, favorable reviews have been pouring in. With all these superheroes to play off of each other, they will be no shortage of witty banter and snappy comebacks. Plus, all of the characters have been established previously, so they can focus on “Team Gelling” and the action as opposed to origins and explanations of superpowers. I hope the cast is able to play off of each other well, and the dialogue and banter supplied by the script are worthy of the talent they’ve assembled. I’m sure it will be. After that it’ll just be a matter of bringing some kick-a#$ action to life! 😀

Up Next: Iron Man 2 with looks at both Black Widow and Nick Fury! Stay Tuned.

T, The Focused Filmographer



  1. Great write-up, Fogs. I agree, Iron Man was great — still possibly the best of the Avengers lead-ins. I still remember sitting in the theatre after the credits, wondering if there might be an after-credits scene, since I had gotten used to the idea of action franchises sometimes having them at that point… and then Samuel L. Jackson shows up. Goosebumps, you know? Realizing that yes, Marvel really was going to try and spin several franchises together for a big team-up movie.


    • Thanks buddy, looking forward to yours as well.

      I’m glad they grabbed the bull by the horns and started making movies themselves, you know? Why sell them off to other studios to let them mangle ’em?

      Of course, now Disney’s involved, so that’s a different story.

      I still think its funny how the Ultimates wound up leading to a real world casting…


      • I have a feeling the Disney deal was in the planning stages even as Marvel started their “Marvel Studios” bit. I don’t know for certain, don’t know where I’d look for proof… but considering how long such things tend to take, it just seems plausible to me. “Marvel Studios” might very well have been thought up in part to make the total package more appealing to Disney.

        The Ultimates bit is kind of funny, but even more so when you know the full story. Apparently Bryan Hitch had asked Jackson if he could use his likeness for the Ultimate version of Nick Fury, and Jackson’s reply was that he could… if Jackson could play the character in any film version they did. So the real world casting was part of the deal all along.


  2. Yay Iron Man! Definitely my favourite of the Marvel films so far. RDJ and Favreau did a great job with the character. Let’s hope you’re right about that chemistry! I think it will be a blast!


  3. This was a brilliant review Fogs! Iron Man was an enjoyable super hero film and RDJ makes a fantastic Tony Stark. I’m optimistic The Avengers’ cast will come together in a most splendid way, especially concerning the potential chemistry between Iron Man and Captain America.


  4. Fantastic work Dan! If Iron Man hadn’t been such a massive success, I highly doubt we’d be seeing The Avengers at all. The casting of Robert Downey Jr. was just perfect too – I can’t think of a single actor out there who could fill his boots. He IS Tony Stark.

    Trust me… Iron Man in Avengers does NOT disappoint. Just epic.


  5. I had just seen this recently and still enjoyed it after multiple viewings. I think the sequel isn’t as good as the first thought it’s still enjoyable. I especially appreciate the scenes of Stark building his first ever Iron Man suit at the cave, and of course all the tinkering and testing the suit in his garage, it’s just so fun to watch!

    I think it’s fitting that Whedon is poistioning Stark as the ‘loose cannon and rogue outsider’ of the group and I’m sure Downey Jr will play that up brilliantly!


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