“Iron Man” (2008) Film Review | MCU Review #1 (Mar-Apr. 2021)

A fresh new thumb dedicated just to Marvel Cinematic Universe related movies and shows. What do you think? ๐Ÿงก

MCU Timeline By:

Chronological order of Release Date


Chosen Film/Year:

“Iron Man” (2008)


Movie Rating:

PG-13


Movie Length:

2 hours and 7 minutes


End Credit Scene:

One.


Directors, Screenplay Writers:

Jon Favreau

Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, and Matt Holloway


Genre:

Science fiction, Action, Adventure


Trigger Warnings:

Torture, substance use (alcohol; tobacco), trauma, manipulation, war/weapons of mass destruction, PTSD, character death, “crazy” reference.


Themes:

Humor (sarcasm), back-stabbing, betrayal, trust issues, demilitarization, respect/disrespect, responsibilities, heroes, superheroes, feels, grief, ease of emotional expression/body language, cheeseburgers, ethics/morality, determination, grit, perseverance, not giving up, self-sacrifice, saving the world, high stakes, suspense and action, honesty, hope, financial gain, “I am Iron Man.” ๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ–ค


Watched from:

Disney+


Plot Summary:

I’m doing something differently for this section in the majority of my MCU film reviews because I’ll be showcasing two to three other people’s content regarding the summary of the movies so that one, it’s not forever long from me and two, because I’m sure others have made it far more concise and user-friendly and three, because it’s been so long most of the time since I’ve watched the movies or I’m just late in the game of reviewing them so I think shouting out what others’ hard work exists out there rather than having the focus, like with the rest of the review, be just about me. Let me know what you think of this choice in the comments!! ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿคช

  1. Link 1 from the critic Roger Ebret
  2. Link 2 from ย  James ย  Rocchi of Common Sense Media
  3. Link 3 from John Campea on The Movie Blog
(*this section was finally completed as of Apr. 2021, 
about one month since I watched the film and started
this review, as it were.)

Emotional Intensity Along with Character Development Commentary and Scoring:

This film is so emotional: outlined below especially and because it covers such vast and tough subjects. It doesn’t shy away from talking about intense stuff or showing intense stuff (see above trigger warnings as appropriate). It also paints a clear picture of who Tony was before he was captured and how some of that experience changed him afterwards (and we are teased some introduction to Tony and the loss he has already faced in his life). Luckily his snark and humor outlasted him but he definitely did change when he decided he was no longer going to support the mission of his and his father’s reputation which was to build weapons of mass destruction. He learned where they were really going and who they were affecting and he chose to no longer be a part of that story line which is immensely commendable and so, so wonderful to see play out. He’s still arrogant at times but we see such growth. We see him fight for a cause and his determination and perseverance and self-sacrifice really, really shine. He becomes enamored with a new mission and that’s to protect the world and all the people in it, which carries on endlessly throughout the franchise.

Additionally, Robert’s emotional capacity to show this through his body language and facial expressions is so spot-on, and that’s not even mentioning yet his chemistry with his hetero love interest Pepper Potts. Their chemistry is so refreshing and if I wasn’t a total FrostIron shipper, I’d definitely ship Pepperony next. There’s just SO MUCH to unpack in just this performance and I can’t wait to jump aboard as we go further and further into the franchise, yet again.

So, I have to say for emotional intensity and the immense suspense of the movie and the twists and turns it made all along the way, the transitions of the movie and the quick-wittedness it held, this movie definitely landed for me with an emotional intensity/character development of:

8/10

The emotional range definitely kept me interested, intrigued and captured myself. I was in it for the long haul and I probably would have scored it higher if it hadn’t been a month since I last watched it in full. Buuuuut, I also think this movie has a great re-watchability factor. So that is equally wonderful. Now, onto the rest of this review!!


Memorable Quotes or Scenes:

  1. (Yinsen to Tony) “Is that how you want to go out? Is this the last act of defiance of the great Tony Stark? Or are you going to do something about it?”

Tony (despondent and depressed): “They’re gonna kill me, you, either way. And if they don’t, I’ll probably be dead in a week.”

Yinsen: “Well then, this is a very important week for you, isn’t it?”

I had to go back into the movie to make sure I heard this right and it was within the same conversation but, god, man, I loved Yinsen. That look of determination that crosses Tony’s face after Yinsen challenges his thought processes from how hopeless and desperate he feels, is just… chef’s kiss. It’s the right amount of push, motivation and inspiration that Tony and the viewer needed and is everything, I swear. The concept of just giving up can be so tempting but placed into this situation and prompted by Yinsen, it was immediately eliminated as a choice, an option, and it’s just so beautiful, I think!!!

2. (Tony to Yinsen) “Thank you for saving me.”

Yinsen: “Don’t waste it. Don’t waste your life.”

I’m loving these recurring themes of not wasting your life (from S17 of Grey’s Anatomy, the book I just finished with the acronym FOMO, etc.) (which I’ve done for the last year or so with my Youtube addiction) so it’s especially refreshing and important to me. This scene was SO EMOTIONAL too, as we find out that Yinsen’s family had already passed on and that’s why he was going to be seeing them again soon. Yinsen, too, had sacrificed himself to give Tony more time to escape and live his own life, forming a family and getting a second chance to make things right. It’s so beautiful and tear-jerking. Especially within the context that we know in Endgame that he got that family he wanted and unfortunately, left it behind in his last, ultimate sacrifice. ๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ–ค

3. Tony to Pepper: “There is nothing except this. There’s the next mission and nothing else….. I shouldn’t be alive. Unless it was for a reason. I’m not crazy, Pep. I just finally know what I have to do and I know in my heart that it’s right”ย 

๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ Once again, the intention and fixation Tony has had on protecting people and the world from their own selves has been present, most certainly, since the beginning. The character development to get to this post is nothing short of amazing and the post-traumatic growth was heightened for sure. I just wish he could have gone on to experience this everlasting peace while he was still alive, in the end. But, I’m kinda jumping ahead a little. By like, twenty movies, haha. I think that intensity of wanting to do right when he’d done wrong for so long really, really matters so much. It was his drive and his self-proclaimed mission and venture. And he did it to the best that he could, and he achieved it for others to carry it forwards on their own shoulders. A true hero. Now I’m gonna start crying next…


Fan fiction Ideas and Themes to Explore in My Fics:

  • I feel like exploring some fanfic or plot where Tony talks to Loki about Phil’s death and does come to understand that Loki was also being mind controlled by Thanos/the Other and that they just nestle their foreheads together in quiet acceptance, wishing for things to have played out differently and still loving each other all the same. Maybe like some distrust at first and then some understanding even if not liking what happened. I don’t know, I just have that forehead nestling image in my mind right now, and I always kinda forget that Phil’s death was caused by Loki and how that is handled (or not) in fics themselves. So, this could be a meaningful one-shot for me to explore. ๐Ÿค๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
  • If I wasn’t such a FrostIron shipper, I’d totally get behind Pepperony. Their chemistry with each other is UNMATCHED. I loved it and could really respect the fandom ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜—
  • There’s a scene where Rhodey questions Tony for not having enough respect for other people’s time (shown in how he doesn’t arrive to galas and conventions or making speeches for award shows, etc.) as well as his own self–I thought this nature of potential trauma and self-centeredness would be excellent to explore in a fic. Like, the insecurities that lies behind the front and uncertainty in his own belief of himself and just not respecting himself (lack of self-respect)/unworthiness. I thought that was particularly interesting
  • I also think more of a reflection and insight into Tony and Yinsen’s relationship would be wonderful to explore as well. Whether that’s him mentioning it to the team more or confiding it into Loki and their relationship as well. Maybe I could even adapt it into some of my fics like D&D, the mental health/eating disorder one. There’s definitely potential here. I have seen a couple of fics that explored this too or covered it in some way and I think it’s definitely something worth expanding and commenting upon.
  • The classic cheeseburgers. ๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ’”
  • Trust issues (understandably)
  • Trauma denial (not sleeping enough, not eating enough, being obsessive and fixating on certain topics, over working himself, etc.)
  • Responsibility and maybe even instances of over-responsibility (thinking the weight of the world does in fact reside on his shoulders and only his, which may be a relief when other heroes join the mix in the future)
  • Abandonment: (I might explore this in the emotional intensity section above but since I’m writing this section first….) Now that Tony was saying he no longer wanted to create weapons for the military to use against the war on terror (because they were ending up in the wrong hands and he was actually taking responsibility for his work and the damage his reputation and more had already transpired) than no one wanted to be supporting him in this highly ethical and morally just situation/change of heart he had. It’s like the moment he switched gears, people regarded him as “crazy” and didn’t take him seriously or thought badly of him because he was no longer doing what they wanted. It was super frustrating and luckily he called out Pepper on this thinking too (listed above) and then she had a better understanding of his motivations and what he wanted to do. But it just sucks that Rhodey and Obadiah (even if he was the villain so it made sense why he felt threatened) weren’t there for Tony in the same way he would be there emotionally (physically?) for them. Like, once he wasn’t doing what they wanted they saw little use for him. So, that sucks. That kind of abandonment would be nice to explore in a story and the unjust nature of that, the moral dilemmas and second guessing one’s ability, etc.
  • I don’t know why Tony doesn’t like to be handed things so if anyone could enlighten me on that ’cause I know that’s a theme, that’d be great!!
  • I also just want to highlight the fact that Tony was self-sacrificing even as early on as this movie, like when he was climbing altitude fast with Obadiah when his suit power was low and again, even if you think about it, with Yinsen and escaping the terrorists and then again when he told Pepper to push the surge from the arc reactor even when he was in the way, knowing it was the only way to stop Obadiah. So, he’s always been like that even as far early on as here. I think exploring this further with like specifics in conversation, probably off-handedly would fit his character (humor/dismissive nature towards help and support) and be something he’d do, haha.
  • Parallels of the sand landing in this movie and the clip for the “Loki” series on Disney+ ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜‰
  • What were the 3 months Tony was held in captivity like for everyone else around him?
  • I find it a little surprising that Tony would be against the military involvement with his suits and future paths of his company yet be for them when it comes to “Civil War”, but then again, I never really understood the depth and bureaucracy behind that later movie (maybe watching it anew and fresh will help, or reading about it more, etc.)
  • A one-shot exploring the thanks Tony gives to Dum-E would be appropriate, needed and the kind of fluff we all deserve. ๐Ÿงกโค๐Ÿ’›

Subtle or Overt Preparation for Future Movies:

There was definitely a presence of the character Agent Phil Coulson from SHIELD throughout this movie. He served especially helpful towards Pepper Potts when she needed his help and aid to get away from Obadiah after copying over the files he had about making his own iron man suit as a weapon for the military and keeping/aiding fugitives from other countries (as well as being the one behind getting Tony killed in the first place). So, there was that. Coulson is also featured at the end, preparing Tony with the talk about SHIELD and how to handle the press, encouraging and expecting Stark to not alert the authorities to his true identity (and we all know how that really panned out ๐Ÿ˜‰). There was also the end credit scene where Nick Fury himself came to Stark’s home and spoke about the Avengers Initiative. Of course, if we fast forward to other movies (like Captain Marvel) we know why and how the Avengers Initiative got created in the first place along with what the next steps are going forwards. I think that’s all I really remember from this movie now so that’s where I’ll end this section.


Estimated Timeline & Setting of When I Watched this Movie the First Time:

Honestly, I’m not sure when was the first time that I watched this movie in particular. I know that I only became an MCU fan in summer of 2014. I got introduced into the entire MCU then when I started to watch movie clips from Thor (2011) on Youtube and became very intrigued and interested in Loki. Then I watched scenes from Avengers (2012) and I read lots of fan fiction about the Avengers and Loki (my all time favorite story is the well-deserved popularity of “Drown” by Ordis here) and I really, really fell in love. I wound up watching Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3 thinking the Avengers scene with Loki were in there (they weren’t) until I finally watched Avengers with my Mom and for the first two hours thinking to myself Aw, shit, it’s not this movie either, but then it WAS. Some time between then and the coming years I saw parts of and then the full Iron Man film that I watched, again, this time in March 2021 for this review and to really make myself feel and cry when the inevitability of Thanos happens and all of that jazz. I guess I just wanted to REALLY feel it again, that pain, but that love too. That…humanity and that kindness and love and wonder. I love Iron Man, he’s my favorite right after Loki. Is it any wonder that I’m a FrostIron shipper? Ahhaha.

I thought it’d also be excellent to re-immerse myself into the characters and plots so as a better way to improve my fanfics and above and beyond, as you probably already read about above. It took me a long while to work on this review and I’m hoping once it’s done, I’ll be able to breathe a little easier. But yeah, that’s been how I engaged with the MCU and in particular this one film. It was a very convoluted way of getting there, to the end with the MCU, but it’s how I managed to do it ahaha. Did I mention I had also watched a lot of Thor and Loki fan videos as part of the process? It was that, the movie clips themselves and then the fan fictions. I read about “Drown” before I searched for the movies so the torture thing for Loki was always already head canon for me. Okay, I’ll move on to the next section now!!! (–April 6th 2021)


My Final Thoughts:

It took me three hours to properly view this film for this review plus two or three more hours thereafter to craft the outline of this review, begin writing it, procrastinating from it, then writing, finishing and editing and publishing it from April 2021 for another three hours, gah. But I’d say it was pretty successful!! I’m nervous and on edge that I have to watch like 2 or 3 MCU movies per week for the next two months to get on more/better track of watching new stuff coming out (in particular, naturally, “Loki” series, “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” plus the movie “Black Widow” etc.) I definitely could have gone without wasting an entire month of my time but it is what it is so I just have to accept it, focus straight ahead and move onward. So, that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m nervous that this review won’t be as “perfect” as I’d like it to be but if I keep waiting for that, I’ll be waiting forever. I have some other reviews and posts in the works behind the scenes but lost either concentration, flow or drive to finish them or getting on top of a few other things and letting the others slip away from my grasp, yet again. It’s a process. Sigh.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this review though!! And please check out the mentioned stories and reviews from others! If you happen to read this and you write reviews for MCU movies and you’d like to be shouted out or your work seen from my own words, let me know in a comment or an email via my Contact page!!! I’d be happy to shout you out and showcase some of your work. Or if you even write fanfics yourself!! ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿคฉ

But yes, overall, thank you so much for reading and stopping by!! Let me know what you’d like to see next and I’m gonna be trying to network more in the coming future and all that jazz. If you’d like me to check out a particular post of yours, just let me know. Sending you all light, love and the power it means to be a hero. ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’™

P.S. My thinking is that I’ll be about a movie ahead when doing these reviews, so for instance, I plan to edit and publish this today Apr. 6th 2021, work on TIH review to be scheduled later this week, and watch IM2 tonight/tomorrow and then work on that review, watch the next movie, publish the previous movie’s review, etc. I hope that makes sense!

PPS I took out the ‘cinematography’ section because I think the emotional intensity section can better cover that area/I can mention it there, and I don’t want to work on this review any longer (it’s been 2.5 hours again) and want to just get it up sooner without having to rewatch a second/third time all over again, so that’s what I’m doing and why.


Recommendation Score:

5/5


Upcoming movie….

The Incredible Hulk (2008)


Information behind the scenes for this post:

Viewing for this review where I wrote brief notes, memorable quotes 
and things to that effect took place Sunday March 7th 2021 from
8:15p - 11:15p. I began typing the skeleton of this post on March 8th 2021
from 10a - 11a. The rest of the post was completed around 4p - 7p on
April 6th 2021. I did various sections, about 8 or 9 of them,
on this day so the majority was written in April even though I watched
and started it back in March, one month ago. โค๐Ÿ’›โค๐Ÿ–ค

Music that helped to listen to in the background to craft this review: burn the house down by AJR, there’s a place by Roo Panes, lonely by Violet Skies, lose somebody by Kygo and One Republic, a 1 hour compilation of Tony Stark ambient sounds.