Writer: Based on Iron Man by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck, Jack Kirby Directed by: Jon Favreau
Produced by: Avi Arad, Kevin Feige
Released In: May 2008
ummary by Josephine Ramirez
Tony Stark is the brainy, dashing, billionaire, playboy businessman who is the CEO of Stark Industries. He is living his life to the hilt as his weapons manufacturing company has been maximizing on its profits selling armaments used in military combat. On his way home after meeting with some clients in Afghanistan, he is taken hostage by rebels who get to eliminate all his army guards. When Tony wakes up, he finds himself in a cave and learns that his heart has been replaced by an improvised gadget that is connected to a car battery.
Knowing his capabilities in arms building, the rebels ask Tony to build them a “Jericho missile” for their own ends. Tony does not agree but having no choice, he asks the rebels to give him the supplies and equipments he needs. On the guise of making the rebels’ missile, Tony successfully makes a miniature arc reactor to replace the car battery that keeps him alive, and then builds the first prototype of the Iron Man suit. He is assisted by Yinsen, a doctor also taken hostage by the rebels, and was the one who saved Tony’s life. It is with Yinsen that Tony gains friendship in the rebel territory, and with whom Tony realizes that numerous innocent lives become victims of the weapons that Stark Industries creates. When Yinsen dies sacrificing himself for Tony’s safety, Tony is touched by the gesture and this makes him bent on trying to do something about the current situation. Tony succeeds in making it out of the rebel base alive by using the first, crude Iron Man suit he creates, and he is saved by his comrades just in time.
On his return, Tony calls for a press conference and announces that he is closing down the weapons division of Stark Industries, a statement which Obadiah, his step father and a close friend of his father, vehemently retracts. Determined as he was to change the present status in arms dealings, Tony tries to build a replacement for the harmful weaponry which Stark industries has been renowned for. He creates the Iron Man suit and succeeds at making it an indestructible weapon. Tony tries the suit, and as Iron Man, he is able to go back to the place where he was taken rebel and somehow get to eliminate some rebels and avenge the death of his friend. The air force almost shoots him down if not for the intervention of his pilot / friend Rhodey.
Meanwhile, Obadiah is shown dealing with Raza, the bald-headed leader of the rebels. It is thus revealed that Obadiah was the one who orchestrated the abduction of Tony, and he retrieves Tony’s first Iron Man suit. Obadiah succeeds at making the suit functional. Tony senses that Obadiah has been having private dealings without his knowledge so he asks the help of Pepper to download the files from Obadiah’s office. Pepper succeeds in doing so, but Obadiah learns about it so he sets up his own plan, suits up with the first iron man suit, calls himself “Iron Monger”, and challenges Tony to a fight. Predictably, Iron Man wins in this encounter, and in the end, Tony gets to declare to the press that he is indeed Iron Man.
The movie’s special effects are amazing. The hologram that Tony manipulated to make his second Iron Man suit at his office is one example. Another is Iron Man’s flying effects, the overall blasting effects, the aerial scenes where Iron Man was fighting the air force pilots and the fight scenes between Iron Man and Iron Monger. Even Tony’s mini-arc reactor attached to his body as a replacement for his heart is, in itself, already mind-boggling because it just seemed so real, especially during the time that Pepper had to replace it with a new one.
The movie is a good adaptation of the comic book story; the plot was simple, easy to relate to, and delivered in a manner that flowed effortlessly. Iron Man’s settings were excellent, from the deserts, to the cave, to Tony’s Malibu home, to the Stark Industries manufacturing firm. The costumes were also outstanding, especially the Iron Man suits which Tony supposedly created. The lighting of the scenes was also splendid as scene shots were done appropriately.
The actors of the movie also did a good job. Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) as Tony’s personal assistant was remarkable as the ever-loyal and trustworthy admirer of Tony. Rhodey who was one of Tony’s good friends, was also instrumental in constantly saving Tony, and was portrayed well by actor Terrence Howard. Jeff Bridges as Obadiah was suitably hateful in his scenes as the errant stepfather of Tony who eventually becomes his adversary. Lastly, of course, is Tony, portrayed by Robert Downey Jr., who delivers the role convincingly as an uncaring, modern-day arms entrepreneur who is transformed by experience to become a good guy and a hero.
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