Next up in my summer challenge, is Iron Man, which is actually the very first superhero movie I’ve ever seen. It’s also the very first movie I’ve seen with the amazing Robert Downey Jr. (at least as far as I can remember). Up to now, it’s the third movie in the chronological order, after Captain America and Captain Marvel.
The movie plot
In Iron Man, we meet playboy billionaire Tony Stark as his army truck gets blown up in the desert. A flashback then takes us back a few days and we learn that Tony runs his father’s business, which includes manufacturing weapons for the United States army. When his truck gets blown up, he is kidnapped by foreign terrorists who want him to make more weapons for them and he learns that someone in his company has been selling his weapons to the bad guys as well. On top of that, while getting blown up, his chests is filled with shrapnel and the doctor who saves him only manages to do so by inserting a magnet in his chest to keep the shrapnel from shredding his heart. To escape, he builds a weapons suit, which later turns into Iron Man. And then Tony Stark sets off to right his company’s wrongs and maybe save the world in the process.
A bit of background
The idea for the Iron Man movie has been in development since as early as 1990, at the time over at Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox and New Line Cinema. In 2006, Marvel acquired the rights to the character and put it in production as their first self-financed film. Director Favreau fought with Marvel from April to September of 2006 to cast Downey Jr. in the lead role. From March to June 2007, filming took place, mainly in California, and all actors were allowed to improvise dialogue because the script actually wasn’t finished when filming began. Filmmakers had focused on creating a story that made sense and getting all the action right. This caused Marvel a lot of stress, but gave the actors the space to develop their characters. Especially Downey took advantage of this, trying and retrying dialogue, f.e. he decided to do the press conference on the floor and he made up the Jericho speech in front of the army.
What surprised me
- What surprised me the most about this movie, is that I actually liked it! Before this, I had liked the cartoons of X-Men from time to time but everything else couldn’t really hold my attention for very long. I was not a fan of Batman or Superman at all.
- And the second thing that surprised me the most, is Robert Downey Jr. What an amazing actor! He went through a lot of problems in his life, which actually made him perfect for this role of Tony Stark who also goes through his redemption arc in this movie. He really was perfect for this role.
- I also liked Gwyneth Paltrow as Downey’s love interest. But not just that, she portrayed a strong, female role in the otherwise very male-dominated world of superheroes. She didn’t take any crap from Stark and stood up against him when necessary. She was the perfect foil to his megalomaniac genius, and was a strong character in her own right.