Iron Man, 96%, A, 4.5 Stars.
The one that started it all is still one of the greatest of them all. While some VFX here-and-there show their age and the realm of believability is pushed during the first act, a great franchise has an even greater origin.
-Pacing 10/10: The opening scene gets us right into the action after giving us a taste of the Tony Stark we’re about to learn more about. After a flashback to how they got there, we get a first act dedicated to the death of Tony Stark the weapon-maker and the birth of Iron Man, followed by an origin story that is both fun and believable.
-Coherence 8/10: The first act pushes the realm of believability, specifically in the cave. How do they not realize Tony’s making something that isn’t the Jericho missile they wanted? I’m willing to accept miraculously poor aim sparing Tony and giving us the next ten years of RDJ performances, and I’ll even overlook the way the plans were layered to hide it from the bad guys. Aside from that, the rest of the movie made sense, including the way that the Iron Man suit is built and improved upon throughout the run time.
-Relatability 10/10: I found Tony’s realization that his company was doing bad very relatable. Despite the fact he’s a billionaire, I think we can all relate to learning everything we knew was wrong. For me, it was the truth about living in the real world after seeing Ready Player One, and I think everyone has or will go through some revelation like that.
-Development 10/10: Tony is also developed well as the arrogant jerk who becomes the man of conscience, although he still remains arrogant to some extent. RDJ does a great job portraying the arrogant guy in the opening scenes and the changed man for the rest of the movie.
-Visual Believability 8/10: Some of the visual effects are showing their age. Something seems off about the explosions in the cave escape sequence, I just can’t put my finger on it. Aside from that, the Iron Man suit sequences look just as spectacular now as they did nearly 11 years ago, even with the visual spectacles that have come after this.
-Purposeful Content 10/10: Everything advances Tony’s story and the establishment of his corner of the MCU. If you’re looking to launch a shared universe, this is the model of how to do so, because the only indication of a larger universe comes after the credits, and by then, we’ve seen Tony get his start.
-Emotional Resonance 10/10: Ramin Djawadi’s soundtrack is a pulse pounding heavy metal that plays well with the missile showcase sequence and the climactic battle of the bots.
-Appropriate Use 10/10: The heavy metal is appropriate for the character.
-Appropriate Humor 10/10: There’s a good amount of comic relief throughout, but not so much that it feels weirdly placed. It definitely doesn’t ruin certain mysteries by revealing it was done by an alien cat by accident. Oops, wrong Marvel movie.
-Appropriate Cursing 10/10: The language is clean, but upon this viewing, and after having seen a ScreenRant video about MCU moments Disney wouldn’t allow now, there’s a certain edge to this movie that isn’t present in as many of the later ones. Maybe that’s due to the differences in tone, style, and character natures, but moments like Tony Stark and Christine Everhart having their one night stand, a stripper pole in Tony’s private jet and the amount of drinking and smoking I see make me wonder if what came after happened to be cleaned up in accordance with Tony’s lifestyle, or if Disney said no. I may have to rename this category to go beyond cursing to describe maturity levels.
Overall, the first Iron Man is great as the movie that started it all, and stands on its own as a great movie about a man learning the truth and amending his ways to right his wrongs. I found it relatable in my own way, and I hope you did too.
One last note: When I saw Fury in the post credits scene, I couldn’t help but stare at his eyepatch and the claw marks and think “Thanks a lot Goose.”
-1 = That Bad
- Really Bad
100%-97% = A+
96%-93% = A
92%-90% = A-
89%-87% = B+
86%-83% = B
82%-80% = B-
79%-77% = C+
76%-73% = C
72%-70% = C-
69%-67% = D+
66%-63% = D
62%-60% = D-
59% or below = F
0%-19% = 0.5 Stars
20%-29% = 1 Star
30%-39% = 1.5 Stars
40%-49% = 2 Stars
50%-59% = 2.5 Stars
60%-69% = 3 Stars
70%-79% = 3.5 Stars
80%-89% = 4 Stars
90%-99% = 4.5 Stars
100% = 5 Stars