Lack of Actual Capes

In some early episode of this podcast, I made a comment that could easily be interpreted as me bragging that I haven’t seen many of the incredibly popular Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Let me now be clear and forthright: there is no place in society for willful ignorance. I am not “cooler” or “more happenin” than anyone just because they have enjoyed the most popular films of the last decade or so while I have generally remained M-Celibate. These are incredibly popular films, and to my surprise, the general public seems to have actually become invested in the stories of the silly caped avengers. (I recognize there is a dramatic lack of actual capes, I will be counting capes for sure).

My Plan:

I will watch every single Disney/Marvel film that is part of the grandiose Marvel Cinematic Universe, and write something about each one. From my hasty count, I have seen five of the films so far while being roughly aware of the larger narrative (Ultron turns people into dust and there is a Raccoon/Tree buddy-up). My intention is to blitz the entire collection and write a little blurb about each movie so I can try and understand what the mono-culture enjoys so much about them. I used to really enjoy Star Wars, so I understand liking things that are bad.

Also, the 4th Avengers movie comes out on April 26th so if I’m caught up by that point, we would have so many internet points. 52 days away and there are 20 films released, woof.

I must repeat, Donkey Kong version of this suit is still my favorite.

Intro:

Iron Man. The first one. I actually saw this movie in the theater, back in the dark age of 2008 (this was roughly when the Great Recession was occurring, good times, pretty big deal for my generation and anyone looking to retire in that decade). Back then it was novel for there to be a superhero movie that wasn’t instantly panned as being absolute wet garbage.

What I Remember: Iron Man is cool, he has a scientist paired with him who helps him build a super suit eventually. There were references to the Iraq War at some point? I’m pretty sure they play The Song after Iron Man shoots at a tank and walks away all cool-like. I think Jeff Bridges turns baddie in either this movie or the sequel.

My Prediction: Given it took 4 years for the first Avengers movie to come out, I assume this was before the concrete idea of an MCU had been established. I wouldn’t be shocked to see they recorded some post-credits scene with Captain America buying Tony Stark a shot or something. Eventually Sammy Jackson starts showing up so maybe that starts here.

Loosely Organized Running Notes:


  • Oh, so this is 2 hours long, that seems a bit much for Iron Man but okay.
  • They kick things off with “not the song you expected, but your dad still really likes “Back in Black.” Shrewd move.
  • “You’ve been called the DaVinci of our time.” Yep. The dude who makes all the weapons? I realize they’re laying it on a bit thick now in order to have the pivot eventually, but that’s a bit much.
  • It really is refreshing to start off a super hero franchise without the usual “Boy, Aunt May, we have to hide this from the world.” Hard facts: before this movie was released, the only good super-hero movie was Batman Begins. I get that it’s funny to pretend any of the other Batman or Spiderman movies were decent, but they weren’t.
  • Tony Stark getting absolutely demolished from the road side bomb happens super-fast and is pretty gritty, the character reversal when he sees that it’s his weapons causing the damage is fairly predictable, but clever enough for this type of movie.
  • As I remember it, his buddy scientist is totally dying. (He did.)
  • Nice homage to the A New Hope scene where the overconfident Han chases troops down a hallway and revealing more baddies. Seems to have had a sadder ending in this version.
  • The MCU is 40% better if Iron Man never made a new suit and he was just this hilarious walking garbage can.
  • Iron Man’s escape being treated for laughs (he launches like a rocket and then crash lands in a heap) is kind of weird coming right after his buddy dies in an emotional scene.
  • Jeff Bridges, the mean CaPiTaLisT (I think the SpongeBob meme fits here?) partner, riding a Segway is a great way to make him look super intimidating.

  • So, Iron Man flies all the way across the planet? I recognize this is a stupid nit-pick complaint and is probably explained away in some comic, but they pay attention to energy/battery levels later on so it seems worth mentioning.
  • Beyond bummed it doesn’t play the actual Iron Man song during the walk-away from explosion scene. Must have been in the trailer. Actually, probably for the best given the tone of the scene.
  • All robot assistants have British accents. It doesn’t matter what movie it is, this is the law.
  • Classic kick the dog moment with evil Lebowski killing the less evil dudes
  • “I LOVE THIS SUIT!” -Evil Jeff Bridges and the rest of America. Old Iron Man suit is best Iron Man suit.
  • I must repeat, Donkey Kong version of this suit is still my favorite.

  • They essentially steal the “Never tell me the odds” line from Han Solo. British droid begins to state limited odds of survival/success and Tony interrupts, “I know the math.”
  • Most of the CGI looks good still, but the early fire effects and particularly half-man/half-suit Lebowski is a special level of terrifying.
  • WE GOT IT! WE GOT OUR FIRST BIG BLUE LAZER!
    • BIG BLUE LAZER COUNT: 1

  • Sam Jackson shows up, so there’s that.

REVIEW:

As a standalone (superhero) film, 4/5 Donkey Kong Iron Men, well-paced, only a handful of characters but they all had moments, wasn’t just a constant dredge of action scenes with no consequence. Whatsherface love interest and whatshisface Army-man friend are all we need for secondary characters, Tony Stark does all the heavy lifting, and then there’s evil Jeff Bridges, who while passable for a throwaway intromovie villain, seems like a huge waste of a fun actor. 

As an intro move, 4/5, subject to revision, gets straight into it, limited backstory but we learn what we need.

Iron Man (2008) Trailer