Retrospect: My top 10 favorite Iron Man Movie Moments
With Civil War opening in 3 weeks, I figured I would proclaim my "Team Iron Man" card and look back at the cinematic interpretation of one of my favorite comic book characters.
I always cite Iron Man as the character that opened the Marvel Universe to me, in the same way that the Flash did for DC. I find it funny that my 2 favorite heroes wear the same color scheme (and that Whistleman does as well!). And honestly, neither red or yellow are at the top of my favorite colors...
ANYWAY, a little background info, I've read Iron Man's adventures primarily from the mid-early 80's to the early 90's, so there are some iconic moments from those books that I always wondered would ever be rendered in live action. Thankfully, there has been some great moments in all of Iron Man's screen time, and I am going to list them (just not in the any specific order)
1. Meet Tony Stark
Dagnabbit, I really didn't know what to expect when I first heard Downey was cast as Iron Man. I always imagined someone like Tom Selleck when I read the books. Downey was always that guy from the 80's comedies that was either distracting divers in Back to School, or bully Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science...or getting on his knees to uh...pay his pimp (ironically played by Ultron himself, James Spader) in Less Than Zero. But those first few minutes of Iron Man not only put aside any concerns I had for his portrayal, but managed to make me like the character of Stark even more! His sarcastic, arrogant Stark, made for a better hero story, once he realized he needs to change his lifestyle for the betterment of all mankind.
Nowadays, you get people bemoaning the fact that RDJ has made Iron Man a bigger character than Spider Man for Marvel. But is that a bad thing? He took a B-list comic character and put him on top. When you compare this feat with any other actor who played a comic character, only a few can make that claim.
2. The Mark 1 Reveal.
Man. Kudos to everyone that worked on this segment. From the art design, spfx crew and costume department. When we first see the suit lumbering out from the dark cave, I nearly dropped my jaw so low, that I almost tasted the theater floor-popcorn.
I had seen the still shots, and the glimpses of him in the cave, but nothing compared to when he emerged from that hole and lit the whole Ten Rings encampment on fire. Such a cool scene, and I had no idea how limber they could make something that clunky look in movement.
3. Mark III in action
As if that aforementioned scene wasn't cool enough, Stark upgrades his suit to his first Hot Rod red number and takes on a full platoon of terrorists with repulsors, shoulder rockets and wrist missiles. Then he proceeds to show up some patrolling Raptors in flight, giving me realization that, yes, this was Iron Man in live-action.
4. Enter War Machine
Ah, one of the big ones! When I picked up my first issue of Iron man, James Rhodes was wearing the armor while Stark was recovering from his alcoholism. Rhodey has been a staple of the Iron Man comics for years, and in the early 90's he got his own armor, the weaponized War Machine Armor. Probably one of my favorite variations of Stark's armor (and I like quite a few). One of Iron Man 2's saving graces was the introduction of this heavy artillery suit, and an incredible scene where he and Stark mow down a gang of Justin Hammer's military drones. Since that debut, the MCU has dropped the ball with Rhodes and War Machine, by repainting him as Iron Patriot in IM3, or making him the butt of some gags in Avengers - Age of Ultron. It looks to continue with Captain America Civil War, where it appears ol' Rhodey gets shot out of the sky and laid out for the rest of the film.
5. Iron Man meets Captain America
Speaking of Civil War, Fan-boy moments like this are dreams come true. Many of us who've read comics from the 60's, 70's and 80's never thought we'd get an Iron Man movie...let alone a movie featuring the Avengers. While that film is a walking highlight, one of my personal favorite scenes is when Cap and Shell Head officially meet with a "Mr. Stark" "Cap'n" all while standing over a temporarily defeated Loki.
6. And Speaking of Loki...
...when his brother comes looking for him, it irritates Stark enough to try and take on the God of Thunder. While most of us knows this fight would and SHOULD have gone in Thor's favor, it was still wildly exciting to see these 2 clobber each other in the forest. Another one of those scenes that makes you appreciate how a hero vs hero fight SHOULD go...
7. The Avengers Assemble
I mean....what can I actually add to this moment? This is Marvel come to life.
8. Tony Stark - Genius
This is more of a moments entry rather than a single moment. All of the Iron Man/Avengers movies have also showcased Stark's insane inventive abilities. The iconic moment in cave where builds Iron Man from "a box of scraps" to his savy makeshift weapons in Iron Man 3. It's a big part of who he is in the same way that a big part of Batman is his detective skills. Much of the 1st movie's charm comes from his workshop diaries as he strives to perfect his new idea. In the 2nd one we find him seeking an ends to his arc reactor's toxic effect on him. It's both entertaining and engrossing, and I love the way they show that side of who he is.
9. The House Party Protocol
Another big aspect of the Iron Man mythos is his Hall of Armor. Over the years, Stark has developed a variety of suits that are either upgraded models, or designed for a specific function. As the movies were trickling out, I began to fear we'd never see a vast variety of new suits as there was usually a quota of 3 per the first 2 films and only 1 new one in Avengers. But Iron Man 3 delivered with a whopping 40-something suits, and though you get fleeting glimpses of most, some favorites were translated to the screen like my personal favorite The Silver Centurion (2nd from the left). But there was one suit that was missing...
10. Oh, Hi Veronica!
If Avengers - Age of Ultron was an uneven film, a highlight for me was the debut of the Hulkbuster armor nicknamed "Veronica" as the polar opposite to what "Betty" means to Bruce Banner. Even more uneven, was the match, which had the Hulkbuster being able to handle the Hulk without getting torn to shreds like it always does in the comics. A fun action scene and a well-designed suit. The only thing missing from my cinematic Iron Man is a binge-drinking Stark and some better realized Villains (Stane being the best).
So there you have it kids! While not the ONLY things I like about his cinematic lore, I find these the easiest to point out. And while the films have not been perfect, I can always pull enough good things from each to make the re-watchable. The fact that Stark's character arc is constantly evolving keeps me invested in these films!