Watch Iron Man (2008), Story, Stars, Reviews & All You Want To Know About A Great Movie
Iron Man (2008)
After being held captive in an Afghan cave, billionaire engineer Tony Stark creates a unique weaponized suit of armor to fight evil.
Iron Man is a 2008 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures,[N 1] it is the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Directed by Jon Favreau from a screenplay by the writing teams of Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, and Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, the film stars Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man alongside Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Shaun Toub, and Gwyneth Paltrow. In the film, following his escape from captivity by a terrorist group, world famous industrialist and master engineer Tony Stark builds a mechanized suit of armor and becomes the superhero Iron Man.
A film featuring the character was in development at Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and New Line Cinema at various times since 1990, before Marvel Studios reacquired the rights in 2005. Marvel put the project in production as its first self-financed film, with Paramount Pictures distributing. Favreau signed on as director in April 2006, and faced opposition from Marvel when trying to cast Downey in the title role; the actor was signed in September.
Filming took place from March to June 2007, primarily in California to differentiate the film from numerous other superhero stories that are set in New York City-esque environments. During filming, the actors were free to create their own dialogue because pre-production was focused on the story and action. Rubber and metal versions of the armor, created by Stan Winston’s company, were mixed with computer-generated imagery to create the title character.
Iron Man premiered in Sydney on April 14, 2008, and was released in the United States on May 2, as the first film in Phase One of the MCU. It grossed over $585 million, becoming the eighth-highest grossing film of 2008. The film received praise from critics, especially for Downey’s performance, as well as Favreau’s direction, visual effects, action sequences, and writing.
It was selected by the American Film Institute as one of the ten best films of 2008 and received two nominations at the 81st Academy Awards for Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects. Two sequels have been released: Iron Man 2 (2010) and Iron Man 3 (2013).
Iron Man (2008) Trailer
Iron Man (2008) Reviews
Obadiah Stane doesn’t come onscreen waving flags and winking at the camera to announce he is the villain; he seems adequately explained simply as the voice of reason at Stark’s press conference. (Why did “Stark,” during that scene, make me think of “staring mad?”). Between Stark and Pepper, there’s that classic screen tension between “friends” who know they can potentially become lovers.
Downey’s performance is intriguing, and unexpected. He doesn’t behave like most superheroes: he lacks the psychic weight and gravitas. Tony Stark is created from the persona Downey has fashioned through many movies: irreverent, quirky, self-deprecating, wise-cracking. The fact that Downey is allowed to think and talk the way he does while wearing all that hardware represents a bold decision by the director, Jon Favreau.
If he hadn’t desired that, he probably wouldn’t have hired Downey. So comfortable is Downey with Tony Stark’s dialogue, so familiar does it sound coming from him, that the screenplay seems almost to have been dictated by Downey’s persona.
It’s prudent, I think, that Favreau positions the rest of the characters in a more serious vein. The supporting cast wisely does not try to one-up him. Gwyneth Paltrow plays Pepper Potts as a woman who is seriously concerned that this goofball will kill himself. Jeff Bridges makes Obadiah Stane one of the great superhero villains by seeming plausibly concerned about the stock price.
Terrence Howard, as Col. Rhodes, is at every moment a conventional straight arrow. What a horror show it would have been if they were all tuned to Tony Stark’s sardonic wave length. We’d be back in the world of “Swingers” (1996) which was written by Favreau.
Another of the film’s novelties is that the enemy is not a conspiracy or spy organization. It is instead the reality in our own world today: Armaments are escalating beyond the ability to control them. In most movies in this genre, the goal would be to create bigger and better weapons. How unique that Tony Stark wants to disarm. It makes him a superhero who can think, reason and draw moral conclusions, instead of one who recites platitudes.
The movie is largely founded on its special effects. When somebody isn’t talking, something is banging, clanging or laying rubber. The armored robotic suits utilized by Tony and Obadiah would upstage lesser actors than Downey and Bridges; it’s surprising how much those two giant iron men seem to reflect the personalities of the men inside them. Everything they do is preposterous, of course, but they seem to be doing it, not the suits.
Some of their moments have real grandeur–as when Tony tests his suit to see how high it will fly, and it finally falls back toward earth in a sequence that reminded me of a similar challenge in “The Right Stuff.” The art direction is inspired by the original Marvel artists. The movie doesn’t reproduce the drawings of Jack Kirby and others, but it reproduces their feeling, a vision of out-scale enormity, seamless sleekness, secret laboratories made not of nuts and bolts but of…vistas.
It is irrelevant whether they have conventional eyes, or whether those eyes narrow. Nor does it matter whether they have noses, because their oxygen supply is obviously not obtained by breathing.
The solution to such dilemmas is that the armored suits look the way they do for entirely cinematic reasons. The bad iron man should look like a mean machine. The good iron man should utilize the racing colors of Tony Stark’s favorite sports cars. It wouldn’t be nearly as much fun to see a fight scene between two refrigerators crossed with the leftovers from a boiler room.
At the end of the day it ‘s Robert Downey Jr. who powers the lift-off separating this from most other superhero movies. You hire an actor for his strengths, and Downey would not be strong as a one-dimensional mighty-man. He is strong because he is smart, quick and funny, and because we sense his public persona masks deep private wounds. By building on that, Favreau found his movie, and it’s a good one.
Iron Man (2008) Credits
Iron Man (2008)
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark
Terrence Howard as Rhodey
Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane
Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts
- Jon Favreau
- Mark Fergus
- Hawk Ostby
- Art Marcum
- Matt Holloway
Based on characters by
- Stan Lee
- Don Heck
- Larry Lieber
- Jack Kirby
Iron Man (2008) Plot
Tony Stark, who has inherited the defense contractor Stark Industries from his late father Howard Stark, is in war-torn Afghanistan with his friend and military liaison, Lieutenant colonel James Rhodes, to demonstrate the new “Jericho” missile. After the demonstration, the convoy is ambushed and Stark is critically wounded by a missile used by the attackers: one of his company’s own.
He is captured and imprisoned in a cave by a terrorist group called the Ten Rings. Yinsen, a fellow captive doctor, implants an electromagnet into Stark’s chest to keep the shrapnel shards that wounded him from reaching his heart and killing him. Ten Rings leader Raza offers Stark freedom in exchange for building a Jericho missile for the group, but he and Yinsen know that Raza will not keep his word.
Stark and Yinsen secretly build a small, powerful electric generator called an arc reactor to power Stark’s electromagnet and a prototype suit of powered armor to aid in their escape. Although they keep the suit hidden almost to completion, the Ten Rings discover their hostages’ intentions and attack the workshop. Yinsen sacrifices himself to divert them while the suit powers up. The armored Stark battles his way out of the cave to find the dying Yinsen, then burns the Ten Rings’ weapons and flies away, crashing in the desert and destroying the suit.
After being rescued by Rhodes, Stark returns home and announces that his company will cease manufacturing weapons. Obadiah Stane, his father’s old partner and the company’s manager, advises Stark that this may ruin Stark Industries and his father’s legacy. In his home workshop, Stark builds a sleeker, more powerful version of his improvised armor suit as well as a more powerful arc reactor for it and his chest.
Personal assistant Pepper Potts places the original reactor inside a small glass showcase. Though Stane requests details, a suspicious Stark decides to keep his work to himself.
At a charity event held by Stark Industries, reporter Christine Everhart informs Stark that his company’s weapons were recently delivered to the Ten Rings and are being used to attack Yinsen’s home village, Gulmira. Stark dons his new armor and flies to Afghanistan, where he saves the villagers. While flying home, Stark is attacked by two F-22 Raptors. He reveals his secret identity to Rhodes over the phone in an attempt to end the attack.
Meanwhile, the Ten Rings gather the pieces of Stark’s prototype suit and meet with Stane, who has been trafficking arms to the Ten Rings and has staged a coup to replace Stark as Stark Industries’ CEO by hiring the Ten Rings to kill him. He subdues Raza and has the rest of the group killed. Stane has a massive new suit reverse engineered from the wreckage. Seeking to track his company’s illegal shipments, Stark sends Potts to hack into its database.
She discovers that Stane hired the Ten Rings to kill Stark, but the group reneged when they realized they had a direct route to Stark’s weapons. Potts meets with Agent Phil Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D., an intelligence agency, to inform him of Stane’s activities.
Stane’s scientists cannot duplicate Stark’s miniaturized arc reactor, so Stane ambushes Stark at his home and steals the one from his chest. Stark manages to get to his original reactor to replace it. Potts and several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents attempt to arrest Stane, but he dons his suit and attacks them. Stark fights Stane but is outmatched without his new reactor to run his suit at full capacity.
The fight carries Stark and Stane to the top of the Stark Industries building, and Stark instructs Potts to overload the large arc reactor powering the building. This unleashes a massive electrical surge that causes Stane and his armor to fall into the exploding reactor, killing him. The next day, at a press conference, Stark publicly admits to being the superhero the press has dubbed “Iron Man”.
In a post-credits scene, S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury visits Stark at home, telling him that Iron Man is not “the only superhero in the world”, and explaining that he wants to discuss the “Avenger Initiative”.
Iron Man (2008) Box office
Iron Man earned $319 million in the United States and Canada and $266.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide gross of $585.8 million.
In its opening weekend, Iron Man grossed $98.6 million in 4,105 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking first at the box office, giving it the eleventh biggest-opening weekend at the time, ninth-widest release in terms of theaters, and the third highest-grossing opening weekend of 2008 behind Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and The Dark Knight. It grossed $35.2 million on its first day, giving it the thirteenth biggest-opening day at the time.
Iron Man had the second-best premiere for a non-sequel, behind Spider-Man, and the fourth biggest-opening for a superhero film. Iron Man was also the number one film in the U.S. and Canada in its second weekend, grossing $51.2 million, giving it the twelfth-best second weekend and the fifth-best for a non-sequel. On June 19, 2008, Iron Man became that year’s first film to pass the $300 million mark for the domestic box office.
Iron Man (2008) Critical Response
The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 94%, with an average score of 7.7/10, based on 281 reviews. The website’s critical consensus reads, “Powered by Robert Downey Jr.’s vibrant charm, Iron Man turbo-charges the superhero genre with a deft intelligence and infectious sense of fun.”
On Metacritic, the film has an average score of 79 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating “generally favorable reviews”. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “A” on an A+ to F scale.
Among the major trade journals, Todd McCarthy of Variety called the film an “expansively entertaining special effects extravaganza” with “fresh energy and stylistic polish”, while Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter praised the film, while nonetheless finding “disappointment [in] a climatic [sic] battle between different Iron Man prototypes … how did Tony’s nemesis learn how to use the suit?”
In one of the first major-daily newspaper reviews, Frank Lovece of Newsday lauded the film’s “emotional truth … pitch-perfect casting and plausibly rendered super-science” that made it “faithful to the source material while updating it – and recognizing what’s made that material so enduring isn’t just the high-tech cool of a man in a metal suit, but the human condition that got him there”.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film four out of four stars, praising Downey Jr.’s performance and stating, “At the end of the day it’s Robert Downey Jr. who powers the lift-off separating this from most other superhero movies”. A. O. Scott of The New York Times called the film “an unusually good superhero picture. Or at least – since it certainly has its problems – a superhero movie that’s good in unusual ways.”
Among the specialty press, Garth Franklin of Dark Horizons commended the “impressive sets and mechanics that combine smoothly with relatively seamless CG”, and said, “Robert Downey Jr., along with director Jon Favreau … help this rise above formula. The result is something that, whilst hardly original or groundbreaking, is nevertheless refreshing in its earnestness to avoid dark dramatic stylings in favor of an easy-going, crowd-pleasing action movie with a sprinkle of anti-war and redemption themes”.
Among major metropolitan weeklies, David Edelstein of New York magazine called the film “a shapely piece of mythmaking … Favreau doesn’t go in for stylized comic-book frames, at least in the first half. He gets real with it – you’d think you were watching a military thriller”, while conversely, David Denby of The New Yorker gave a negative review, claiming “a slightly depressed, going-through-the-motions feel to the entire show … Gwyneth Paltrow, widening her eyes and palpitating, can’t do much with an antique role as Stark’s girl Friday, who loves him but can’t say so;
Terrence Howard, playing a military man who chases around after Stark, looks dispirited and taken for granted”. IGN’s Todd Gilchrist recognized Downey as “the best thing” in a film that “functions on autopilot, providing requisite story developments and character details to fill in this default ‘origin story’ while the actors successfully breathe life into their otherwise conventional roles”.
Iron Man (2008) Accolades
|2008||MTV Movie Awards||Best Summer Movie So Far||Iron Man||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Action||Iron Man||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Actor: Action||Robert Downey Jr.||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Actress: Action||Gwyneth Paltrow||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Villain||Jeff Bridges||Nominated|
|Scream Awards||The Ultimate Scream||Iron Man||Nominated|
|Best Science Fiction Movie||Won|
|Best Science Fiction Actor||Robert Downey Jr.||Won|
|Best Science Fiction Actress||Gwyneth Paltrow||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Terrence Howard||Nominated|
|Best Superhero||Robert Downey Jr.||Nominated|
|Best Villain||Jeff Bridges||Nominated|
|Best Director||Jon Favreau||Nominated|
|Best Comic Book Movie||Iron Man||Nominated|
|Best Scream-Play||Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway||Nominated|
|Best F/X||Iron Man||Nominated|
|Best Line||“I am Iron Man”||Nominated|
|The Holy Sh!t Scene of the Year||Iron Man’s First Flight||Nominated|
|The Holy Sh!t Scene of the Year||Escape from Ten Rings hideout||Nominated|
|2009||People’s Choice Awards||Favorite Movie||Iron Man||Nominated|
|Favorite Male Action Star||Robert Downey Jr.||Nominated|
|Favorite Male Movie Star||Nominated|
|Favorite Superhero||Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble||Nominated|
|USC Scripter Awards||USC Libraries 21st Annual Scripter Award||Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway||Nominated|
|British Academy Film Awards||Best Special Visual Effects||Shane Mahan, John Nelson, Ben Snow||Nominated|
|Grammy Awards||Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media||Ramin Djawadi||Nominated|
|VES Awards||Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture||Ben Snow, Hal Hickel, Victoria Alonso, John Nelson||Nominated|
|Best Single Visual Effect of the Year||Ben Snow, Wayne Billheimer, Victoria Alonso, John Nelson||Nominated|
|Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Motion Picture||Hal Hickel, Bruce Holcomb, James Tooley, John Walker||Nominated|
|Outstanding Models and Miniatures in a Feature Motion Picture||Aaron McBride, Russell Paul, Gerald Gutschmidt, Kenji Yamaguchi for “Suit Up Machine”||Nominated|
|Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture||Jonathan Rothbart, Dav Rauch, Kyle McCulloch, Kent Seki for “HUD Compositing”||Nominated|
|Academy Awards||Best Sound Editing||Frank Eulner and Christopher Boyes||Nominated|
|Best Visual Effects||John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick, and Shane Mahan||Nominated|
|Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards||Favorite Movie||Iron Man||Nominated|
|Empire Awards||Best Film||Iron Man||Nominated|
|Best Actor||Robert Downey Jr.||Nominated|
|Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Superhero||Iron Man||Nominated|
|Taurus World Stunt Awards||Hardest Hit||Iron Man||Won|
|Best Stunt Coordinator and/or 2nd Unit Director||Thomas R. Harper, Phil Neilson, Keith Woulard||Nominated|
|Best Fire Stunt||Mike Justus, Damien Moreno, Timothy P. Trella||Won|
|MTV Movie Awards||Best Movie||Iron Man||Nominated|
|Best Male Performance||Robert Downey Jr.||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Best Science Fiction Film||Iron Man||Won|
|Best Actor||Robert Downey Jr.||Won|
|Best Actress||Gwyneth Paltrow||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Jeff Bridges||Nominated|
|Best Director||Jon Favreau||Won|
|Best Screenplay||Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway||Nominated|
|Best Score||Ramin Djawadi||Nominated|
|Best Visual Effects||Iron Man||Nominated|
|Hugo Awards||Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form||Iron Man||Nominated|
Iron Man (2008) Movie Info
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