In 2008, Marvel decided it would attempt to build a cinematic universe starting with one movie and building from there, that movie was Iron Man. Nobody knew at the time the impact that Iron Man would have on not only movies but pop culture. While Comic Book Movies had been around for a while, Iron Man was the beginning of Comic Book Movies becoming their own genre in cinema. The lead role of Tony Stark/ Iron Man was played by Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard as James “Rhodey” Rhodes, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Paul Bettany voices J.A.R.V.I.S., Shaun Toub as Yinsen, Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane.
The movie begins in Afghanistan, where genius, billionaire, playboy Tony Stark, who has inherited his fathers company Stark Industries, is with military liaison Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes to demonstrate Starks new weapon, the Jericho missile. After the demonstration their envoy is attacked and Tony is captured and critically injured by one of his own company’s rocket-propelled grenades. He is taken and held prisoner in a cave by the terriorist group known as The Ten Rings, where a doctor named Yinsen is held captive and forced to perform emergency surgery to keep Tony alive. Yinsen implants a electromagnet into Stark’s chest to keep the shrapnel shards that wounded him from reaching his heart and killing him. After Tony regains his strength and consciousness, the leader of the Ten Rings offers Tony his freedom but not before he makes them a Jericho missile.
Tony and Yinsen begin working and making it seem like they are building the missile when really they are building a small, powerful electric generator called an arc reactor to power Stark’s electromagnet and a prototypical suit of powered armor to aid in their escape. Tony and Yinsen keep the project hidden but right at the end the Ten Rings discover their plan and attack the workshop. Yinsen sacrifices himself to distract them long enough so the suit can be completed. Tony in the armor suit destroys the weapons cache that the terrorists have, then flies away crashing into the desert destroying the armor suit. Rhodes rescues Tony and they return home, where Tony announces Stark
Industries is no longer making weapons. Obadiah Stane, his father’s old partner and the company’s manager, advises against the idea for fear of ruining the company. Back at home, Stark decides to make a improved arc reactor for his chest as well as an improved armor suit. Tony’s assistant Pepper Potts takes the old arc reactor and places it in a glass case. Stane requests details on what he is working on but he keeps it to himself over suspicions of the company.
At a charity event, a report named Christine Everhart informs Tony that his company’s weapons are being sold to the Ten Rings and are being used to attack Yinsen’s home village. Stark learns of Stane’s arms trafficking and how he plans to overthrow Tony as CEO. Tony dons his new armor and saves the village. While flying home he is shot at by two F-22 Raptor’s, where he reveals to Rhodes that he is in the armor suit so that they stop shooting at him. Elsewhere the leader of the Ten Rings, collects the pieces to the original armor suit in the desert and meets with Stane, who has the group killed. Stone then creates a huge suit from the prototype suit. Hoping to find out the illegal shippings from his company, Tony has Pepper hack Stane’s computer. She learns that Stane hired the Ten Rings to kill Tony, who didn’t. Potts meets with Agent Coulson to inform him about Stane.
Stane’s scientist can’t replicate Tony’s arc reactor, so Stane goes to Tony and rips his out of his chest. Tony finds his old one in the glass case which saves his life. Pepper and some S.H.I.E.L.D agents attempt to apprehend Stane but are attacked by Stane in his armored suit. Tony attacks Stane but can’t match up to Stane with his old reactor. They then take the fight to the roof, where Tony instructs Pepper to overload the large arc reactor powering the building which will release a massive electric surge. This happens and causes Stanes armor to fail where he falls through the roof into the exploding reactor and dies.The next day, at a press conference, Stark defies suggestions from S.H.I.E.L.D. and publicly admits to being the superhero the press has dubbed “Iron Man”. In the 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 is and forever will be the movie that started it all. Robert Downey Jr. was born to play the role of Iron Man and anyone that knows the comic book version of Tony Stark, knows that the role was made for him. You can see who easily he plays the character, almost as if it is natural. He is funny, witty, and brings something unique that only Robert Downey Jr. can bring. Very few roles in movies become synonymous with actors like Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter or Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. But Robert Downey Jr. will always be Tony Stark/Iron Man and this will always be the movie that is remember as the one that started it all.
What do you guys think? Do you agree with Iron Man being #4 on the list? Should it be higher or lower? Let us know in the comments below!