In 2008, Iron Man revolutionized the Marvel superhero genre. When DC hit audiences with darker Batman films, it seemed as though superhero flicks would struggle to be anything greater. I will not argue that Iron Man is better than The Dark Knight, but the two films are both signs of success in a genre that needed freshness. Tony Stark was a hero that audiences could relate to. Everyone knows that personality type and can somehow relate to Robert Downey Jr.'s (The Avengers) portrayal of the character. Downey Jr. has become the face of the MCU and is paid way too much because of his perfected character-type. Alongside RDJ, the cast shines bright with a lot of familiar faces including Jeff Bridges (The Big Lebowski, True Grit, TRON: Legacy), Gwyneth Paltrow (Se7en), and Terrence Howard (Prisoners).
To this day, I watch this movie and marvel at the effects used to create the poster hero. Creating a film that includes large-scale battles is one thing, but just watching Iron Man suit up is a whole other monster for filmmakers. Every transition is smoothly executed and realistic. In fact, I am surprised that a suit like Iron Man's has not been created in modern society. That is a scary thought, but not too far away from what our technological capabilities are. While I might be tired out of this genre for the time being, I will always have a special place in my heart for where it all started.
The Bottom Line: Iron Man is a superb start to a franchise that has invaded cinemas and grown into a money-sucking machine.