Iron Man ★★½

Marvel Cinematic Universe [01/23]

Iron Man unknowingly kickstarts a giant billion-dollar franchise that will span for who knows how long. Applying certain conventions that we're all familiar with for better and worse, it's a decent superhero origin story that was fresh and exciting at its time of release, but has now become another brick in a giant wall that is only distinguishable by its titular character. It doesn't help when the film's bogged down by the third act being so generic and a dull villain with confused motives.

I won't deny the film started strongly, and as a first entry, this is more technically and consistently well-made than most of what has come after. I'm surprised how polished the effects are, and the sound design definitely has their moments where the fictional weaponry blasts and explosions make these action sequences concrete and consequential. I don't know if I haven't noticed in the later installments, but I believe this is only one of few films where I can genuinely feel the repulsors from Iron Man's armor dealing serious damage onto anyone and anything.

Robert Downey Jr. is perfect for the role, and there isn't really much else to say that isn't already said. He's Iron Man, period.

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