This entry has one of the MCU has a lot of controversial thoughts behind its status of being a good film. I think that this entry has a very strong Shane Black influence that pulls it out of being a strong Marvel film. I think what Shane was going for was more of a stand alone story focused on post traumatic stress disorder. If the film hadn’t done the bait and switch with taking away the female villain and the reveal on “The Mandarin” due to political/racial stereotypes, this film would have been perfect.
This film looking back at it shows Tony’s maturity as a character to where he had already taken responsibility of his actions to the point he was overdoing it. He became a self destructive tour deforce. The relationship between him and Pepper is the core of this franchise and it shows. Gwyneth Paltrow gets to be involved in the action rather than just be a less involved female character in the action. Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen had such a great entrance at the beginning of the film with Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian. Though it does borrow reference to “The Incredibles” of an idol turning villainous it ended up working for me. Jon Favreau and Don Cheadle have smaller roles in this entry but have purposeful things to do in the story.
My armor was never a distraction or a hobby, it was a cocoon, and now I’m a changed man. You can take away my house, all my tricks and toys, but one thing you can’t take away – I am Iron Man.
What I appreciate about the “Iron Man” is the focus on the war on terror, weapons in war (from any perspective) and the grounded nature of what Tony faces in his job and story arc as a character. I felt that story ended with this entry for him to move on to more global/cosmic threats. The ending is earned with Tony closing a chapter in his life to move on to a new bigger one.
The relationship Tony had with the kid Harley in Tennessee was a great building block for Tony to use going forward with Spider-Man. I thought that was well handled. Ty Simpkins and Robert Downey Jr had some great chemistry. The action sequence with Tony’s LA home is one of most memorable action sequences out of all of the MCU. Overall I would say this is a solid entry in the MCU with some entertaining moments. Not the best Marvel can make but now that they are able to go in different directions with female characters I am hoping for this film to be a learning lesson.