YMMV / Iron Man


  • Acceptable Religious Targets: Deliberately avoided. Faran Tahir, who portrayed Raza, said the original script made an allusion for Raza to be an extremist Muslim and possible reference to groups like Taliban and al Qaeda. Being a Muslim himself, Tahir understandably doesn't like this idea because as people rightfully pointed out, he believes that those real-life terrorists have very little to do with their faith and religion, and instead, their so-called religion-based terrorism has more to do with geographic control and personal power. So Tahir helped the production team to re-envision Raza as more of a power-hungry leader and less of a religious zealot. The references to Taliban and al Qaeda are also omitted.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: It's hard to remember how much risk this film had. Let's count the ways:
    • Marvel had signed away the rights to their most well-known properties and was now trying to produce their own films with second-tier characters (before the movie came out, Iron Man wasn't particularly well-known or popular).
    • Not only that, but Marvel Comics set up Marvel Studios with a 800 million dollar bond obtained by putting their entire catalog up as collateral. If the so-called Marvel Cinematic Universe flopped, a change in management would be the least of Marvel's worries.
    • The lead-off movie would feature Iron Man, a B-list (at best) comic book character, who Marvel fans hated thanks to a then-recent villainizing arc.
    • Said movie would star a washed-up actor infamous for drug abuse in the lead role and was going to be directed by a man whose last film had been a box-office bomb.
    • The crew only had a broad outline and most of the dialogue was improvised.
    • In hindsight, it was the greatest decision Marvel ever made. Iron Man launched both the character, Robert Downey Jr., and its studio to super-stardom, and convinced Marvel that even their less popular heroes could indeed become box office draws.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The scenes where Tony kept smacking into things while testing his suit was funny in all the wrong ways. "10% thrust." Splat!
  • First Installment Wins: Many viewers find Iron Man to be the best film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or of the Iron Man films at the very least, and it's hard to overcome the perception that Tony Stark is the overall protagonist of the entire MCU by virtue of being the first hero to be introduced. Stane is also still considered one of the better MCU villains after the parade of mostly one-note evil people that followed.
  • Franchise Original Sin: While many agree it's a very good movie, in retrospect, it set up several of the things that Marvel's movies would be criticized for later on.
    • The use of The Stinger for a Sequel Hook. Marvel hadn't considered making a franchise of interconnected movies yet, so it came off more as a little And the Adventure Continues moment when you first saw it. But the continued use of them, with two per movie later on, would become grating as it felt like they were more about advertising future movies than adding a meaningful contribution to what you just saw.
    • The juxtaposition of humor and action. This movie and later Phase One films were good about knowing when to leave one or the other to the side as needed. Later films would be negatively reviewed for not maintaining this and reducing the tension of serious scenes.
    • The success also put Robert Downey Jr. back in the forefront and made his Iron Man role a big draw for the franchise. This didn't become a real problem until Age of Ultron, where it resulted in Stark getting to create Ultron - kicking Ant-Man out of the position despite his film having been lined up - and not getting his comeuppance until Civil War.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • "Next time, baby."? Well, not so much for Terrence Howard. He gets replaced by Don Cheadle in all of the following Iron Man movies.
    • Either this or Hilarious in Hindsight depending on the viewer, but Iron Man mistaking Stan Lee for Hugh Hefner (since he was wearing a similar getup as well as being coddled by blondes) is especially ironic when fans remember that Stan Lee is responsible for the creation of Stripperella.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The POV shot of Tony while falling in the iced-up armor is exactly like Rhodey's in Civil War. In the very same suit no less.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The formal event in the middle of the first film takes place at the Disney Concert Hall (guess who owns Marvel now? The Walt Disney Concert hall has nothing to do with the Disney company and was endowed by a private foundation in Walt's name, but it's still pretty funny).
    • Downey is also seen at the Disney Hall in The Soloist with Jamie Foxx a year later.
    • The fighters pursuing Tony go by "Whiplash" One and Two. A version of Whiplash (although with heavy liberties taken) appears in Iron Man 2. Even better, Mark Scarlotti (the first Whiplash in the comics) went on to appear in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
  • It Was His Sled:
    • "The truth is… I am Iron Man." Unprecedented in any superhero movie before, its effect is lessened now that none of the supers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe even have a secret identity (though the new MCU Spider-Man does).
    • The fact that Nick Fury arrives in The Stinger to recruit Iron Man for the Avengers is pretty well known now. Kinda $3.8 billion dollars well known.
    • Also, the fact that Obadiah Stane is the main antagonist. Even promos that came out around the time of the film's release didn't hide it much. Case in point. And his role as a supervillain was never treated as a spoiler in the comic book source material originally.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Obadiah Stane, aka Iron Monger. He spends most of the movie plotting behind Tony's back while being nice and friendly with him up-front, and even when his plans derail (Raza and his men betray him), he finds a way to spin it to his advantage. The only major flaw in Stane's plans was that his scientists aren't as smart as Tony and couldn't duplicate the arc reactor, thus he had to confront Tony himself and steal his reactor. If his scientists had duplicated the reactor (or if he had gotten a hold of Tony's old, outdated reactor somehow) then Stane would have gone pretty much the entire film with Tony clueless that his best friend and partner has secretly become his arch-nemesis planning to mass produce knock-offs of Tony's technology.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Moral Event Horizon: Stane pushing the board to file the injunction against Tony. Weirdly, this is completely innocuous in the world of business (not exactly nice, but sometimes it's a very necessary move). However, the reason it is the Moral Event Horizon is because we learn that he did it right after Tony confronts him about dealing on the black market. And that's before we find out he ordered the Ten Rings to kill Tony, the son of his life-long friend.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Stark's fire extinguisher robot and Nick Fury. Both have larger roles in the second film.
  • Rewatch Bonus: When you watched the movie for the first time, you may wonder "who is this Coulson random guy?" and why he seems so eager to interrogate Tony about his abduction. You may also consider him as a bad guy. This is especially after Tony and Pepper (at first) virtually ignored him (mostly because Pepper is already interrogated by CIA and FBI among others and she's a bit too tired to be interrogated again... while Tony is just too arrogant to even pay attention at Coulson). Even after he revealed he's from S.H.I.E.L.D., you may still feel that doesn't make too much sense; to the point that Coulson even helped Tony hides the truth about him being Iron Man (although Tony immediately goes "Oh screw this, I am Iron Man") and Obadiah Stane's death (and possibly his betrayal as well). Then, after you watched other MCU movies or TV series, especially Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you will finally get it. It really is their job, no matter their client(s) like it or not, Agent Phil Coulson will always be there to help.
  • Special Effect Failure: A fairly minor one, but when Iron Monger AKA Obadiah Stane runs at Pepper after discovering her underground, Stane is very clearly not moving. Partially justified in the fact that Stane's suit, the Iron Monger, is less a suit a la Stark and the Iron Man, and more a walking, flying humanoid-shaped tank.
  • Squick: Pepper having to replace Tony's reactor core was more than a little gross for some. It's made even worse with her comment about pus, even though there was none (it was just inorganic plasmic discharge, and it was from the device, not him).

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