Cool guys don't look at explosions.
- "Jarvis, sometimes you gotta run before you can walk." And then Tony Stark in his brand new Mark II suit doesn't walk or run... he flies!
- Tony sums up his first successful flight test around the workshop with four simple, direct words: "Yeah, I can fly."
- A minor one, but all of the rifles the Ten Rings wield (various expensive Heckler & Koch rifles and submachineguns, such as the G36 and UMP45) have Stark Industries logos on them. Stark Industries either bought out and owns H&K outright, or has entered into a very lucrative manufacturing/distribution deal with them. In addition, Stark Industries more than likely owns Lockheed Martin in the MCU, as a diorama of the YF-22 is displayed outside Stark Industries, and the Javelin anti-tank missiles that the Ten Rings possesses are branded with Stark Industries logos.
- Tony's mansion is in Malibu, but not just on the beach like most properties; it's notably built right on Point Dume, a major tourist attraction and bluff in Malibu.
- Tony hero-dodges a tank shot and returns fire with a miniature rocket launched from his forearm. It hits the tank and makes a tiny "clang" sound, seemingly doing nothing. Tony then turns around and starts to walk away. Then the tank explodes. A whole new level of movie Super Hero awesomeness!
- This moment was perhaps better in the trailer, as it had Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" playing as he walked with his steps in time with the opening riff, but the soundtrack in the film is pretty damn well done too, pausing for a Beat when the missile "fails" and then kicking on twice as hard when the tank blows up, and Tony does his Power Walk.
- Yinsen's Heroic Sacrifice, along with Tony Stark's ability to build the Mark 1 suit and a miracle power source IN A CAVE! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!
- After Tony has been captured and is moping (understandably) that he'll probably be dead in a week no matter what, Yinsen has a very quiet CMoA: "Well, then this is a very important week for you." In one line, he helps Tony find his inner hero.
- When Yinsen picks up a gun to chase off the Ten Rings goons and buy Tony more time to boot up, he doesn't shoot at the bad guys, merely firing wildly into the air. He doesn't even raise his gun to defend himself when he runs into the big gang that shoot him dead. He was a doctor, a healer, and he was never going to take a life, even of those who killed his family.
- And now, with Avengers: Endgame, we know that Yinsen's Heroic Sacrifice ultimately saved all of existence.
- Stark's introductory speech for the Jericho Missile:
Is it better to be feared, or respected? I say: "Is it too much to ask for both?" With that in mind, I humbly present the crown jewel of Stark Industries' Freedom Line. It's the first missile system to incorporate our proprietary Repulsor Technology. They
say the best weapon is one you never have to fire. I respectfully
disagree; I prefer
... the weapon you only need to fire once
. That's how Dad did it, that's how America does it... and it's worked out pretty well so far. Find an excuse to let one of these off the chain, and I personally guarantee you the bad guys won't even wanna come out of their caves. [gestures to the operator to launch one of the missiles. As the missile begins to dive to Earth, it fragments into many smaller rockets]
For your consideration... the Jericho
. [the mountainside behind him explodes, Tony spreads his arms and grins as the shockwave washes over him and the soldiers]
- Made even more awesome because Robert Downey Jr. ad-libbed that entire speech.
- Why is the Jericho such an awesome weapon? It's a precision guided cluster-missile, but the 16 guideable bomblets it disperses each have the power of bunker busters. It combines the power and capabilities of two, maybe three different bombs, into one package not much bigger than a Paveway bomb.
- Pepper Potts gets her moment when she verbally serves Christine Everhart, after she joins the list of the many, many women Stark has slept with and subsequently dumped.
After all these years, Tony still has you picking up the drycleaning? Pepper Potts:
I do anything and everything Mr. Stark requires. Including, occasionally, taking out the trash
. Will that be all?
- She gets a better one later on Obadiah Stane, when he walks in on her as she's uncovering all the incriminating evidence against him in his laptop. She keeps her cool, smoothly covers up what she's been doing (clicking off the screen she was on, casually draping that day's newspaper over the UPB she's using to hack his files), pretends to go along with his conversation, than walks out the room with the memory stick carrying the incriminating files in her pocket. By the time Stane realizes what she was up to (just seconds later), she's talking to Coulson and telling him everything.
- Phil Coulson is waiting slightly annoyed by Pepper Potts forgetting his appointment. When Pepper arrives very shaken, Coulson then goes into "He will have to get through me first" in an instant.
- Tony survives the Ten Rings guys shooting up his crude Mark I suit when leaving the terrorist hideout. He waits until they stop firing, and then says, "My turn." And breaks out the flamethrowers akimbo, laying waste to everyone and everything within reach.
- Additionally, right after a terrorist shoots the Mk. I in a joint, dropping Stark to one knee, there is an incredibly badass shot of the fire from an explosion fading to reveal Tony Stark, down but not out, firing his flamethrower.
- When Obadiah Stane is trying to get his scientists to miniaturize the arc reactor in order to power his Iron Monger suit. All but one of them immediately leave when they see him enter the room, leaving the last one to try to explain their failure to do what he wanted. The lone scientist eventually tells Stane to his face that miniaturizing the reactor is impossible.
- The entire village rescue scene: Stark suits up, flies halfway around the world, then defeats all of the terrorists in under a minute. This is what you call a Curbstomp Battle.
- Making it more awesome, is that this is Tony's first Big Damn Heroes moment: While tinkering with a forearm from his armor, Stark is watching an international news report on a town ravaged by the black-market trade in his company's weapons. As the on-screen scenes get more and more disturbing, the palm repulsor brightens a bit while Tony's face darkens. Just after Stark suits up in the Mark III for the first time, he flies to the besieged town of Gulmira. Meanwhile, the Ten Rings terrorists are rounding up the village's men and generally being violently disruptive assholes, when one innocent man refuses to go any farther with them. This dude is about to catch a bullet for his trouble, right in front of his horrified, screaming wife and kids, when the boy suddenly hears a roaring sound overhead. Cue Iron Man's Dynamic Entry *THUD*.
- Iron Man gut-punching some idiot stupid enough to fire a gun at him. When he's reached a point wherein he has to risk killing a bunch of women-and-children hostages in order to get at the terrorists, he targets each one and collectively shoots them in the heads without touching a hair on the hostages' heads. The terrorist leader couldn't hide from him for long. After taking on the terrorist group, Tony throws Raza's right hand man to the refugees, stating "He's all yours." No doubt they beat the piss out of him afterwards.
- The best part? Yinsen had mentioned earlier that Gulmira is his hometown. Tony curb-stomping the invaders could be seen as a Roaring Rampage of Revenge on his behalf.
- Luring Obadiah Stane into high altitude where his suit freezes and falls. Especially because Stane is so sure of Tony's inevitable destruction given the tone of his ranting, Tony's response is said in such a condescending I-know-something-you-don't-know tone that you can't help but laugh:
- Also, Samuel L. Jackson's appearance as Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in The Stinger. Then he says: "I'd like to talk to you about the "Avenger Initiative." The ten words that ultimately gave birth to the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
- He also deactivates JARVIS, which, trivial as it is, demonstrates something important about S.H.I.E.L.D.; as brilliant and smug as Stark is, S.H.I.E.L.D. still has his number.
- The final scene before the credits, where Tony is shoved onstage by S.H.I.E.L.D. to deliver a cover story for who Iron Man is... and then just outright decides that instead of going along with S.H.I.E.L.D.'s lies, he'll tell the truth: he is Iron Man. The reporters all go insane. Cue the Black Sabbath!
- Even more awesome when you realize that is in there just to cue the song. More awesomeness ensues.
- A very subtle Moment of Awesome also goes to the reporter Tony formerly dumped, Christine Everhart, who asks the question that spurs Tony to his decision. Watch closely as the reporters all leap to their feet: she is the only one who stays seated in exactly the same position, as if to say, "Yeah— I Knew It!."
- The part where Tony realizes just how effective his repulsors are as weapons by blowing out the glass in his workshop with them. It goes something like this: After being enraged by the deaths caused by the terrorist group that captured him, he accidentally blows out a window in his workshop. He's surprised, then gets serious again as he proceeds to blow out every window in turn.
- When escaping the terrorists' hideout, one of them goes up to shoot Tony in the head. However, Tony's armor deflects the bullet back into the shooter's head.
- Robert Downey Jr. sums up the movie, his portrayal of Tony Stark, and what he'll be (to us, at least) for the rest of his life, in one simple quote:
- The majority of the preceding examples fall into the category of Moment of Awesome for Tony Stark, Hero. THE Crowning Moment of Awesome for Tony Stark, Genius Billionaire Playboy Philanthropist, occurs when it turns out that the flight attendants on his plane are strippers... complete with a brass pole that rises out of the floor.
- Making it even more awesome is that this is taking place while Tony is having a deep, heart-to-heart conversation with a drunk Rhodey, who in the previous scene was not only absolutely infuriated by something Tony did, but was completely refusing to drink anything.
- Stane goes into a tent, leaving his guards standing in the center of the cars he just came in, surrounded by terrorists. Then he
kills paralyzes the terrorist leader, and comes outside, to reveal that his guards have captured and disarmed all of the terrorists - who had them in a perfect crossfire - without firing a single shot.
- The way Stane paralyzes the terrorist leader Raza deserves mention. When Raza makes his proposal, Stane puts his hand on his shoulder in the same "jolly old uncle" manner he has acted as throughout the film, flips out the device, and tells him coldly, in Raza's native language, no less:
Stane: This is the only gift you'll receive.
- The novelization of the film included a moment for Tony: At the climax of the final battle, after Pepper has hit all the buttons and launched the EMP, freezing both Tony and Stane and collapsing the roof, Stane begins to fall into the reactor, but has enough time to give a speech rife with Contemplate Our Navels:
Stane: I guess this is a draw. The genie is out of the bottle. We've done our part. We've brought a great gift to the world and now it is time to go. That is the law of nature, Tony.
[Stane falls into the reactor. Tony watches him, feeling nothing.]
- The fighter pilot who looks like he's about to not appear in Iron Man 2... but then Tony flies down, catches the falling pilot, and unjams his parachute by punching it. Made. Of. Win.
- While Tony had no way of knowing the order had been given, the pilot's wingman was ordered to maintain engagement, and if he had a clear shot at Iron Man, take it. Still, Tony's probably familiar enough with military protocol to know that he's still in the crosshairs of an F-22, but he doesn't let that stop him from saving the life of an American soldier.
- In a deleted scene, Rhodes saves Stark by ramming his car into Stane, who flies into a bus and explodes. Quite awesome. Not as awesome as Stane's death scene in the movie proper, but still.
- Another deleted scene that was still pretty awesome: during the opening ambush, Tony actually picked up an assault rifle and returned fire on the ambushers. Despite being left on the cutting room floor, it was still pretty damn badass that a spoiled, irresponsible playboy had enough wits about him to at least shoot back.
- Not that he didn't have a pair before, but this is the moment where you know.
- The Mark II test-flight scene, specifically the part where a gung-ho Stark takes the suit higher than it can go, and it ices over and shorts out. Tony plunges back to the ground, but after he manually opens the flaps and cuts the ice, suddenly the suit wakes up and promptly ignites its rockets and Tony soars again. And it's so close he nearly scrapes the damn pavement.
- Iron Man vs. Iron Monger. One of the best superhero vs. supervillain fight scenes ever. Even if the beginning is Stane giving Tony a No Holds Barred Beat Down (Which is one hell of a Awesome Moment for Stane), both Iron Man and Iron Monger show us how undeniably badass they truly are.
- Iron Monger's very appearance. He makes his presence known to Pepper from the shadows, and he scares the living crap out of her, after she had been colored unimpressed by the Mark I suit she had just seen upon entry. You gotta give him credit, as a supervillain he needed to make a good first impression, and the recovery from the initial underwhelming reaction was spectacular. Made all the more effective in the 2018 IMAX version, when the shot in which Iron Monger first appears is the first shot of the seventh and final IMAX sequence, and the screen stays tall until the end of Iron Man's showdown with Iron Monger.
- When the Mark I suit comes to life. All the lights go out, and all you can hear is the suit powering up and taking its first step.
- "Just call us S.H.I.E.L.D." And the big reveal after the credits made it even better.
- Christine Everhart, coming up to Tony at the party and showing him photographic proof of Obadiah's double-dealing. What makes this better is that she put aside her spontaneous one-night stand with him to tell him that.
- Tony using the Mark I to break down a solid steel door. The look on the terrorists' faces says it all.
- Tony Stark's press conference immediately after he was rescued from Afghanistan. The hero kicking the crap out of the guys that captured and tortured him? Been there, done that. The hero publicly admitting that everything he's done up to that point was wrong, and he's going to shut down his company's bread and butter to atone for everything they've done? Badass.
- It's a sweet moment, Tony takes off one repulsor only for Stane to not be down and out. Stane swings at Tony, Tony ducks and tries to shoot the repulsor he just took off. So he uses his remaining one to jump up and slug Stane across the face plate.
- Tony sets Pepper up to send an EMP across the whole roof, intending to let her know as soon as he's safe. Then Stane knocks out the glass he's standing on, making it impossible for him to get away. His response? Shout to Pepper to activate the pulse, over her own objections that it will kill him too. After all his development over the film, this is his final step to being a true hero, fully willing to sacrifice his own life to stop something like the Iron Monger suit from doing all the damage it would to the world.