Movie Meltdown

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Iron Man

by Kyle Armstrong

     Here it is, the film that started a new kind of franchise for Marvel movies. Iron Man, like Blade, X-Men, and even Spider-Man, gave Marvel the fighting chance to offer us a movie franchise. But "Iron Man" is what it needed to start it all! As apprehensive as the company may have been, seeing not only did they take a huge chance on this movie, they took no time at all to make sure that this movie wouldn't be a flop and right away they released "The Incredible Hulk" (which did turn out to be somewhat of a flop) just one month after "Iron Man". As it turned out, 2008 was actually a great year for comic book movies, with other offerings like "The Dark Knight" and "Hellboy II: The Golden Army".

     "Iron Man" comes as a breath of fresh air in the Marvel universe, with characters that are overused like Spider-Man or Wolverine, "Iron Man" gives us a character that was usually overshadowed in animated pictures by the likes of Captain America and The Hulk and turns him into the ideal Marvel character. Creating that witty, smug jerk that becomes - the all-American hero.

     Marvel, I believe, has done something that no other comic book movie has done before, it made these superheroes into celebrities. I mean sure, you have Bruce Wayne as this billionaire counterpart that does sort of count as a "celebrity". But before "Iron Man", had a comic book movie ever matched the character with that celebrity attitude? Something of a  'talk to my agent' kind of feel to it. I don't think so.  

     I also believe this film gave Marvel it's own personality. DC has always presented itself as a serious set of movies, while Marvel has no problem showing it's goofy side. Which actually works for the both of them. While also bringing amazing soundtracks to comic book movies. (Well, there was that awesome Batman soundtrack with Prince.)

     "Iron Man" brings flavor to the table with intelligence, great action, and perfect comedic timing, as well as offering a hero with that 'who cares' attitude. Why was Robert Downey Jr. perfect casting? Because Robert Downey Jr. IS Tony Stark. With everything he has been through, getting famous, losing fame, just to have to get it back again, that gives him a very  special circumstance to offer up - an honest performance. I believe this was the perfect time to get a solo studio company for Marvel as well, since the 80's and 90's were a horrible time for the comic book movies (As well as comics in general), Marvel was the comic company that no movie studio wanted, that is until they took a chance with "Blade". And that was when they got their break, then flooded the market with movies like "Spider-Man" and "X-Men", but having all those characters under one studio could have led to potential disaster. So maybe not having Spider-Man, X-Men, and Fantastic Four in this universe is for the better.

     Iron Man, for good reason, is Marvel's golden goose and will most likely stay that way until Downey Jr. gives up the role. Either way, "Iron Man" is one of, if not the, most important films in the cinematic universe and I believe it will always be that way. "Iron Man" was the game changer. It was smart, witty, and fun. I highly suggest it, if you have not seen you should definitely add it to your list.


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