Iron Man starts with Tony Stark visiting a war torn part of the world where they are blowing the shit out of each other and ending up being in a car accident after the car in front of them was blown up, and then ends us right next to a bomb before it explodes. Of course the bomb in question was made by his company Stark Industries.
He then wakes up and finds that he has been injured by the bomb and has shrapnel near his heart, and has been patched up with an electromagnet grafted to his chest to stop the shrapnel from entering his heart, but for it to work he has to carry a dirty great battery around with him, which is a tad impractical and which he does his best to try and get around with, with great difficulty naturally.
He then gets told by these member of a terrorist that if he builds them a bomb like one they had a picture of then (another one of Stark’s companies bombs) they will let him go free, but he soon works out that they will kill him no matter what they do so agreed to do, so but instead decided to build a special suit so that he would be able to escape.
In flashback sequences leading up to the moments before he got blown up we learn that Tony Stark was a child prodigy who got control of his father’s technology company at the tender age of 21 and spend most of him time getting pissed, taking drugs, shagging random women and generally having a great time because he was mega, mega rich including having a private plane where the stewardesses double up as lap dancers, which, quite frankly it was every plane should have, well perhaps not Easy Jet.
Basically he was a bit of an arse and a self centred prick at the start of the movie but, over the course of the money, he changes a bit and becomes an arse and a self centred prick with a conscience, which is quite good character development for a character like Iron Man, and a selfless person who is giving something back to society. He also tries to have a bit of a sob story about his father never loving him as a child, but that don’t really wash and not that important to his character, in this film at least.
This seems to happen after seeing at firsthand what the destruction, and misery, weapons that his company had been hawking can create and he basically becomes a bit of a good guy and wanting to change how his company does business and wants to make stuff that helps people rather than stuff that helps people blow other people.
That is all well and good, and fair enough, and actually quite a good thing, but not in the minds of his companies directors who quite like being warmongers it would seem and don’t have same conscience that Tony appears to have grown during his period of captivity.
It is hard to like Tony Stark apart from being totally jealous of his lifestyle and his car collection, and the fact that he is a whizz with electronics and makes MacGyver look like an amateur.
It is also ironic that Stark is almost killed by one of his own weapons which he is so proud to make so that people can feel safe. He also manages to make himself a new device to keep the shrapnel from killing him and basically makes a better version of the suit
This film is basically saying that even good guys can make weapons of mass destruction because they are doing it because their heart is actually in the right place and they are doing it with the best intentions. That is Tony Stark at least.
However his father’s right hand man, Obadiah Stane, is the opposite end of the spectrum and likes making and selling weapons to the highest bidder because he is a greedy bastard and likes the moolah that it brings into the company and therefore into his own pocket.
I rather enjoyed this new version of the origin story of Iron Man and it actually made sense for the character of Stark given his background to make the original Iron Man suit and then giving him a conscience also made what happened in the end of film make perfect sense within the context of the story.
The film was very much for boys as there were cars, girls, explosions, dog fights, macho posturing, and more explosions. There were only two female characters in the whole film, and one of them was just there to get tupped by Tony Stark, but Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts fared a bit better and gave a good account of herself, helping save the day and basically being the only person who can keep Tony Stark on the straight and narrow and just about managing not to throw herself at Tony Stark as most of the other woman who appear in the film seem to do.
It is a decent attempt to bring the story of Iron Man to the big screen and would have looked great on the big screen. It is a bit silly and a bit over the top, but it does work and is an enjoyable enough way to spend a couple of hours without thinking about anything else except letting the whole experience wash over you, and that can’t be a bad thing.