Iron Man (trilogy)

IRON MAN (12)
D: Jon Favreau
Paramount/Marvel (Avi Arad & Kevin Fiege)
US 2008
121 mins

Action/Adventure/Science Fiction

W: Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum & Matt Holloway [based on characters created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck & Jack Kirby]
DP: Matthew Libatique
Ed: Dan Lebantal
Mus: Ramin Djawadi
PD: J. Michael Riva

Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Terrence Howard (James Rhodes), Jeff Bridges (Obadiah Stane), Shaun Toub (Yinsen), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts)

As far as superhero origin stories go, Iron Man is amongst the best, despite lacking a decent villain for our hero to go into battle with.
Robert Downey, Jr. delivers a delightfully schmoozy performance as Tony Stark, a weapons designer for the US government who is abducted in the Middle East and forced to build a bomb for his captors. Instead, he builds an impenetrable battle suit and escapes, and upon his return to America, he perfects his design and goes back to deliver revenge.
For those unfamiliar with the Marvel comic book character, this is an enjoyable introduction to the character with a perfect choice cast in the lead role, given some funny one-liners to add some light comic relief. The soundtrack, full of tracks by heavy metal bands, is also a neat touch.
7/10
 
Iron Man
Iron Man
IRON MAN 2 (12)
D: Jon Favreau
Paramount/Marvel (Kevin Fiege)
US 2010
119 mins

Action/Adventure/Science Fiction

W: Justin Theroux [based on characters created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck & Jack Kirby]
DP: Matthew Libatique
Ed: Dan Lebantal & Richard Pearson
Mus: John Debney
PD: J. Michael Riva

Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), Don Cheadle (James Rhodes), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff), Sam Rockwell (Justin Hammer), Mickey Rourke (Ivan Vanko / Whiplash), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury)

A disappointing follow up to a hugely entertaining first film. The action scenes are quite sporadic as the majority of the film focuses on a Tony Stark ego trip.
Mickey Rourke steps into the villains shoes as Whiplash, who has designed his own powerful armoured suit and is hired to create a horde of Iron Man clones. 
Considering Rourke's recent good performances in Sin City & The Wrestler, his work in this is less impressive, delivering a truly atrocious Russian accent.
Overall, this caters towards those more familiar with the comic book characters, also introducing the character War Machine. Unfortunately, it lacks the fun of the original and is quite forgettable.
5/10
 
Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2
IRON MAN 3 (12)
D: Shane Black
Disney/Marvel (Kevin Fiege)
US 2013
130 mins

Action/Adventure/Science Fiction

W: Shane Black & Drew Pearce [based on characters created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck & Jack Kirby]
DP: John Toll
Ed: Jeffrey Ford & Peter S. Elliott
Mus: Brian Tyler

Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), Don Cheadle (Col. James Rhodes / Iron Patriot), Guy Pearce (Aldrich Killian), Rebecca Hall (Maya Hansen), Ben Kingsley (Trevor Slattery / Mandarin), Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan)

***SPOILER WARNING***
After the disappointing and rather forgettable Iron Man 2, perhaps the movies needed a change of director and action movie maestro Shane Black takes the reins for this third (and final???) part. 
Following on from Avengers Assemble, Robert Downey Jr returns as the charismatic Tony Stark and partnered with stunning visual effects makes for a winning formula once again, this time he's up against über-terrorist, The Mandarin, declaring war against America with undetectable bombs.
I thought this was better than Iron Man 2, but I had a few gripes, so here come some potential spoilers...
Most of the film is very Iron Man-less, until all the suits turn up in the big final set piece, which I thought was actually a huge let down, especially in comparison to the huge finale to The Avengers movie.
Also, the ending leaves it ambiguous as to whether there'll be a fourth Iron Man movie, the pre-credits "ending" made me think that this was the end of Iron Man and everything was all done and dusted, but there's a post-credit snippet of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner having a conversation, followed with the subtitle "Tony Stark will return", but it's impossible to see how going by what happened pre-credits (watch it and you'll see)
Also, there was a huge lack of AC/DC hits on the movie soundtrack. Shameful!
Better than Iron Man 2, but nowhere near as good as the first film or The Avengers movie.
6/10
 
Robert Downey, Jr. in Iron Man 3
Robert Downey, Jr. in Iron Man 3