A Look at the ‘Iron Man’ Trilogy

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It’s been a long journey to get Iron Man off the pages of a comic book onto the big screen. The character made his debut in 1963, but it wasn’t until 1990 that a film adaptation had been planned. After several different studios had failed attempts, the rights went back to Marvel in 2006 and an Iron Man film finally got underway. On May 2, 2008, Iron Man became the first movie released by Marvel Studios.

The film not only made Tony Stark and his alter ego a household name, it also launched Marvel’s Movie Universe. On May 3, 2013, Iron Man 3 will make its way to theaters and will officially launch Marvel’s ‘Phase 2’.

In honor of the highly anticipated release, here’s a review of the Iron Man film trilogy.

Iron Man (2008)


The first installment introduced the world to Tony Stark, played brilliantly by Robert Downey,Jr. Stark is a playboy genius who gets kidnapped by a terrorist group known as the Ten Rings. In the process of being kidnapped, Stark has an electromagnet grafted into his chest by fellow captive Yinsen. This keeps the shrapnel that wounded him from reaching his heart and killing him. Stark escapes from his captives in an armor suit that he constructs and eventually breaks free. He returns home only to be deceived by his friend and mentor, Obadiah Stane, after opting to become a superhero. Stark defeats his former friend, announces that he is Iron Man and lays the foundation for the rest of the Marvel Movie Universe when Nick Fury pops up, who mentions the “Avengers Initiative.”

Armor: Iron Man introduced fans to the Mark I, II, and III armor. For more detailed information on Iron Man’s armor, check this wikia page out.

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Director: Jon Favreau

Box Office: As of July 2009, Iron Man has grossed $585,174,222.

Reviews: The film currently holds a score of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Iron Man 2 (2010)


After establishing world peace, Tony is confronted by Ivan Vanko. Vanko’s father helped Tony’s father, Howard, construct the first arc reactor. Vanko’s father died broke and he blames the Stark family for his downfall. Vanko becomes the villain, Whiplash, who teams up with Tony’s rival, Justin Hammer, to take Tony out. We were also introduced to the Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff) and got to see War Machine for the first time. At the end of the film fans got a glimpse of Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir, crashing into the desert of New Mexico.

Armor: The sequel featured the Mark IV, V, and VI armor. The War Machine suit was also introduced.

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle (who replaced Howard as Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes), Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson, and Sam Rockwell.

Director: Jon Favreau

Box Office: The film has a worldwide total of $623,933,331.

Reviews: Iron Man 2 currently has a score of 73% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Iron Man 3 (2013)


Following the events of The Avengers, Tony frantically builds several new Iron Man suits. At the same time, a terrorist known as The Mandarin has committed several bombings. After Happy Hogan is injured in one of these attacks, Stark calls out The Mandarin and more chaos ensues. There’s also that whole Extremis program plot going on as well.

Armor: Iron Man 3 will unveil several new pieces of armor. Included will be: Mark XLII, XV, XVI, XVII, XXV, XXXIII, XXXV, XXXVII, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XL, and XLI. Wow. That’s a lot of new suits, but there’s more. We’ll also get to see the War Machine Mark II / Iron Patriot and Iron Legion in action as well.

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, and Rebecca Hall.

Director: Shane Black

Box Office: TBD

Reviews: Based on early reviews, the third installment currently holds a score of 93%.

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