We finally reach the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! Robert Downey Jr. snarks his way through Tony Stark, Jeff Bridges is all avuncular as Obadiah Stane, Gwyneth Paltrow is radiant as Pepper Potts, and Terence Howard does nothing to make his being replaced with Don Cheadle any kind of problem as James Rhodes. The great superhero movie rewatch does Iron Man.
Luckily, Iron Man is a very good movie, which is one of the main reasons why the MCU has been a success for a decade now. It starts off brilliantly, establishing Stark’s character quickly and efficiently as he sits in a Humvee holding his drink steady as it bounces through the desert and chatting with his escorts. It’s to the credit of Favreau and the screenwriters that this scene is so brilliantly effective, as we only have a few minutes to get to know these characters before they’re shot at. They don’t just redshirt the three airmen, they’re three people you actually care about, so it matters (to us and to Stark) when we see them die.