If I had thought it out better, I’d have started doing a countdown to Thor the Dark World with my favorite scenes of each Marvel movie so far, but I’m not as great a planner as I am a genius in retrospect. At any rate, we’ll take the next few weeks and get caught up. Iron Man 1 began the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though, at the time, none of us knew that’s what we were getting. It wasn’t really until the end credits scene with our first look at Nick Fury that we realized that Marvel was going to attempt onscreen the kind of integrated universe their comics have been doing for over 50 years.
Iron Man remains a reminder of a few things: It doesn’t matter who the character is: cast it well, write it well and you can make an icon out of it. Iron Man was a C-list character at Marvel. He would make pretty much anyone’s top 5 Avenger list, but no one thought you could raise him to the level of Spider-Man. That’s where he is now thanks to smart writing, utilizing the strengths of what makes the character work on the page, and a performance beyond anyone’s wildest dreams from Robert Downey Jr.
It’s tough to pick a favorite scene from this film because it’s just such a kick to watch start to finish. My favorite character from the entire trilogy of films is the rogue robot in Tony‘s lab, and Downey shows you how good he is, having imaginary give and take with a robotic arm and making it a character in his narcissistic rants. I wish I could have gotten the whole testing sequence for the Mark II start to finish, but this is where the movie just had me: Tony the inventor, Tony the wise ass, Tony the reckless boundary pusher….and nameless robotic arm.