Sony did it with Spider-Man. 21st Century Fox did it with X-Men and Warner Bros. did it with The Dark Knight. Now, Marvel has finally completed its own movie trilogy based on a comic book super hero: Iron Man.
All three films have their high and low points (of which, everyone’s opinions differ). While fanboys were just hoping that an Iron Man movie would do Marvel’s second-tier character justice, they had no idea that the franchise would turn out to be THIS successful.
To coincide with the release of Iron Man 3, we’ve pulled together what we think are the Greatest Moments from the ‘Iron Man’ Trilogy and listed them in chronological order.
WARNING: THE LAST FOUR SLIDES CONTAIN MASSIVE IRON MAN 3 SPOILERS!!!
The Jericho missile demonstration at the beginning of Iron Man sets up the entire framework of the series. Without it, Tony Stark most likely wouldn’t have been in Afghanistan and he may have never been shot with shrapnel or held hostage in a cave – which, of course, led to him building his greatest invention ever.
The demonstration itself is an impressive feat of military-style weaponry with Tony boasting:
“They say the best weapon is the one you never have to fire. I respectfully disagree. I say, the best weapon is the one you only have to fire once! That’s how dad did it. That’s how America does it…and it’s worked pretty well so far.”
The Jericho Missile fits that description 100 times over.
From the time Tony decides to build a walking suit of destruction to the epic moment where the Mark 1 first appears in broad daylight, the entire cave escape sequence is an incredible few minutes of awesomeness!
Of course, Tony couldn’t have built it without the help of fellow captive, Yinsen. After Yinsen straps Tony into the suit, he gives up his life while telling Stark not to waste his – and Tony heeds those words well.
Having a bit of vengeful streak, Tony exacts his revenge for the death of his fallen friend and his own captivity by wreaking havoc on all the terrorists at the camp in a fiery and explosive manner.
Fanboys were all squealing like little girls at a Justin Bieber concert watching Tony build then test (sometimes failing in hysterical fashion) the Mark 2 armor in his basement workshop. It’s hard to blame them, though, as most mainstream audiences also became excited as Tony suddenly realized, “Yeah…I can fly.”
Throwing caution to the wind and ignoring the warnings of his AI butler Jarvis, Tony shoots out into the night sky for his first flight like an excited teenager testing out his new motorcycle for the very first time – and it’s a glorious ride to join him on.
From the guitar-driven music to the first time we see “inside” the helmet, everything about the moment makes our nerdy hearts race.
After returning from captivity and deciding to shut down the weapons division of Stark Industries, Tony learns that the same people who kidnapped him have managed to acquire his weapons technology – including the powerful Jericho Missile.
While watching the news unfold on TV, he recalibrates his palm-thrusters (used to stabilize himself during flight) into a power energy weapon: the repulsor ray. After landing in spectacular Iron Man fashion, he proceeds to confront the terrorists and dispatch them all with ease – even though they fight back with automatic weapons and a tank!
Having the good guys walk away while something explodes in the background is usually too cliched for us. However, when it involves Iron Man, it goes from being a Hollywood cliche to an “OMG I WANT TO WATCH IT AGAIN!” moment.
Poor Tony Stark. It’s not easy being a genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist – especially when one of your trusted allies turns on you and tries to squash you like a bug.
Obadiah Stane was Tony’s second-in-command at Stark Industries, but greed and jealousy clouded his judgment and he had his own weaponized suit built with the intent to sell it to terrorist countries all over the world. When Tony finally discovers his former friend’s true plans, he attempts to stop him.
Iron Man’s fight with Iron Monger is now arguably the best and most epic final fight scene of all three films. Mechanized suits are tossed through buses. Rockets are fired. Energy weapons are discharged violently. It all adds up to one fantastic superhero movie sequence.
After the climactic battle with Iron Monger, reporters were naturally clamoring to discover the identity of the world’s newest super hero. Of course, the US military wants to keep Tony’s identity a secret (shocker!) and at first Tony plays along. However, being the narcissist that he is, Tony can’t help himself and he calmly proclaims: “I am Iron Man.”
It’s a bold step for Stark, as most superheroes – such as Spider-Man and Batman – are reluctant to reveal their true identity in an attempt to protect their loved ones from harm. Tony takes the very opposite approach and WANTS the world to know who he is for various reasons – not the least of which is to feed his own ego.
Without this admission, though, none of the stories in the follow-up films, including The Avengers, would have been nearly as interesting.
After the proclaiming to the world that he was Iron Man, Tony Stark went into full-on smarmy mode. Over-the-top and full of himself, he’s clearly living it up being the center of the entire world’s attention. There’s no better demonstration of his snarky swagger than when he’s called to testify in front of the United States Senate.
Senator Stern serves as the main antagonist for this scene and Tony is more than happy to push every button he can to ruffle the Senator’s feathers. The government wants Stark’s property because they consider it a weapon of mass destruction, but he isn’t giving it up because he calls it advance prosthesis.
It shouldn’t be overlooked that Stark clowns rival Justin Hammer and the other nation’s attempts at replicating the Iron Man suit when he hacks the closed-circuit TVs in real-time and displays their failures for all the world to see.
The entire scene revolving around the Circuit de Monaco Formula 1 race is one of the best moments in the film, as it gives us one of the few great “good guy versus bad guy” fights at that point in the trilogy.
Ivan Vanko – upset at Howard Stark, whom he thinks stole his father’s arc reactor idea – decides to show the world that Tony Stark isn’t as invulnerable as he claims to be. He creates long plasma whips using the same arc reactor technology that powers Tony’s armor and attacks him on the course.
The whole scene is tense and filled with spectacular SFX action as Tony comes close to death several times at the hands (read: whips) of Vanko.
Tony Stark is no fool. He knew that once he boastfully told the world he was Iron Man he would have the crazies come out of the wood work to challenge him. One problem: He couldn’t always have the Mark 3 armor with him, due to its bulkiness, so that’s when he designed the Mark V – A.K.A., the “suitcase armor”.
The armor provides the same amount of protection and strength enhancements as the full-size suits, but lacks the ability to fly and only has limited weapons. Though it isn’t as bulky as his other armors, the Mark V is powerful enough to withstand the bombardment of Vanko’s energy whips.
As cool as it was to watch Tony suit up for the first time in the Mark II and Mark III armors, watching the Mark V rapidly deploy to protect him may still be the coolest “suiting up” sequence of all three films.
It’s not until Vanko cyber-hijacks the War Machine armor that we get to see the beautiful and deadly Natasha Romanoff, A.K.A. “Black Widow” in action. Until that point, she’d been little more than eye-candy on the screen.
She, along with Happy Hogan, breaks into Hammer Industries and, once there, encounter a slew of security personnel. While Happy goes mano-a-mano with the first guy, Natasha proceeds to dispatch the remaining guards – ALL THE REMAINING GUARDS – with grace and precision.
The scene includes everything a comic book fanboy could hope to see onscreen: high-tech gadgetry, martial arts action, sly humor and Scarlett Johansson in a tight leather outfit.
This is the moment that showed up in teaser footage at San Diego Comic-Con. It was the moment teased in trailers. THIS is the moment that made every single person in the theater simultaneously sit up and say “HOLY CRAP THAT WAS AWESOME!!!”
It’s the moment when War Machine and Iron Man finally work together, standing back-to-back, surrounded by drones, and seemingly pinned in the “death box” with no chance of escape – there wasn’t a fanboy anywhere that didn’t feel the electricity between these two mechanized titans. There were no words necessary as the air was filled with repulsor blasts and automatic machine gun fire.
The best moment in the film reached an awesome climax as Tony tells Rhodey to get down and wipes out the entire band of drones with one spin of his highly impressive wrist laser.
*MASSIVE IRON MAN 3 SPOILERS ON THE NEXT 4 SLIDES*
Until this moment in Iron Man 3 there really hadn’t been much action. However, after Tony’s former bodyguard Happy Hogan is severely injured by one of the Mandarin’s bombings, Tony goes on the record and calls the elusive terrorist out publicly – going as far and giving him his home address.
While Pepper is trying to make Tony leave the house and go into hiding, Tony is too stubborn to admit he may have poked a hornet’s nest and refuses to leave his cliff-side mansion. With no warning (and the world watching) the Mandarin’s crew launches a missile attack – leveling the entire back part of the house, while Pepper and Tony are still in it.
This is a critical moment in the film as it shows just how vulnerable and exposed both Tony and his loved ones are; it also shows just how much of a genius he really is. In an incredibly fantastic scene, using hand gestures, Tony sends the Mark 42 to engulf Pepper mid-air – protecting her from harm.
The set-up for this scene begins when War Machine, now re-branded Iron Patriot (it tested well in focus groups), is stolen by Aldrich Killian. With Killian’s right-hand man Savin piloting the suit, Iron Patriot boards Air Force One with the Secret Service assuming Colonel Rhodes is inside.
After stuffing the President of the United States into the suit and sending him off, he blows a hole in the fuselage, sending the occupants free-falling to the ground below. That is when Iron Man swoops in and begins catching the plummeting people one-by-one. It’s a tense moment in the movie as Iron Man can only hold 4 people and there are 13 to rescue.
After all the people are safely lowered into the water below, Iron Man is struck by a passing semi-truck and the suit shatters into dozens of pieces, which at first makes you gasp – until you realize Tony was operating the suit remotely the entire time. You got us, Shane Black!
This scene was teased early on in the trailers and it’s one that should’ve happened much sooner. Because of what happened in New York (read: Tony flying through a wormhole), he’s been experiencing vicious anxiety attacks and hasn’t really slept in days. Instead, he’s been spending his nights building dozens of various specialized armors and storing them in the bunker under his basement.
When Rhodey and Stark find Killian and the President aboard an oil tanker, they soon realize they are hopelessly – laughably – outnumbered by Killian’s very powerful Extremis soldiers. That’s when Stark tells Jarvis to initiate protocol “House Party”. Soon, close to forty fully autonomous armors appear on the scene.
There should have been more scenes of the armors using their specialized abilities, but it was still awesome to see Igor bust through a group of containers to support the entire weight of a collapsing crane.
Aldrich Killian is the founder of A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) and has teamed with “botanist” Maya Hansen in an attempt to perfect her regeneration virus called Extremis. It’s original purpose was to help people grow back lost limbs – and in addition, the subject receives super-human strength and the ability to generate high levels of heat with their body.
However, the formula is flawed and as a side effect the subjects can become – quite literally – explosive. Killian wants Stark to help him perfect the formula – and to give him incentive, he injects Pepper Potts with the virus. During their escape, Pepper slips from Tony’s grasp and falls to her “death”, only to regenerate like a phoenix from the flames moments later.
Pepper becomes super-strong and, in either a fit of rage or as an act of protecting Tony, takes out Killian in spectacular fashion, saying afterwards, “Wow, I was SO violent.”
Love it or hate it, the Iron Man trilogy – no matter how flawed it might be – is complete and there are plenty of great scenes and moments scattered throughout all three films.
What were some of your favorite moments in the Iron Man trilogy and are you looking forward to a possible Iron Man 4?
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