1- The beginning was a masterpiece; illustrating Stark’s moral conscience and his immediate response to the unveiling of his inhumane actions. His childlike and immature spirit, though harmless, follows him through his adulthood. Stark tends to view situations as black or white. This is also how he views the people around him: trustworthy or untrustworthy. The action tends to drag out once we know the true villain and their plan. However, a contemporary audience may not be as prone to these typical action sequences as we are a decade later. The protagonist is likeable and enjoyable to follow. When he makes appearances in similar movies, we tend to feel a sense of adrenaline and curiosity. His love interest is also smart and perfectly suited to him. I am intrigued by their story and am happy to see this relationship develop till the very end. Stark knows that it is never too late to make a change and that ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’ He is responsible for those others may see as collateral damage. We see his journey and perseverance as well as pure intelligence at work instead of only being shown his final product. Following his thought process was incredibly fascinating. We also see, firsthand, Stark’s humbleness and straightforward communication with the media and the power of the public image to those in power. His final line in this film and its repetition in his last film was incredibly powerful and memorable – a testament to those who were with him from the very start.
2- We follow Stark’s hard work and adjustments to his new life through the next film. Here, we are introduced to a more complex and also likeable villain than the previous film. Although there are still remnants of the last villain and his blind love for the military and the USA, the lines are slightly blurred when Rhodes faces inner turmoil. There are many underlying villains, some acting out of vengeance, jealousy and hubris. We do know that Stark is completely good and is willing to always sacrifice his life for innocent people and those he loves. A fairly new concept heavily explored in this film is the toll of Starks reckless and risk-packed life on those around him. It wears on his relationships but still, he continues forward. The parallels between the protagonist and the supposed antagonist, allows us to see the life Stark could have been destined to and where his bitterness towards his father stems from. We are also introduced to Tony’s father and their difficult relationship. It is clear the treatment Tony would have prefered from his father and the audience is asked to consider whether his father’s motives are justified. Overall this film was incredible and definitely rewatchable.