The MCU all started way back in 2008 with Iron Man. Both the MCU and the character of Tony Stark have come quite a long way since then. The once drunk billionare playboy gradually channeled his best traits of resourcefulness and wit into becoming a better man. But we sat through some difficult sequels for this to happen and although Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal in them was still great in making the simplest of words come off as funny or a brilliant one-liner, the rest of the stuff in the movie had a couple of shortcomings.
Iron Man 2
At the end of the first Iron Man we saw Tony Stark do what no superhero had ever done before in revealing his superhero identity to the world. Before this it would either be to a close friend or family. In some respects we see some interesting aspects of this action in how his life is being both a superhero and a celebrity. He’s been able to take the law into his own hands and given his power and effectiveness the government isn’t able to stop him. And the movie shows the price of being a superhero and celebrity in that no matter how hard he parties he is trapped within himself and his misery is there for everyone to see. The plot about him dying due to the palladium core did give moments where we see some of Stark’s vulnerability. However, throughout the movie we see him screwing up quite badly in getting drunk and telling everyone despite what it seems to be he knows what he is doing when he clearly doesn’t. And a lot of the scenes where stuff like this happens feel rather pointless in the big picture of the movie. So much of Tony’s likability came from his brilliant and resourceful mind, which doesn’t always come into play here. This movie also introduced Black Widow into the mix and mostly she was relegated to being a background character and had little in the way of development (at least in this movie). Finally there are the villains: Mickey Rourke seemed like a good choice for a villain in his voice and appearance. However his plan to build a series of weapons to take on Tony is only for a couple of minutes at the end and his role as a villain mostly takes back seat to another business rival. However the action is still enjoyable and we do see Iron Man being the hero he is just not to the best extent and this movie was mostly just to introduce a couple of other aspects for the future.
Iron Man 3
This was much better than the sequel though it still misses the mark in some respects. The action for instance in this movie, is upped significantly coming off of the first Avengers with all the different suits and the destruction of Tony’s house. All of the action is different, creative, funny, and work to the strength of the story. The idea of having a kid helping him is something that could have easily turned out horrible but the kid is in the movie to the right amount. However Tony makes an incredibly dumb by inviting the villainous Mandarin to his home address. Now it can be argued that everyone knows where Tony lives but he makes no attempt to do anything to protect himself after doing this. When we saw Ben Kingsley as the villain in the trailers his performance instilled a great sense of fear. However the twist regarding him while funny for a couple of minutes is just a complete 180 and feels out of place for a villain for someone like Iron Man to face. And once again, we get another business rival who in no way gives the feel of a comic book villain.
Tony Stark is a developed character but some of the choices they made in his solo movies just felt so bizarre. But all of them give what we liked about the character. It’s just that those traits would be better utilized in future team up movies. When you consider Stark’s character in just how much has changed about him the events of these two movies are not what come to mind.