Captain America: Civil War is hitting theaters in around a month, and is being touted by Marvel Studios as the kick off for the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase III.
In the ramp up to that event, I figured I’d go back and check out Phase I and Phase II in order (the films only of course!). If I’m going back and watching these, I might as well write about my experience, right?
I started this project with 2008’s Iron Man, because of course I would. As the official first film in the now legendary Marvel Cinematic Universe, it had been a few years since I’d seen it, and I was looking forward to checking it out again.
I’m happy to say the film holds up, 100%. Robert Downey, Jr. is just as excellent now in 2016 as he was back in 2008. It’s quite interesting to remember how callous he was as a weaponsmith when he first appeared, and how drastically he’s changed since he first drove through the desert in that Humvee.
The Easter Egg tie in of the “10 Rings” organization was a neat connection point, that never really materialized in my opinion. Sure, the Mandarin appeared (sort of) in Iron Man 3, and may play an important role going forward, but so far, not so much.
Jeff Bridges was spectacular as Obediah Stane, a truly malevolent gun monger who ate up every single scene he was in. As much credit as the stars of these films get, the supporting cast of almost every one of them was just as impressive, to say nothing of Pepper Potts and John Favreau. Speaking of supporting characters, it’s amazing just how different Terrance Howard and Don Cheadle are, and how flawlessly Cheadle picks up the mantle in future films. I greatly prefer his interpretation of James Rhodes to Howard’s.
Watching this first MCU film gave me an innocent giddy joy, very reminiscent of reading the actual comics back in the day. Those times when key characters made their first appearances, and you knew things would never be the same. Stark, Agent Coulson, the small snippet of Nick Fury…they’ve become cultural icons, all of them. These days, everything is an event, and every new character is presented as the “next great thing” so that joy has been greatly diminished, but I found myself truly enjoying the process of the MCU being formed literally right as I watched. A spectacular individual film, yet also the keystone to the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Already this little experiment is off to a fantastic start.
Check out the Other Posts!
- Revisiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe Part 12 – Ant Man
- Revisiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe Part 11 – Avengers (Age of Ultron)
- Revisiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe Part 10 – Guardians of the Galaxy
- Revisiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe Part 09 – Captain America (Winter Soldier)
- Revisiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe Part 08 – Thor (The Dark World)
- Revisiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe Part 7.5 – All Hail the King
- Revisiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe Part 07 – Iron Man 3
- Revisiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe Part 6.5 – Item 47 and Agent Carter
- Revisiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe Part 06 – The Avengers
- Revisiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe Part 05 – Captain America (The First Avenger)