In 2008, the world of comics and the world of the movies both changed permanently. One of Marvel’s lesser-known characters received their own theatrical film and not only was it a roaring success that received its own franchise, but it also inspired a film project never seen before, the now ubiquitous cinematic universe. What film? What character? Only two words are needed and those words are Iron Man. A smash hit in 2008, the Iron Man films made history in a way never seen before. But even with this aside, they hold up as great films in their own right. I wish I could rank them equally, but the list requires I do so from worst to best. Without further ado, here are the Iron Man films ranked!
3. Iron Man 2 (2010)
It seems that the second film in a franchise is bound to be either the worst or the best. In this film’s case, it is definitely the former. After the events of the first film, protagonist Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is a superstar after his identity has been disclosed. But when a foe from Russia decides to build his own armor in return. Trouble arises. Can Stark save the day and defeat the nefarious baddie?
Iron Man 2 lacks the fun of the first film and the intensity of the third. It’s not entirely lacking in entertainment, but it easily is the worst of the trilogy.
2. Iron Man (2008)
As the film that began the trilogy and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man had a lot riding on it. Could it make a more obscure Marvel character popular? Could it redeem Robert Downey Jr in the eyes of the public? Could it start a cinematic project never attempted before?
Needless to say, the answer was “yes” for all of those questions. Iron Man is now one of the most popular Marvel characters, Robert Downey Jr is a household name again and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the highest-grossing franchises of all time. But how did it all start?
Engineer and business magistrate Tony Stark (Downey) is seriously injured and kidnapped by terrorists during a demonstration of one of his company’s weapons. After creating a high-powered, mechanical suit and escaping the cave, Stark returns to the U.S, where trouble slowly arises. Can Stark save the day with his newly powered suit?
It’s clear to see why Iron Man is a classic. It contains a great mix of action, humor and commentary on contemporary issues. As such, it’s a classic.
1. Iron Man 3 (2013)
By the time, Iron Man 3 was released, it was safe to say that the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a success. Its most risky film, The Avengers, proved that the experiment the series was based around was profitable. As the first film to follow it up, does Iron Man 3 soar or flail? Given that the man character powers a suit of armor, the answer is easily the former.
After the events of the previous film, Stark is dealing with trauma that interferes with his life. Things go from bad to worse when an old employee of his company returns for revenge. Can Stark overcome both his trauma and his inventive enemy?
Ion Man 3 is the best in the franchise, with inventive action sequences and an engaging plot. While this was the final film centered solely around the titular character, its success guaranteed he would continue to appear in many more Marvel films.