At a time when the fifth phase of the MCU has officially opened, we would like to take a look back at the origins and beginnings of Marvel.
On February 17, ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ officially hit the big screen. It is the first work of the fifth phase of the Marvel Cinematic UniverseMCU, and is also the 31st film of the MCU. At this point, 15 years have passed since this magnificent universe first entered people’s view.
In the past 15 years, we have witnessed the gradual rise of comic book movies into glory, and also seen it flourish and decline, adjusting and trying in the midst of public controversy.
But whenever we talk about the MCU, we can’t get away from this one movie. It is the beginning of all the legendary adventures, the place where dreams take root – ‘Iron Man’.
Marvel is determined to make ‘Iron Man’
To talk about the success of Iron Man, I’d like to talk about the awkward situation Marvel Studios was in when the character first appeared on the screen on April 30, 2008.
The beginning of the project dates back to 2005, when Marvel Entertainment was reorganized and its Marvel Studios became a sole proprietorship with the intention of developing superhero movies independently.
Marvel Studios in ’05 was far less secure than today’s scenery with Disney at its back.
In the 80s and 90s, due to the debt crisis, Marvel had to sell several heroes’ IPs and distribute the rights of a large number of its heroes’ characters to different film and television production companies.
The consequence is that when ‘Spider-Man’ ‘X-Men’ and other films worldwide explosion, Sony, 20th Century Studios and other companies to earn a lot of money, Marvel can only watch their own characters set off the big screen superhero boom, even a share of the pie can not.
And when it finally realized that the huge gains in film and television, determined to break through, backwater, and found that the superheroes on hand to keep the rights, are not enough well-known second-line characters ……
Eventually, Marvel Studios set its sights on Iron Man, a tricky hero who failed to make it to the screen because he was not memorable enough and the rights changed hands several times, walking Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise and other famous movie stars.
Compared to his family, he does not have Superman’s omnipotent godlike powers, no Batman’s Gotham vigilante sophistication; compared to his own family, he is also far less personable than his friendly neighbor Spider-Man, and does not have Hulk’s terrifying destructive power.
As his creator Stan Lee puts it, he is just that – “a capricious playboy, a billionaire adventurer, a madman.”
But Marvel is in such a role, see the convergence of other superheroes, the creation of a new “universe” of hope. It is also at this time, Robert Downey Jr. with a ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’, back to the public eye.
He originally came from a family of actors and actresses and became a household comedy star in the United States at an early age with his variety show ‘Saturday Night Live’, and then was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Charlie Chaplin in the film ‘Chaplin’.
Since 1996, Robert Downey Jr. has been imprisoned several times for drug use until 2005, when he was able to quit.
But in Hollywood at the time, no one was willing to take a chance on him anymore. Fortunately, he met Marvel Studios and Tony Stark, whose life almost coincided with his.
This is a story of disillusioned people who have reached the end of the road and are determined to give it a try.
If it fails, the rights to Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and other heroes, which were pledged in exchange for film financing, will revert to Merrill, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be completely destroyed.
Downey’s acting career will also hit rock bottom, no more hope of fame.
The good thing is, this big bet ushered in a happy ending. With an investment of $150 million, the film has grossed $585 million worldwide. The massive infusion of funds allowed the MCU to shoot subsequent productions for release.
Downey also became famous, and from then on, the film continued, and gradually topped the Forbes ranking of the world’s highest-paid actors.
However, a closer analysis will reveal that the success of ‘Iron Man’ is not actually a coincidental event favored by the Goddess of Fate.
‘Iron Man’ has quality assurance
Looking back at the plot of ‘Iron Man’ from the current perspective, you will find that the story itself is not much of a surprise. Playboy suddenly met with a change, repent and began to fight for peace and justice, step by step to grow into a trustworthy superhero.
Cheesy and clichéd? However, the story of the “return of the prodigal son” is always a delight to the audience, and the masterful commercial narrative and Marvel’s ubiquitous heart make the film chewy and good-looking.
The film opens with a flashback in which Tony Stark, the young boss of Stark Industries, and a group of his men and military observers head to the uninhabited Gobi desert to test the latest weapon developments.
During this period, the man could not stop babbling to the soldiers and was proud of his chaotic life of drinking until the terrorists launched a raid and Tony was shot in the heart and captured. This typical “handsome struck by lightning”, can not help but make people smile.
Immediately after the camera pans, time switches to 36 hours ago, the film with a short 12 minutes, to give us a complete account of Tony’s origin and his life experience – a genius inventor and rich second generation.
After the death of his parents in a car accident, Tony follows in his father’s footsteps and becomes the CEO of Stark Group, the largest arms supplier in the U.S. He is arrogant and arrogant, and plays games with the world.
That is, until Tony was attacked by ‘The Ten Rings’ in Afghanistan. A shell fragment pierced his heart and his life was in danger.
Tony Stark once thought he could save the world by making more advanced weapons, but found that the arms produced by his family had been used by terrorists and stained with the blood of innocent civilians.
Like Plato’s ‘Allegory of the Cave’, Tony’s perception of the past is completely overturned when he is brought out of the cave where he is being held.
After that, he made the first set of steel armor, escaped from the Ascension and announced to the world that Stark Industries would close its weapons manufacturing division.
At this point in time, it is only 45 minutes before the opening of the film. The protagonist has taken the first step towards growth.
The subsequent plot remains solid and neat – on the one hand, Tony returned home and set out to improve the armor to better protect himself.
On the other hand, the cessation of arms manufacturing touched other senior company interests. The other side secretly colluded with terrorists and continued to sell arms.
The identity and motivation of the villain is clear, the task in front of the superhero is to put on the new armor, to defeat the villain and save the world.
When he stood in front of the camera, publicly announced “I am Iron Man” when, similar movies for a long time “superheroes need to keep a low profile to hide their identity” the unspoken rule was broken.
A new era has officially arrived.
The plot is logical and clear and fast-paced. The main character has a distinct personality and a full arc.
In terms of “telling a good story”, ‘Iron Man’ has accomplished its mission. What’s more, it also has all the other plus points required for a good movie. In terms of visual effects, the movie uses a combination of reality and fiction to make the special effects scenes more realistic.
Take Tony’s armor, for example, all three sets of battle suits have physical models. On the basis of the physical supplemented by CGI special effects, there is what we see in front of us, the parts of the parts of the high-tech armor must appear.
Comic book late than a variety of dazzling “one-click dressing”, this even the structure of the suit and the subtle scuffs are a glimpse of the hard-core flavor, only more exciting.
Details, the year the comic book will have done the best.
The plot has a perfect back-and-forth – Tony discovered that the weapons produced by his family were used by terrorists to attack Gulmira after a rage, personally wearing a new battle suit to rescue civilians.
Because Yinsen, the scientist who had died to save him, was from Gulmira.
The armor’s high-altitude freezing problem encountered on the first test flight was later used by him to defeat the Iron Battler.
The first version of the Ark reactor, which Pepper was asked to throw away on the grounds of “old-fashioned”, was secretly left behind and became the key to turning the tide.
And there are countless ambushes and pads for future MCU films.
The movie’s opening magazine mentions that Howard Stark began researching the Ark reactor decades ago. This information leads to ‘Iron Man 2’ in Howard’s research on the Tesseract, the results of which helped Tony solve the Palladium poisoning crisis.
The newspaper that reported the Stark couple’s crash gave the exact time the two were killed, a date that reappeared eight years later in the lower left corner of the surveillance video of Bucky killing the two in ‘Captain America: Civil War’.
It is this truth that has broken the friendship between Iron Man and Captain America.
Iron Man is both a highly compelling solo superhero movie and a solid foundation for Marvel’s plans for the next decade.
Therefore, the success of ‘Iron Man’ is an inevitable victory that Marvel has won for itself after putting in all its efforts.
But unfortunately, this 11-year-long glory, along with Iron Man’s death, the curtain is fading.
The gradual decline in the quality of Marvel movies
Ironically, when we look back at the reasons for ‘Iron Man’s’ success from the beginning, we also look at the same reasons why the MCU is in crisis today.
Marvel Studios won the bet in ’08, winning because they didn’t have much choice at the time and could only do their best with the remaining heroes on hand.
It is these flesh-and-blood heroes that have held up the fan-driven, general audience to superhero movies full of expectations and enthusiasm for 11 years.
The former self-centered, cynical playboy, in one adventure, transformed into the soul of the reunion, the absolute pillar and core.
And in the ‘Avengers: Endgame’, the initial accompany us around the superhero, departed.
Comic book certainly gave him the most tragic shock of the fall, not to treat each other at the end of the micro support of the seniors. But many people are clear in their hearts, when the mechanical heart born 11 years ago with Iron Man drifted away together, the essence of Marvel, scattered.
Since then even more heroes due to the return of the copyright to the identity of Marvel superheroes in the big screen debut, more than not the end, only no one can be like Iron Man, rekindle the audience’s heart embers.
When the original ‘Iron Man’ by the cost and technical constraints, using a combination of reality and reality to create the most realistic visual effects.
Today’s Marvel Studios has the money and technology to abuse CGI at will, the result is countless viewers criticized its special effects “texture plastic”, “light pollution serious”.
Once the comic book movies are like ‘Iron Man’ in general, is no matter when and where, into the theater will be able to see, from the simple and interesting plot to draw laughter in the existence.
Now the new Marvel film, carrying too many former feelings, has been completely from the young and old family-friendly popular movies, into more homework fans can only understand the niche films.
Too much attention to all the echoes and links between the films, but also makes the focus of each film from the “superhero itself adventure story”, into “a part of the plan”, and again aggravate the old superhero persona of the battle collapsed, the new superheroes difficult to convince the public of the problem.
Despite years of accumulated heritage, so that Marvel can continue to reap relatively significant global box office in the fourth phase of declining film quality.
But if not timely introspection and adjustment, more and more slippery word of mouth, may eventually make more viewers feel tired.
Therefore, why do we want to revisit ‘Iron Man’ again and again? Not only because it looks good, durable, but also because it carries a generation of youth and love.
We will always miss the crisp sound of iron once resounding in the cave. –That is the sound of a huge movie universe carrying dreams and hopes, breaking out of the ground.