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Iron Man (2008)::rating::3.5::rating::3.5

Smartass billionaire Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) gets taken hostage by ISIS-type group, becomes titular superhero in order to escape. Rollicking action saga boots up the MCU, but also does just dandy on its lonesome. RDJ remakes the lead character in his own image, and keeps it that way for about twenty more movies. Director Jon Favreau delivers smart, easygoing entertainment, even if the story can’t sustain the momentum all the way. After the last couple Avengers movies, this $100 million dollar epic feels almost quaint by comparison. Marvel can build bigger, broader, and better than DC, and the earliest proof is on display right here.

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