Iron Man (2008) may have been the movie that kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it, but a ton has changed in the 15 years since its debut. A current-day watch of the first Iron Man film induces a handful of cringes from elements that instantly date the movie. I’m talking socially, politically, technologically, and within the scope of Marvel Studios’ content evolution – the 2008 Iron Man is SO outdated.
Let’s get into it.
Iron Man only gets two minutes in (ignoring the objectification of the female airman driving the vehicle) before it totally dates itself. One of the soldiers riding with Tony Stark asks if he can take a picture with him. The soldier sitting shotgun then takes out a DIGITAL CAMERA, and Stark says, “I don’t want to see this on your MySpace page.” Oof! I mean…was 2008 really THAT long ago? Apparently so…
2 – Tony Stark’s Business Suit
Let me tell you, the pinstripe business suit look with wide lapels is totally out of fashion today. The 2020’s only want skinny fitted suits, with thin lapels, and a skinny (preferably woven) tie. As a billionaire today, Tony Stark would NEVER.
3 – Flip phone
Do I even need to go into this? Tony Stark, functioning with the pinnacle of technological knowledge that allowed him to invent the arc reactor and Iron Man suit, has…a….flip….phone. A flip phone people…!
4 – War Machine
You may notice that War Machine is not played by actor Don Cheadle, who currently has the role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Before Cheadle took over, Terrence Howard had the role. Unfortunately an ambiguous contract dispute lead the recurring role to be recast.
5 – Islamophobia
The Islamophobia is a little uncomfortable to even discuss, but Iron Man definitely preyed on political tensions of the early 2000s. It showed ‘bad’ Muslims who held Stark against his will, and a ‘good’ Muslim who helped him escape and died for it. If you go back and watch it, you can’t miss the overall negative portrayal of Muslims.
6 – Mistreating Women Makes Tony Stark ‘Cool’
Tony Stark is a classic playboy bachelor character, but Iron Man really leaned in to his disregard for women as people. There are many scenes that reflect this, but there’s a specific one with an attractive female reporter before a big event Stark attends. She says something like, “Remember me?” in a tone suggesting they had previously spent the night together, to which he replies, “I sure don’t.” Ew…Pepper Potts, you are way too good for 2008 Tony Stark.
7 – Bad Green Screen
Let’s just be happy that real world technology and CGI has advanced farther than what passed for special effects in Iron Man. Audiences are so spoiled now with what Marvel can do in post production!
8 – Agent Coulson
For the real Marvel fans out there, this is the first appearance of the fan-favorite sweetie Agent Phil Coulson. RIP you sweet angel.
You have to go back and watch the first Iron Man movie and see what I’m talking about! Marvel movies have seriously changed since then.