Back in 2008, comic book movies were in their infancy.
Movies like X-Men and Spider-Man began to pave the way for what a comic book movie, when properly done, could be.
After Marvel Studios entered the fold, everthing changed.
Iron Man was one of the first installments in the MCU and since it made its debut, the studio has been on fire.
The movie begins with Tony Stark riding in a Humvee across the Afghanistan desert. He spends the trip joking around with the accompanying soldiers until they are attacked by some unseen gunman. The soldiers jump out of the Humvee only to perish, leaving Stark by himself.
We next see him held captive in a cave. After he regains consciousness, he notices that he has a strange device hooked up to his chest. His cave-mate, Yensin tells him that he had operated on him but was unable to remove all of the shrapnel from his chest. The device keeps the shrapnel from moving around and causing more internal damage than it already has. From there, he is told that he must make the terrorists one of his weapons: The Jericho.
While captive, Tony is able to use some his Stark Weapons that the terrorists have to create a miniature arc-reactor. He places the reactor in his chest where the device once was and gets to work in building his Iron Man suit.
With his suit finished, he uses it to escape the cave. During the escape, Tony’s friend Yensin sacrifices his own life so that he may escape. After taking care of the terrorists, Tony takes off the suit, leaves it in the desert and begins to walk. Luckily and conveniently for him, a US Helicopter was flying overhead at that precise moment and he was rescued.
Back in the U.S. a press conference is held for Tony where he tells the reporters that he will shut down the weapons manufacturing division in favour of working with arc reactor technology. This, of course, sends shockwaves across America.
Later that evening Obidiah Stane confronts Tony about his controversial decision, stating that the stock value in the company will plummet. Tony tells him that he doesn’t care and shows him the arc reactor that is in his chest. He tells him that this is the future but refuses to allow it to go into production.
In what might be the funniest section of the movie, Tony begins and completes construction of a new Iron Man suit. After being confronted by a reporter and seeing his weapons are still being made, Tony puts on the newly formed Iron Man suit and takes it for a test drive in the desert where he was held captive.
After Tony rids the world of the soldiers using the weapons, we learn that Obidiah is actually working with the terrorists and that he ordered them to dispose of Tony.
Sensing that Tony is “on to him” Obidiah pays him a visit. Immediately, he paralyzes Tony and takes the reactor from his chest so that he may power his own suit of armor.
Learning that 5 men have been sent to arrest Obidiah, Tony races over to the facility where Obidiah is and battles him. As you might guess, Tony wins.
The movie ends much how it begins, with a news conference. Just before the credits roll, Tony proclaims “I am Iron Man”.