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Iron Man - A Detailed Synopsis
Iron Man begins in Kumar Province, Afghanistan. Tony Stark is being chauffeured in a military tank dressed in a suit. He is joking around with the soldiers when an explosion occurs right in front of their tank. The soldiers go outside to investigate and are all shot. Tony takes cover behind a boulder and a missile lands right in front of him that reads "Stark Industries". Due to the explosion, Tony is wounded in the chest and passes out. When he wakes up he has been captured.
36 hours earlier a banquet is being held in Vegas. A video presentation is honoring a company called Stark Industries. When Howard Stark passed away, a man named Obadiah Stane (Howard's former business partner) took over the company. When Howard's son named Tony Stark became 21 he inherited the company. Stark Industries creates smarter weapons and advanced robotics. Tony was presented with the prestigious Apogee Award, but when called to the stand was nowhere to be seen. Come to find out, Tony is in the casino gambling. Tony is sarcastic, snarky, self centered, and the ladies love him. Tony leaves with a reporter named Christine. As they walked out Tony gave his award to a man dressed as Cesar.
When Christine wakes up in Tony's giant abode she sees that he has everything, including a computer named JARVIS who runs the house and an assistant named Virginia "Pepper" Potts who seems to have a bit of a crush on Tony.
Tony is now giving a weapons presentation in Afghanistan for a powerful Jericho missile, which leads to the event of Tony's capture. He wakes up to a man named Dr. Yinsen and a strange device in his chest. Dr. Yinsen has operated on Tony in order to remove shrapnel from the impact on his chest. He was unable to remove all of it, so he has installed an electromagnetic device which is hooked up to a car battery into his chest in order to keep the remaining shrapnel away from his heart. The terrorists, who are also known as "The Ten Rings" enter the building and demand a Jericho missile made by Tony. After days of torture, Tony finally agrees. Instead of a missile Tony secretly begins creating a miniature arc reactor to help power his new device. Dr. Yinsen says it contains enough energy to power Tony's heart for 50 lifetimes, to which Tony replies "or something much larger for 15 minutes". Together the men start working on a weaponized metal suit called Mark 1 that is powered by the arc reactor. Tony manages to escape, but Dr. Yinsen has other plans to join his deceased family. Tony's new suit swoops him up into the air just as the camp is exploding only to lose power and plummet to the ground, breaking his suit into pieces. He is eventually found by a military plane.
Tony returns home to a swarm of reporters. He announces that he wants to shut down Stark Industries weapon manufacturing. Obadiah is fuming because the companies stock value is decreasing, but Tony aspires to work on arc reactor technology, which does not impress Obadiah.
At home, Tony begins working on a new airborne suit called Mark 2 with assistance from JARVIS. While test running the new suit, Tony is slammed into the wall several times, but eventually gets it right and takes a trip around the city. When he flies too high into the atmosphere, the suit begins to freeze. He returns to find that Pepper has created a trophy out of Tony's original arc reactor which has "Proof that Tony Stark has a heart" engraved into it.
In Afghanistan The Ten Rings has discovered the pieces of Mark 1 and has pieced them together.
While working on modifications for Mark 3, Tony sees on the television that a benefit created by him is happening that night and he was not invited. Being Tony Stark, he decides to crash the party. He runs into Christine there who is outraged that the terrorists now have Tony's weapons. She shows a confused Tony footage of his companies weapons taking over a town called Gulmira, which happens to be where Dr. Yinsen was from. While angrily leaving to return home, he runs into Obadiah who admits to processing the order and has no cares about selling weapons to the enemy.
Tony returns home and views footage of the brutal attack of Gulmira. He takes matters into his own hands, suits up into Mark 3, and takes off into the sky. Men are being separated from their families and one is about to be shot when Tony swoops in and saves the day. He effortlessly takes out the group of men and leaves their leader for the villagers to do with as they wish. The military is trying to figure out what this unauthorized thing is doing in the sky. Colonel Rhodes calls Tony who claims to be driving. Two planes go after him and try to blow him up with no luck. Tony finally confesses it is him in the suit and although Rhodes is furious, he agrees to a cover story saying it was a training exercise. As Tony is getting out of the suit at home he is caught by Pepper
Obadiah is seen entering the Ten Rings camp to speak to the leader, Raza. He had paid to have Tony murdered, which was obviously unsuccessful. Raza shows him the assembled Mark 1 suit and offers it as a gift. Obadiah uses a tool to paralyze Raza, takes the suit, and has Raza's men shot.
Tony asks for Peppers help in finding and destroying his weapons by getting into Obadiah's computer to view his orders. He says he finally knows what he needs to do: save the people he has put in harms way. Pepper hesitates at first, but eventually agrees. She visits Obadiahs office and inserts a hard drive into his computer. She finds a video of when Tony was captured that was sent to Obadiah. The terrorists explain they did not know they were killing billionaire Tony Stark and demand more money. Just as the files finish transferring, Obadiah walks in. Pepper quickly conceals the hard drive with a newspaper. He gives her a sob story about how happy he is that Tony made it out alive. She managed to grab the hard drive with the newspaper and high-tailed it out of there. When Obadiah checks his computer he sees the notification "download complete". In his lab Obadiah is getting accomplices to attempt to power Mark 1, but cannot make a mini arc reactor.
Pepper manically calls Tony, but when he answers Obadiah comes behind him and uses the paralyzing tool. He admits to ordering the hit and steals Tony's chest piece. Pepper then calls Col. Rhodes, explains what happened, and sends him to check on Tony while she goes to arrest Obadiah. Tony is dragging himself to the arc reactor trophy from Pepper and is installing it into his chest as Rhodes walks in. Tony suits up and takes off.
Pepper, accompanied by agents, busts into the room that contains Mark 1. While taking a look around, a giant suit jumps out and pursues Pepper. Tony flies in and saves her and the men roll into traffic fighting. Tony is stomped on, thrown around, and blown up, but does not stop. He takes off into the atmosphere which causes Obadiah's suit to freeze up and shut down.
Tony's suit is now low on power and he is forced to land. When he does so, Obadiah is behind him and the battle commences. Tony gets away long enough to tell Pepper to overload the reactor which will cause a shock strong enough to break Obadiah's suit. Although it sounds like a solid plan, Tony is at risk of dying. When the shock occurs, Obadiah and the suit fall into the reactor, both killing him and destroying the reactor causing an explosion. Tony's suit only charges up.
Back at Tony's home, Rhodes is on television at a press conference and the newspaper is calling the metal miracle "Iron Man". A man named Agent Coulson is there saying he will be in touch. When Pepper asks who he works for, his responce is S.H.I.E.L.D. Tony appears at the press conference and things are heated. Christine does not believe the cover story of the metal man being Tony's body guard. Tony says it is not like he is a hero. Christine says she was not calling him a hero, to which Tony responds, "I am Iron Man!"
Tony returns home to a mysterious character in his apartment. He introduces himself as Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. He is there to discuss the "Avenger Initiative".