I had a friend over this weekend who is sadly deficient on his Marvel Cinematic Universe movie watching habit, so we decided to have some fun and start watching them all. Whenever he comes over, we’ll grab another one and play it, and so we decided to start where it all began.

Iron Man.

My first thought was…wow. Tony Stark looks young. It’s sometimes hard to truly get the idea that ten years have gone by since the MCU kicked off, but watching a decade younger version of the man I just saw in Infinity War going around and doing his stuff was a little surreal. And I forgot just how much personality Jarvis had. It was a fun trip down memory lane, and every bit as much fun to watch as I remember.

People forget what it was like a decade ago, when the only superhero films were X-Men and those were getting long in the tooth at a decade into the franchise. Sure, there was Christopher Nolan’s Batman, but they were coming out real slow. Spider-Man had come and gone with a third film that most people didn’t like, and the Fantastic Four stopped after a disappointing second rendition. The less said about the Incredible Hulk movie the better in most people’s minds. Even Superman had come and gone and left crowds unimpressed. The best of the movies suffered from profound sequalitous, and the superhero genre was becoming stale in many eyes.

Then Marvel decided to stop licensing movies out and to take control of its own destiny by making a big budget movie of one of the characters major studios hadn’t cared about enough to buy the movie rights. They promised several major actors good roles and real production values, put an amazing script together that honestly surprised me when the Big Bad showed his true colors, and hit the road running. And then there was the post credit scene that has changed how people watch movies.

Iron Man was the movie that launched Marvel Studios into the public eye and promised a new type of movie. We saw a new Hulk, an amazing Thor, and Captain America within a matter of years, all of them inhabiting the same shared universe with major characters going back and forth between them. And then of course all of that came together with The Avengers.

Iron Man started it. It was that once-in-a-generation film that established a new type of movie and created an entirely new franchise out of whole cloth. And it still holds up a decade later. I loved it.

I give it two Rhodeys flying high.