Sunday, May 23, 2010

Iron Man 2: A review

IRON MAN 2 (2010)
Directed By: Jon Favreau
Written By: Justin Theroux, based on the comic by Stan Lee
Time: 2 hr 4 min
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Gwenyth Paltrow, Sam Rockwell
Plot: With the world now aware of his dual life as the armored superhero Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark faces pressure from the government, the press, and the public to share his technology with the military. Unwilling to let go of his invention, Stark, along with Pepper Potts, and James "Rhodey" Rhodes at his side, must forge new alliances - and confront powerful enemies.

Comments: I love Robert Downey Jr. Yep, even from Weird Science. Of course since then there has been Less Than Zero, Chaplin, Restoration, Hugo Pool, Wonder Boys, Ally McBeal, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Fur and Sherlock Holmes to name a few of my favorites. Even as a comic book little geeky girl like myself I had never really been too much of an Iron Man fan because lets face it Tony Stark is a bit of an ass. But I love Robert Downey Jr so I was willing to give it a go especially since I dig Job Favreau as well (especially since he gave me Elf which is my annual Holiday movie). I loved the first Iron Man. It was everything I wanted and more. It made me reread my Avengers comics and thank the movie gods that someone other than myself was willing to put Robert Downey Jr into a lot of films because that just makes Smirking one happy chickie.

I didn’t see it opening night though. I was worried about a lot of different things such as with too many villains is Iron Man 2 going to suffer like the Dark Knight did? Was Scarlet Johansson going to make me tear out my hair because she ruins a perfectly good character like the Black Widow with her atrocious acting? Was Mickey Rourke just going to make me laugh? Matters were not helped when I asked a few customers what they thought and they were less than pleased. My expectations were low but despite the critics not loving it I was still going to go. The critics never love the movies that I like anyway instead they think that Avatar is a masterpiece on all levels. Pfft!

When visiting my sister for her birthday and baby shower, the regular movie gang decided to head down to the local cinema and watch it. As I said expectations were fairly low, but I had faith…if anything, in Robert Downey Jr’s ability to act. I was not let down. In fact, I am not sure why people didn’t like it that much, kind of the same way that people didn’t adore Sherlock Holmes. I dug it. I even didn’t mind Scarlet as Natasha. There are a few minor quibbles, things that rob it from being fantastic, but it was a decent sequel. And my Avengers squeeing can begin again. Oh no, I am not a geek. Not Smirking.

The sequel has Tony Stark being his usual charismatic, but self destructive narcissistic ass self. And yet somehow we still like him. We still root for him. He likes being Iron Man, being the superhero, but eventually his past will always catch up to him. Not only is he slowly being poisoned by the Reactor in his chest, but his family’s past is going to come to haunt him in the form of Ivan Vanko aka Whiplash. But there are other villains in this film other than Tony vs himself and Iron Man vs Whiplash. The government wants Tony’s suit and Justin Hammer just wants to beat his rival period.

Somehow it all works. I was entertained. I liked it and I am hoping for at least one more appearance of Tony Stark in the Avengers film. The things I was worried about shouldn’t have worried me. Don Cheadle did a wonderful job as Rhodey and I actually thought he was a bit underused. War Machine is pretty cool and I really did enjoy the repartee between Tony and Rhodey especially toward the end when they are fighting the drones. Mickey Rourke did a great job though admittedly I was a bit let down by the final fight scene because it was lot of build up and then wham…done. Scarlet did an ok job with Natasha though I think this mostly comes from her lack of lines and just being eye candy for the most part (I did like it when she took out everyone at Hammer Industries).

I love that Iron Man is rooted in realism, very similar to the Batman reboot. Our hero and the villains aren’t about superpowers, but really brilliant technology. It’s gadgets and guns and science. Not that I don’t mind superpowers superpowers (the Hulk reboot was equally awesome and I am really hoping that Edward Norton will be back for the Avengers film) though I am not sure how Thor is going to turn out because even the Hulk relied on radiation. Who knows, could also be made of awesome.
Things made of awesome: Captain’s shield being used to level things out. Pepper having more of a Girl Friday part, Sam Rockwell with his orange glow paint on tan crying No Fair like a spoiled toddler (he was great and I expect to see more of him), Happy (brilliantly played by Jon Favreau) because lets face it those were great funny ha ha points whenever he was on screen, and how this story didn’t need a whole lot of action.

Things made out of not so awesome: the S.H.I.E.L.D. storyline. I will agree that it is a bit forced and this movie is more of a set up for the Avengers film aka Tony needs to get his shite together in order to be part of that one film that should be coming out in a couple of years. Plus I like Nick Fury. I even liked the idea of Samuel L ‘motherfraking’ Jackson playing Nick Fury, but am less than pleased at his portrayal of said character. Yes, we know you’re a badass Mr. Jackson, but really that is all you are going to give me? The nice little oh look here’s how we will easily fix Tony’s main problem was a bit deus ex machina wasn’t it.

I know that these superhero films are culminating in the Avengers flick which every little good fanboy and girl is hoping to be absolutely epic and lets hope so because Joss really needs something after Dollhouse in my opinion. It does feel like a setup film more than just another purely Iron Man film and yet I like having some setup. I want Tony to head up the Avengers. I want him to stop thinking purely about himself and how awesome he is and realize maybe there should be a team of lovelies that fight the good fight as white knights. I needed a bit of backstory. I needed to know that now everyone knows that Iron Man can bleed, is human and now the sharks will be circling. Ivan was small fry compared to the villains we know to be out there. They’ve been waiting and now they are going to start building up power. Iron Man wont be enough. He’s one man in a suit. I need the rest of the Avengers.

All I know is I liked it. I like where they are going and what they can do. While this was not the same as the first Iron Man, I am still gleefully anticipating more Tony Stark, more Marvel comic goodness and please movie PTB, please keep giving Robert Downey Jr more leading roles. I will love you for it.

Rent/Cinema?: Go see it on the big screen. Worth the money. Definitely worth owning as far as I am concerned.

3/4 popcorns

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