When I ask people what their favorite superhero flick is, (and yes I do this often) a large majority say Iron Man. When I ask them why, they say "It was just so funny!" Now I don't disagree with that statement, it was a very entertaining movie, but i want explosions, villains, and a great showdown in my superhero movies.
Jon Favreau, the director of the two Iron Man movies has done an incredible job of taking a B-list superhero and making him Marvel's big gun. I would say, after the bad aftertaste of Spiderman 3, he is the movie franchise to beat.
It might sound like I'm beating up on Iron Man. I didn't hate the movie at all, I just want a comic movie to feel larger than life and epic.
Iron Man 2 picks up a few months after Tony Stark proudly declared he was Iron Man. We see through newspaper clippings that in the past 6 months, Iron Man has made the world a better place. Lazy move. Come on, give the audience what it wants - a music montage of Iron Man saving kittens in trees, crushing white-panel pedophile vans, stopping gang wars, and throwing nuclear weapons into the sun.(Oh wait, wrong hero)
Apparently they have thrown in some plot about a drunk russian pissed off that his dad was kicked out of the Stark business years before. They repeat that the theme of this movie is "Legacy." I would say instead it's all about "Daddy Issues."
So it's the Wrestler(Mickey Rourke) vs. Iron Man. I have always said that the strength of a hero depends largely on how good the villain is. The two main villains, Rourke and Sam Rockwell, as a wannabe Tony Stark, are likable. That is just the problem. I don't need to see these two wisecrack to each other. To truly hate these people I need to see them do extremely terrible things. Instead they banter about attaining a Russian parrot. As much as I hate loud birds, this does not make me hate them.
This movie had so many characters that Downey didn't really get a chance to shine as he did in the first movie. Gwyneth Paltrow came off this movie as a nag. Don Cheadle replaced Terence Howard from the first. He was fine but largely an unlikeable character. Scarlett Johannsen is trying to be hot again for the first time in 3 years. She succeeds, even if her character is mostly unnecessary. Also, to tie this movie into the future Avengers movie, Samuel "L" Jackson returns as Nick Fury. This role makes it hard to believe that he used to be an actor and not just a caricature of Samuel L Jackson.
This film really wants to be as funny as the first, but comes off a bit smug. The only part I really guffawed at was at Sam Rockwell's jig at the Stark Expo. There are some decent action scenes, such as the Monaco race and the drone chase before the end. But like the first, the action left me wanting. The final showdown between the Wrestler and Iron Man/War Machine was pretty weak.
I did like Robert Downey Jr. It's hard not to like him. His arrogance actually is endearing. I just hope the third movie isn't more of the same. Not everyone needs lights in their chests.
Iron Man 2 is a fun, popcorn movie that is sure to please the masses. I'm happy to watch it but still look forward for the next Batman movie July 12th, 2012. It barely eaks by with 3 stars out of 5.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010 Kenny D