Sunday, May 16, 2010

Iron Man 2: The Tony Stark Show

I'm going to break my tradition and write about a movie already reviewed on this blog. Why? Because it's Iron Man. Growing up, Iron Man was not one of the comics I read, but since getting back into comics, I've noted how enormously important Iron Man is, both to Marvel's comic book world, as well as the films they are trying to make. Iron Man is sort of like, the lynch pin (in my opinion) of the whole Avengers concept, so any film adaptation they do, bears comment.

What did I like? I liked the humour, for th most part. I liked parts of the story, such as Howard Stark leaving clues to the new element to his son in the design of the Expo. Iliked Robert Downey Jr, and Sam Rockwell. Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark. Let's face it, any yahoo could be in the Iron Man suit. But Downey just plays the part of the Tony Stark so well, and infuses him both with a half-serious superficiality, and a determination to do what's right, that you have to admire it. Likewise, Rockwell really stood out for me, as a villain who is trying to capitalize on an opportunity he sees. He's not totally evil, but he's sort of like the standard selfish, capitalistic corporate head. Except Rockwell makes him 10 times more memorable. Dancing to the podium, eating ice cream flown in from San Francisco, he's got nice little touches that I really liked.

Then there's War Machine. Okay, they didn't really call him War Machine, but I really dug his look, and his arsenal. I liked too, that War Machine didn't give the suit back in the end. Likewise, I enjoyed the drones, that they had certain drones for certain parts of the military (though that concept did not really play out), and the fact they were so effective an adversary to Iron Man.

Okay, so that's all well and good. Now let's get on with the bad. Pepper Potts. Annoying as hell, I could not stand her. From the beginning to the end, all she does is whine and complain to Tony. You didn't tell me you were dying, this job is so hard, what are you doing, I can't take this anymore, etc, etc. Umm, you've worked for this guy for years, how about a little gratitude when he makes you CEO? How about the benefit of the doubt? "Tony, you're acting a little weird, what's wrong?" Nope. She was just a bitch from beginning to end, and I wished that drone had blown up and killed her.

What else? Not enough Iron Man. J-Man brought this up, and he's right. He should have appeared more in the 2nd film (as we've already established how Iron Man was put together), the fights should have been longer (the end fight was really pathetic for an end fight). Whiplash and Black Widow were completely wasted. I've rarely seen an ineffective villain like Whiplash, he didn't really engage Iron Man after his first appearance at the racetrack, but tinkered in Justin Hammer's compound. The real villain of the film was the faulty arclight generator in Tony Stark's chest. Nice concept, but I want to see Iron Man fight someone worthy, not worry if his chest generator is going to kill him. Some of these problems may seem nitpicky, but I don't think so: this is 2010, we know how good superhero movies work, and how the rest don't. We're running out of time for excuses.

My rating may seem generous, but I do like Downey Jr. as Iron Man, and I like the universe they've created here. I just think this one was a little on the weaker side, compared to the first film, and a lot of the concepts, while neat, either didn't play out to their maximum potential (such as Whiplash and Justin Hammer teaming up), or were given too much attention (the arclight generator failing in his chest).

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

I wish thee a fond goodnight

- Stephenstein

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