Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Iron Man 2 [2010]

Lately, it’s been a staple that once the origin stories of a superhero franchise is out of the way in the first installment – the second is the best. Does Iron Man 2 hold up this fine tradition?

Tony Stark’s father’s ex-partner’s son builds a similar device to Tony Stark’s Iron Man reactor – and Tony Stark’s weapon manufacturing rival, Justin Hammer, decides to employ him to get a lucrative civil defense contract. BUT IT BACKFIRES!

I had several issues with this film. First off – I didn’t really feel the motivation for the villain. His father was jilted many years ago by Tony’s father – and they were both deported. I guess if the son felt that strongly about it – he never really expressed it out loud to anybody. Sure, his father died – and he felt he needed to avenge his father – but this is a movie based on a comic book – it wouldn’t be against the genre for him go to “Your father dissed my father – and I’m here for revenge!!”

Which leads me to the main action scene that introduced the bad guy Whiplash – if nobody but Tony knew what Tony was up to – how was Whiplash so prepared for it? It was a fun action scene though –up to the Mickey Mousing around in the car with Tony’s “backpack”. Just hand it the fuck over lady!

Then my other main issue was with Tony’s father’s invention. How did he know it would work if he was never able to build it in the past? A lot changes in 36 years – and nobody has ever thought of that? It felt like such an instant answer – dues ex machina – joke. I felt manipulated in giving the film my suspension of disbelief for that nonsense.

The action also felt was kind of disjointed with the director constantly feeling as though he needed to show the face reactions of Tony and Lt. Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes – because they were in suits and we couldn’t see their pointless reaction shots when the bad guys were beating up on them. It just felt out of place.

Other than that – only minor complaints. I liked the main plot – which I considered the rivalry between Stark and Hammer. The government wants Tony to turn over the Iron Man weapon – Hammer is the rival weapon’s manufacturer who wants Tony to do the same – so he could mass produce them. It makes sense – and that’s what’s important. The minor plots involving Whiplash – and Tony’s illness – doesn’t really make much sense to me – and that’s what really stems the problems that I have with the film.

The action was solid – and interesting – though I felt the first movie ultimately had better action scenes. Scarlett Johansson is foxy as always – glad they figured out a way to get her into a cat suit. Did Sam Jackson put on some weight? I liked how they played around a bit with the whole Tony Stark drinking problem like was a major issue in the comics – though I question if it was more of a plot device than something we can look forward to seeing more of in the future.

If Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Spider-Man 3 and the Batman of the 1960's has taught us anything - dancing superheroes is not something we the people want to see. I don't care! You shut up! I didn't mind Peter Parker's little jig... I will NOT listen to reason! I hate you so much! Sorry, I didn't mean that last bit - you can have one of my cupcakes as an apology. It's all misdirected anger - and I know it - and you don't deserve to be talked to like that.

Though seeing Scarlett do some go-go dancing in her cat suit would've been nice. Would that have been too much to ask for? Haven't made mention of how much I miss go-go dancing in movies - but I still hold that flame high!

I was a bit curious why Rhodey took that opportunity to make his move – and take the old suit – it didn’t feel like he was going to up to that point – and then he did and I’m all like “whoa – hey man – get your damn hands off her” and then he looked at me and punched me and I cowered – but then got up and socked him in the jaw and gained the love of my dearest and we got married and had kids and one of my kids went into the past and set it all up using a time traveling car... It was epic.

I almost feel like I’m being generous with the rating – but it was a fun movie – and I would probably give it a 3.5 – but I round up – so it’s a 4 out of 5 for Iron Man 2.


  1. Rumour is that Marvel adding in all the stuff that related to the next set of Marvel films screwed with the original story.

    Whiplash is reduced to a bit part where it could have been genuinely interesting for Stark to deal with the issue of if his father had ripped off his partner's research.

  2. @UnSubject - Thanks for reading my moldy old post! Studio interference is never good - just ask Sam Raimi. You've got to further the "brand" when you're making a series of inter-related films - and that cuts out making a single strong story and strong fully realized characters - that's for sure.

    Almost a year after watching the film - I realize the part that really stuck with me was the detachment of the action sequences when the director decided that we needed to see the faces of the people in the Iron Man suits. I think Downey and Cheadle are handsome gents - but needing to see them grimace and talk while there are esplody boom-booms happening around them was boring. I'm hoping the new director for IM3 will be able to deliver a well realized story where all the characters get their due respect.