Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2
Directed by Jon Favreau.
2010. Rated PG-13, 124 minutes.
Robert Downey Jr.
Gwyneth Paltrow
Don Cheadle
Mickey Rourke
Scarlett Johansson
Samuel L. Jackson
Jon Favreau
Sam Rockwell
Clark Gregg
Garry Shandling
John Slattery
Leslie Bibb

Plot: The United States government wants to get their hands on Tony Stark’s (Downey Jr) Iron Man suit, a new villain pops up on the scene and the reactor implanted in his chest is killing him.

The Good: The sequel takes the story in an interesting direction. We see Stark dealing with his daddy issues and his seemingly fast approaching mortality. Once again, Robert Downey Jr. is the perfect personification of Tony. As his opposite number, Mickey Rourke makes a formidable and menacing villain. The action scenes might actually be better this time around. This includes some surprisingly convincing fighting from the normally dainty Scarlett Johansson (yes, I’m allowing for the probable involvement of a stunt-person).

The Bad: Like the debacle that was Spider Man 3 there’s just too much going on for its own good. Much of the clutter stems from the fact that this movie is basically a two hour setup for the apparently upcoming Avengers movie. It just gets in the way, at times. Some of it is nicely incorporated but a few things could’ve been left out. Aside from that there are more subplots than you can shake a stick at. The Sam Rockwell character, Tony’s rival in the weapon’s industry Justin Hammer is annoying, lame, very nearly irrelevant and given way too much screen time. He does draw the occasional laugh but he seems like a poor attempt at comic relief, especially since Tony handles that just fine on his own. Finally, while I absolutely love Don Cheadle as an actor, his version of Rhodes just doesn’t have the same playful chemistry with Tony that he had when Terrence Howard played the part.

The Ugly: it me, or does Rhodes learn how to use the suit awfully fast.

Recommendation: The first IM was surprisingly good. Its sequel isn’t quite as good but it is a solid effort. Even through the convolution, it’s a fun watch and manages to keep us engaged. For you comic book geeks, or comic book movie geeks, if you can sit still through the excruciatingly long credits you get a small treat.

The Opposite View: Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

What the Internet Says: 7.5/10 on (5/25/10), 74% on, 57/100 on

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