Friday, May 7, 2010
IRON MAN 2 REVIEW
We are currently in the era where comic book movies can be good, and comic book movie sequels are even better. Even the well deserved winner of the best supporting actor oscar went to an actor who was playing a villain in a sequel to a comic book a little over a year ago.
Unfortunately we are also in the era where comic book movies are often rushed or poorly written and thus not nearly as good as they could’ve been. You’ll get something amazing like The Dark Knight, and then you’ll get Punisher: War Zone. You’ll get Sin City, and then Spider-Man 3. You’ll get Iron Man, and then Fantastic Four. You get the idea.
But where does that leave Iron Man 2…?
Jon Favreau did an amazing job bringing Shell head to life in the first Iron Man and Robert Downey Jr., along with the entire supporting cast, performed brilliantly and really made the characters pop. Iron Man 2 saw all of them return (except Terrance Howard of course) so really this sequel seems like a sure thing.
Well what seemed like a sure thing turned out to be a flat, dragged out, and uneven mess. There were far too many times I found myself sighing in boredom as the scenes seem to lag with uninteresting dialogue that never seemed to capture the witty banter of the first film. I went into a movie called “Iron Man 2” but what I got was a movie that spent a lot more time with Tony Stark, but never really doing anything with that time to hold my interest. The action scenes were few and far between, felt kind of generic, and in the case of the house party fight between Iron Man and a pre-gunned out War Machine, totally unnecessary and kind of obnoxious.
Overall the actors in Iron Man 2 didn’t ruin the movie, the just didn’t have a good script to work with. They all looked good, but all the dialogue was bland and uninspired and it never felt like the movie was ever going exactly where it wanted to actually end up. Gwyneth Paltrow performed fine as Pepper Potts, but her cutness and sassiness from the first film seemed to be replaced with bitching and whining and Scarlett Johansson can sure fill out the Black Widow suit, but her interaction with every character that wasn’t a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent felt forced and unnatural. I love Don Cheadle as an actor, but he felt very out of place in this film and was so different than Terrance Howard that I found myself doubting that they were the same character at all. The friendship/Conflict between Tony Stark and Cheadle’s Rhodey took what worked in the first film and covered it with cheese. Their scene of resolution right before the big action finale that seemed longer in the trailer felt more like an episode of Full House than the sci-fi action film you would want to watch.
Mickey Rourke was his usual total bad ass self, but with only two rushed action scenes, he even looked bored with his character’s lack of movement. Sam Rockwell is a fantastic actor, but he never quite nails it here, but it’s obvious screenwriter Justin Theroux is not sure of anything with anything about Iron Man 2. He gets close a time or two, but no cigar.
Then of course there’s the easter eggs of the Marvel Universe. I’m all for Marvel putting all their films into one universe like their comics, but they can’t seem to figure out in Iron Man 2 if that’s the main focus or not. If it is, then it’s brought in way too late in the film, and if it’s not, they spend way too much time on it. Nick Fury and Agent Coulson are cool characters that will keep me invested in these movies, just figure out how you wanna use them and stick with it.
In conclusion, I didn’t completely hate Iron Man 2, but it is pure evidence that even if you have a director and cast that are experts at their craft, you still can’t make a bad script a good movie. Maybe if they had a 3 year gap between movies instead of two, Iron Man 2 would have more in common with The Dark Knight and less in common with Transformers 2.
And what was the deal with Tony and the strawberries? Pointless.