REVIEW: Iron Man 2 (2010)

Billionaire Tony Stark must contend with deadly issues involving the government, his own friends, as well as new enemies due to his superhero alter ego Iron Man.

Review:

I’m torn. Half of me enjoyed this movie more than I expected I would. The other half seems content with the fact that the movie was a notch lower than the first. Being a sequel to one of the best entries in the superhero genre, Iron Man 2 has a lot to live up to, which is quite ironic, being as how the films protagonist Tony Stark had to live up to the hype of his own father.

First, I’ll get the bad news out of the way as I’m apparently much better at putting my anger over a movie into words (A Nightmare on Elm Street review, Spider-Man 3 review) more than I am at praising a movie (Spider-Man 2 review). Sorry to disappoint you, but for everything Iron Man 2 does better than the first film, there’s almost another something that the first out-shined. Take for example the humor aspect of the movies. Iron Man‘s humor — while deliberate at times — came from the performance from the actors. With Iron Man 2 the writers force-feed us humorous line after humorous line whether it’s in the right scene or not. For the first 35 – 45 minutes of the movie, the laughs come freely. After that mark, it becomes somewhat of a bore, especially when an intense, dramatic scene just unfolded seconds prior and Tony Stark is cracking jokes moments after almost being murdered, but I digress. That’s more of a nitpick than an overall negative point in the movie.

What is a negative point is the ludicrous battle between two friends in the middle of the movie. It’s so out-of-left-field and illogical that it distracts from the actual point the scene is trying to get across to the viewer. The United States Government are trying to take the Iron Man machine from Tony Stark, calling it a weapon that could endanger the country, yet someone thought it would be a good idea to have two of said machines battle one another. Destroying a home while hundreds of people watch and record with their cellphones. Smart idea.

Also, almost every character is underplayed. Mickey Rourke, whom is the main antagonist, lurks in the background for the majority of the film. Also, what happened with his little speech he gives Tony in the jail cell? He states that he simply wanted to “make a God bleed” so people would stop believing in him and have the whole world come after him. It sets up a strong motive (although a bit too Joker-ish from The Dark Knight), yet it’s forgotten almost immediately after the scene’s climax.

Now on to the positive: Iron Man 2 is one of the best cinematic experiences in recent history. It’s obvious that the creative team behind these films aren’t taking themselves too seriously. They’ve set up a world where they can get away with most of what I stated in the above paragraphs. This isn’t a superhero movie coated with a dramatic, thriller plot like The Dark Knight and it doesn’t try to be. The movie is fun as hell.

If you’ve read my Iron Man review, you’ll know how I stand upon the “acting” in this series. None of the actors really act, but simply successful portray themselves. Robert Downey Jr. is the likable douchebag. Gwyneth Paltrow is somewhat of an aggravating bitch. Samuel L. Jackson is a bad-ass. While this applies to the major roles, it does not apply to Mickey Rourke and Don Cheadle.

Don Cheadle is a fine actor that is definitely in need of more exposure and I can only hope this is the film that gives him what he rightfully deserves. Mickey Rourke is at his most bad-ass in this movie. He’s menacing, terrifying, and surprisingly humorous. He’s tapped into something here and I hope that he can hold onto whatever it is he’s found in The Expendables.

Sam Rockwell is great as usual, but my main gripe against him — which isn’t necessarily the fault of the movie — is that he very rarely breaks his comfort-zone. He’s repeatedly playing the asshole snake that you just want to punch in the face, but he’s fantastic at it, so it’s easy to look passed. Scarlett Johansson, whom I had the most fear in effin’ up her role, surprised me. She’s at her sexiest ever and much like Rourke has never been more bad-ass.

Oh, but what about the action? Take the action sequences from the first and imagine them on acid. Iron Man 2 has some of the most adrenaline fueling, beautiful action sequences in recent years. The scene that will obviously stand out to everyone comes towards the climax. This scene in particular resulted in an extreme outbursts of cheers and applause that lasted into the next scene.

Despite my minor annoyances with the film and whether the first topped it in some aspects, Iron Man 2 delivers in every way imaginable. Easily dethroning Iron Man and kicking it into the dirt. This is what going to the cinema is all about.

8/10

SPOILER WARNING: For those wondering if Captain America and/or Thor make an appearance… you’ll just have to see the movie to find out. Stay in your seats for the credits to finish.

Theatrical Trailer:

Scenes:

Credits:

Directed by Jon Favreau

Written by Justin Theroux

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L. Jackson

Runtime: 124-minutes

Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some language.

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Comments
2 Responses to “REVIEW: Iron Man 2 (2010)”
  1. Brittany Ferrara says:

    I did my review too, but I agree with most of what you said. This was an amazing movie :) sooo much better than the first. and your review is really good!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a good review. You summed this up well. I would give it an 8 too.

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