Review: Iron Man 2
The Summer Blockbusters kick off with the highly anticipated 'Iron Man 2'. This has been on my "must see" list all year. Being a comic reader, I never cared much for Iron Man in the comics, that is until Robert Downey Jr. brought him to life on screen. Sure there's some inconsistencies, but I honestly couldn't care less. Downey made a character that I never liked, likable. That's just how great of an actor he is.
'Iron Man 2' starts 6 months after the original. In the first few minutes we get a ton of different stories thrown at us. We see that the military wants Tony Stark to hand over his suit, he refuses and assures everyone that no one else will be able to build a model like his. Then we switch over to Russia. Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke, doing his best Viggo Mortensen impression from 'Eastern Promises') is a jilted son of a former scientist that worked with Tony's father. He's got revenge on his mind, he thinks Stark is responsible for the fall of his family. He's creating something to take Tony out for good. They don't mention it in the film, but he's becoming "Whiplash". Tony has a lot going on, he's become somewhat arrogant, his arc reactor is slowly killing him, but he won't admit it to anyone else. Especially his newly appointed CEO Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) Also in the mix are Lt. Rhodes (Don Cheadle, a nice transition from Terrance Howard who portrayed him in the first) His new paralegal Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson) who we already know is a double agent, Natasha Romanoff and last but not least, a new character, and Tony's competition Justin Hammer. (Sam Rockwell)
There's a lot of stories here, I really enjoyed the special effects. Battle scenes, scenes when Tony's working. They are all very well done. I loved the chemistry between Downey and Paltrow, it was perfect for the film. I loved seeing Cheadle in the 'War Machine' get up. The acting was great across the board. Reviews for this film have been someone split, so I tried not to nitpick. I tried to ignore the fact that Scarlett Johansson's character didn't have a Russian accent like is assumed in the comics. She's really only there for sex appeal, which is a shame. She's quite a talented actress. Or the fact that I thought it was really weird for John Favreau to write such a big part for himself in the film (again). One thing I couldn't ignore, however was the obvious set up for the 'Avengers' film.
I think Ironman had a lot of stories to tell, and it all ended up abruptly. They obviously are using this film to start that transition to the Avengers, but I thought they almost focused on it too much. Sure it was nice to see Samuel L Jackson reprise his role as Nick Fury, but with so match at stake for Tony, (and the film's run time of barely over 2 hours)I thought they would've focused more on Ironman, and not what part Ironman is going to play in the Avengers.
All and all, I enjoyed myself, Was it the best comic book movie of all time? No (Dark Knight still holds that crown) Was it entertaining and worth my money? Yes. Extra kudos go to the fantastic 'Inception' trailer. That trailer totally overshadowed the anticipated 'Super 8' trailer in my opinion. Oh, there's a scene after the credits too if you are interested.
Memorable Quote: "Isn't it funny how annoying a little prick can be?" - Senator Stern (Garry Chandling)