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Sep 28, 2010

Fletch's Film Review: Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2 is not going to age well.

It's been less than five months since I stepped into the theater for Jon Favreau's follow-up to the surprisingly good (great?) and wildly successful premier entry to the cinematic telling of Tony Stark's story, and it's already paled quite a few shades. The over-the-top (he wuvs his birdie) Russian villain played by pentagenarian Mickey Rourke, the reduction of Robert Downey, Jr.'s character from human to quip-mobile, several poorly developed characters (Black Widow, Sam Rockwell's Stark clone), and the blatant commercialization of the upcoming Avengers movie(s) will all overshadow any pluses the film might've had to its credit.

It's a shame - the film starts off strong, with Stark taking his bravado to Congress, declaring himself to have successfully privatized world peace. But before long, we're shoehorned into an awkward action sequence that forces Stark to commandeer the race car he owns merely so that Rourke's Vanko can slice the vehicle in half. Tony's arrogance aside, his move is the equivalent of Jerry Jones demanding that Tony Romo tosses him thee rock. The man wouldn't make it onto the field, and if he did, he'd be killed in mere seconds. Bizarre as that sequence is, it's not exactly smooth going from there. The rest of the film can probably be summed up as such: Tony drunk, Tony bickering with Pepper, Tony fighting with War Machine, Justin Hammer bickering with Vanko, Tony reconciling with his dead father, the longest, most pointless chase scene that results in a completely underwhelming, over-too-quickly showdown with Vanko. Movie over.

It may not be a step down quite as severe as the one from Batman Returns to Batman Forever, but it's not far off.

Fletch's Film Rating:
Expectation:
"Darn tootin."
Reality:
"You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you."
LAMBScore:
Large Association of Movie Blogs


6 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Film Review: Iron Man 2"

Castor said...

Agree, a really disappointing movie given how good the first one was. It's not a bad movie but it's basically the first movie without the novelty.

Andy the Time Lord said...

For some reason or another, three viewings in, I've actually found IRON MAN 2 a improvement over the first. I do agree that Tony went from a three-dimensional human character in the first to a "quip-mobile." I also agree that a lot of characters introduced get underdeveloped, which I think is the real flaw of the movie: it should have been a bit more self-contained, focusing on just a few characters instead of, like, 12.

Always a pleasure to read your reviews, sir.

The Mad Hatter said...

As is becoming the norm, I liked this more than you did.

I think the hitch to the whole ride is the fact that we are watching what is (as the MAMO boys described it) the middle box car in a much longer train.

When Marvel finishes this whole mad experiment of theirs, and we can watch all six movies in one long go, this chapter might seem a bit more palatable. But as a stand-alone summer film, it feels..."off".

Even without the grander context, I dug it. The film starts with Stark not wanting to turn the project over to the military, and then then turns around and shows us all precisely why an unstable billionaire should turn the project over to the military.

Lived up to the hype? Nope.
Good movie? Indeed.

Rachel said...

I'm with you. I think I graced it with a 4/5, but that's because I did enjoy it at the time in the theater and wrote my review shortly after seeing it. Now I can't recall anything good about the film and have zero desire to own it or watch it again.

Fletch said...

Castor - Indeed. I had a decent time watching it, and I don't think all that poorly of it, or at least I didn't. But hell, even the first hasn't aged all that gracefully in two+ years. I watched it again recently and was a bit underwhelmed. For shame.

Andy - first off, thanks - I hope to get back on the review wagon.

Yeah, the sequel cliche of just piling on characters really bugs me. Let's hope that the third Nolan Batman avoids it - he did an okay job with TDK in that regard.

Hatter - I dunno. As you can tell by my initial line of thinking, I wasn't exactly expecting the world with this one. But that third act really stands out as a bummer, as does all of the War Machine drama, as does Rourke's villain, as does...

You get it.

That said...

Rachel - ...I would like to check it out again sometime. Not entirely soon, but when it hits Watch Instantly or something, I can see me giving it another crack.

Andy said...

This movie got sunk by Tony Stark being too awesome. Seriously. Neither villain can rival or top Tony in the respective strata they are meant to be equivalent to him in; Hammer is an incompetent ladies man, and an even worse arms manufacturer, and Vanko cannot create an arc reactor in a machine shop with plans and tools that is superior to the one Stark built in a damn cave from memory. Iron Man 2 really needed to give more menace and threat to its villains to give the rest of the film some weight.