Monday, May 10, 2010

Iron Man 2

Summary: Tony Stark continues to publically live his life as Iron Man…protector of world peace. Since his admission to being Iron Man life has been good for the billionaire. However, things quickly change when he finds himself a target of the US government, a Russian physicist Ivan Vanko aka Whiplash who holds a serious grudge against Stark, and his own friends. Stark finally realizes the full danger being a public super-hero brings.

Plot (B): The plot itself is interesting and properly shows the next step in the Iron Man series. Stark is not only dealing with external issues, but internal issues as well. I won’t get too specific but let’s just say the contraption in his chest, which is keeping him alive, is doing more bad than good. Stark is still the same narcissist playboy with quick one-liners as displayed in the first film. However, we come to find that Stark may have met his match with Whiplash. I only say that because Vanko proves himself to be as smart as Stark. What I didn’t like about the film was the long stretches of story in between fight scenes. I did feel that Favreau should have shown Iron Man taking on a personal mission in the beginning. Instead, he completely indulges you with egocentric Tony Stark thru and thru.

Action (A): When it was time for action scenes Iron Man 2 delivered big time! Bigger explosions, better fight scenes, and the introduction of War Machine provided solid entertainment. The culminating battle scene was very cool. Like I said, this movie isn’t dominated by action. It focuses more on Stark’s new double life and his mental capabilities of juggling them.

Acting & Dialogue (B+/B): As always, Robert Downey Jr. hit a home run. Downey was funnier in this film than the last, which is never a bad thing. What made him even more spectacular was his deeper connection to the character. Since Stark is dealing with a few personal issues he eases his mind with alcohol. Obviously, this is something Downey knows much about; therefore he put his own personal emotion/experience in that aspect of the character making Tony Stark more real. Don Cheadle took over for Terrence Howard as Lt. Col. Randy Rhodes/ War Machine. His performance was solid and spot on. While I thought Howard was a good pick for the character he never really got the chance to make it his own. This allowed Cheadle a lot of freedom to mold the character in his own way when he stepped in. Mickey Rourke played a very convincing bad guy. His Russian accent was authentic and his dedication to the character translated very well to the screen. I read that Rourke visited a Russian prison to get a better feel. Also, the fake tattoos on his body are actual Russian prison tattoos. Scarlett Johansson played secret spy Natasha Romanoff (insert Andrew “Dice” Clay voice-more like Jerkmeoff oh!) whose beauty and intelligence were captivating, but her screen time wasn’t dominate. Sam Rockwell played Justin Hammer, a rival weapons manufacturer of Starks, who was a delightful addition to the cast. He played his character with the same cocky assurance as Downey. However, his fake tan was too much for me to handle especially when I noticed the inside of his palms were stained with spray tan…fucking gross dude.

Special Effects (B+): In a movie like this, CGI is definitely needed but it was not over the top. There was a proper balance between live action scenes/fights and CGI.

Sex Appeal (6): Iron Man 2 is PG-13 so don’t expect anything. However, Johansson is so stunningly beautiful that your attention may get sidetracked for a second. Gwyneth Paltrow also looks very good in the film too, but she complains a bit too much for my taste. Take a Vicodin, sit down, and shut up.

Director (B+): I’m a big fan of Jon Favreau so I find it hard to give him anything less than a B+. He takes his job seriously but more importantly knows what should be incorporated and what shouldn’t. When you have a director who is a fan of a comic franchise and respects it people’s hearts can rest easier. The same cannot be said for that douche bag Bret Rattner. As I said before, I think Stark should have been in the suit one or two more times but it was still a good movie. Favreau is already talking about Iron Man 3. No release date has been announced but he did mention that they’ll probably introduce Mandarin as the villain just because it’s the next logical step in the story.

Overall: B+

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