Review: Iron Man 2

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Iron Man 2 is the movie equivalent of a fast food meal – tasty, but certainly not good for you.

I am not going to spend too much time reviewing this movie because it simply doesn’t warrant it. All I will say is that if you liked the first one, you’ll like the sequel.

Everything from the first is here, only on a bigger scale. But remember bigger does not always equal better.

The pace is terrible. Scenes that only needed to be a minute long are stretched-out way past their welcome, while important plot information zips by before you have time to acknowledge it. Not that there is much of a plot to follow mind.  About 90% of the movie feels like it was ad-libbed and made-up on the spot. This approach miraculously seemed to work for the original – only here it feels lazy.

Director John Favreau knew that no matter what he did – this movie was going to make millions – and so obviously didn’t worry too much about the quality of its content. Iron man 2 suffers from Transformers 2 syndrome – by which I mean the director has been given full reign to indulge his every whim because of the first movies success. Scenes are slapped into the film because Favreau and Co obviously had a blast filming them – not because they are well executed cinema. On top of that – the director even has the kahunas to give himself a heroic fight scene near the end of the movie! Get over yourself sir!

Cast wise, the movie is hot and cold. Robert Downey Jr (Tony Stark) once again plays-up on his self-assured, play boy persona – only this time it is without charm. This is the sequels biggest problem – the first movie worked because of the charisma of its lead. Sadly Stark comes across as nothing more than an annoying and arrogant dick here, and his barrage of constant quips and puns get old fast.  There is even a line during the movies finale where a character refers to him as being an annoying prick – a line that works on more levels than was probably intended.

As expected, Mickey Rourke gives it his all as Whiplash – but sadly his character is so one-note that his efforts go completely wasted. The same can be said for Scarlett Johansson and Gwyneth Paltrow. Johansson double-agent character looks hot and has one pretty cool action scene – but that’s it. Her character has no personality, and looking back on it, little to no actual dialogue.

Gwyneth Paltrow comes off far worse. Pepper Pots is even more boring than she was in the first movie – meaning her troubled plight as the CEO of Stark Industries falls flatter than her attempts at being funny. Also her relationship with Stark is so poorly setup that I couldn’t even tell  whether or not they were ment to be a couple until the very last scene of the film.

Woodenness aside – supporting actors Sam Rockwell, and Don Cheadle are the real stars here. Rockwell in particular almost steals the show as slime ball stark wannabe Justin Hammer. Almost every scene Rockwell is in didn’t need to be there – but the actor is so damn funny that I`ll give this indulgence a pass.

For the 2 or 3 of you out there who don’t know – Don Cheadle plays the part of Lt.Col James Rhodes, who later adopts the super hero persona of War Machine. Say what you like about the movies flaws, but there is no denying that War Machine is f*cking awesome! Picture Iron Man – only less gay looking – with machine guns and cannons strapped to his body and you`ll get the idea.

War Machine only really comes into play during the movies final scenes, but the action set pieces that he partakes in are almost worth the admission price alone. My biggest complaint about the first movie was its work man like action scenes – the same can not be said here. Although there isnt much action to speak of (Iron Man himself is only present in 3 or 4 major scenes) what is here is exciting and well shot, and just about saves the movie from being atrocious.

In summary Iron Man 2 is inoffensive and perfectly entertaining. But it is also indulgent and sloppily made.  This is a sequel you wont necessarily regret seeing, but one that will leave you with little desire to see the upcoming Avengers movie. The constant winks and nods to this superhero wankfest are painfully shoe horned into every other scene, and do nothing but get in the way of the non-sensical plot we are desperately trying to follow. Tone it down Marvel!

Iron Man 2 is a fun, but rusty movie…

6-5/10

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One Response to “Review: Iron Man 2”

  1. James Says:

    Well put, oh well – 2 years respite before Iron Man 3: ”The Avengers are coming”

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