Review: “Iron Man 2″ is good, but a little disappointing

May 7th, 2010 at 8:29 am by under Entertainment

 If you loved the first  “Iron Man” or you are a huge fan of the character or this genre you should see “Iron Man 2″, but if you’re in any other group, you should consider waiting until after the rush of opening weekend…. or when this movie moves to DVD.    While comic book/superhero fans won’t be terribly disappointed with “Iron Man 2″, average action fans will be.

I love superhero movies, in fact, I’ve updated my list of my favorite superhero movies… and “Iron Man 2″ barely makes the Top 20 for me.

Attention comic book/superhero fans: make sure you stay through the credits to get the last Marvel Universe reference!

   

(My spoiler-free review)

“Iron Man 2″ in entertaining, has action, interesting plot, cool technology, some cool new characters and the great characters of the first, but there are two problems: this movie plays like it knows there will be a sequel and spin-offs… and it tries too hard to follow the formula of the first.

The movie gets off to a good start, but its slow and drags in the middle, followed by lots of action and faster pace in last third.  There are a ton of scenes with Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark… almost too many… I would have liked to see him doing more of the “peacekeeping actions” that are hinted at… and less of the man.  I get it, he’s having issues being Iron Man… he’s a troubled hero… but I don’t need that many scenes to understand his flaws.

The sequel continues the real world feel as if this could be going on in our world, the trademark comedy of the first returns is also back along with a cameo from creator Stan Lee.

The movie features a solid cast of characters led by Downey Jr. as the playboy celebrity Tony Stark, Gwyneth Paltrow as the plucky assistant Pepper Potts, Mickey Rourke’s Ivan Vanko is an effective but not overly villanous bad guy like Heath Ledger’s Joker (“The Dark Knight”).  Iron Man’s second villain is in many ways like his first, using the technology of Iron Man’s suit to try to defeat him.

Sam Rockwell brings some zip as Justin Hammer – the wanna-be Tony Stark, and Don Cheadle is a solid replacement for Terrance Howard as Lt. Col. James Rhodes.  Rockwell brings the alternate cockiness while Cheadle brings some cool and calm back to Rhodes.

Both Rockwell and Cheadle’s characters are smartly introduced/reintroduced in one of the early scenes involving several characters in a scene that sets one of the major plotpoints and introduces these characters.

Scarlett Johansson is good as Natalie Rushman, although not all of her “action” scenes seem real.  Samuel L. Jackson is basically himself as Nick Fury, leader of a special missions team “SHIELD”.

This is a respectable list of main characters, but it seems like the movie had too many quality actors but didn’t know what to do with all of them.

“Iron Man 2″ is also disappointing because it plays like a movie that knows there will be a sequel and knows it is spawning spinoffs with references to ”Thor” (May 2011), “Captain America” (July 2011), and “The Avengers” (May 2012).  There are so many references pushing to what’s next that this plays more like a multi-million dollar commercial for future Marvel Universe projects.

The movie isn’t overly political, violent, dark, or potentially offensive, but there are several different storylines and multiple themes for the audience to digest: a hero being pushed physically and mentally, government concern that our hero is too powerful, changing public perception of hero, fathers and sons, government control, and if bigger weapons really create peace.

Some of the effects are crisp and perfect like walkthrough computer at Tony Stark’s mansion, but several CGI effects (involving Rourke’s Vanko) are not crisp and they are noticeably less quality because the other effects are so good.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Entertaining with dispersed action while building the characters for future sequels and other movies, “Iron Man 2″ is somewhat tied to the formula of the first and is certainly not as good as the firstI give it 7.5 out of 10.

 “Iron Man 2”

(2010) (rated: PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some language)
(2 hr, 4 min)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Samuel L. Jackson, Clark Gregg, John Slattery, Jon Favreau, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Leslie Bibb, Garry Shandling

Director: Jon Favreau

Genre: Comic book/Superhero/Action/Adventure

The Plot: 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.

So what did you think?  Please post a comment!

“Iron Man 2” poster courtesy Paramount

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One Response to “Review: “Iron Man 2″ is good, but a little disappointing”

  1. Charlie says:

    Who wrote this “review”? If it was a male, he must immediately turn in his “guy card”! The reviewer writes: “I would have liked to see him doing more of the “peacekeeping actions” that are hinted at… and less of the man.”

    Re-read the title of the movie, taking close note of the second word “Iron MAN”. And what the heck is with the suggestion that it “and it tries too hard to follow the formula of the first.”? The first movie made 6 Ka-jillion dollars – -yes, DO follow the formula of the first movie…ya think? Remember Smokey/Bandit 3? Godfather 3? New Coke? Change the formula, jump the shark!

    How about this no-testosterone-having reviewer just sit and enjoy a flick instead of feminizing it like so much is today?

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