Iron Man 2

Info:

Genre: Superhero, action

Director/s: Jon Favreau

Writer/s: Justin Theroux

Running Time: 124 mins

Budget: $200 million

Released: 30 April 2010 (South Africa)

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 – imdb

Warning: the following contains spoilers, do not proceed unless you have watched the film.

Review:

After the huge success of the first Iron Man film, it was inevitable that a sequel would be made and now two years later it has arrived.  I can honestly say that Stark’s second outing on the silver screen was somewhat underwhelming and lacked the energy and wit of the first film.

Iron Man 2 is set six months after the first film and this time around Tony Stark must contend with rival billionaire Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) as well as the mysterious Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) – a.k.a. Whiplash, a Russian scientist who develops his own suit – powered by an Arc Reactor –  and arms it with a pair of energized whips.  Sadly there are only two scenes in the film where Whiplash actually battles Iron Man, the first battle being the best taking place in Monaco during a F1 race.  That aforementioned scene is perhaps the most impressive moment in the entire film.

The first problem I have with this film is that Terrence Howard was replaced by Don Cheadle for the role of James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes.  While this is only a minor issue, I absolutely hate it when actors are swapped out, it hampers the character’s believability when he/she suddenly has a different face.  Secondly, what made the first film so great is Stark’s narcissistic and sarcastic personality, while these elements are present in the second film, they’ve taken a back seat to the ‘comically’ stupid moments of Stark walking around in his suit, getting drunk and acting like an idiot.  The reason for Stark’s self-destructive activities is due to a new challenge – Arc Reactor poisoning.  The Iron Man suit is a double-edged sword as it’s responsible for world peace as well as the slow death of Tony Stark as his Arc Reactor gradually poisons his body.  Well that’s all fine and well, I believe the filmmakers could have come up with a more interesting way to articulate Stark’s despair and in doing so, negate the need for drunken silliness.

…While these elements are present in the second film, they’ve taken a back seat to the ‘comically’ stupid moments of Stark walking around in his suit, getting drunk and acting like an idiot…

What this film really lacked was a defining moment, a scene that absolutely captivates the audience for its sheer awesomeness, like the Middle-Eastern battle from the first film.  The whole time throughout the movie I was thinking – “Something major is bound to be around the corner”, though sadly that wasn’t the case.  The final action scene was a night-time chase sequence (Iron Man looks best out in the sun IMO) that lacked any kind of originality or complexity and the showdown with the drones turned into a generic shootout. While Iron Man 2 is certainly enjoyable, it doesn’t break any new ground so when I read things like – “TDK (The Dark Knight) is no longer king”, I cringe and wonder if they actually watched The Dark Knight, a movie that was brilliant due to the efforts of Heath Ledger.

So while I do recommend that you go and watch Iron Man 2, I just don’t believe it’s as good as it could’ve been and I didn’t see a single image or trailer prior to watching this film (didn’t even read any write-ups) so I’m not disappointed due to hype, just to the fact that the film was merely good as opposed to brilliant.  Here’s hoping that the inevitable third film adds something new to the series.  Oh and stick around after the credits as the stinger will tease you with things to come.

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