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Not Bad For A Sequel; But, Can I place An Order For More Action?

  • May 23, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+3
Pros: Smart, intelligent, character driven movie.

Cons: Limited action sequences.

The Bottom Line:

Despite the limited action sequences I enjoyed Iron Man 2 due in large part—once again—to the performances of Downey Jr. and Paltrow.



Marvel Comics (Marvel Entertainment Group) is still on a roll and its characters are making the leap from the multi-colored comic book pages of my youth to the silver screen at a record pace.  They have found a way to survive in this Internet driven multi-media obsessed culture; produce movies.  Marvel’s stable of characters is being minded for a whole new generation of fans; Iron Man 2 with Robert Downy Jr. donning the steel suit is the latest hero to leap from page to the silver screen.   

The Story

Iron Man, like most Marvel superhero characters sprang from the mind of Stan Lee and first made an appearance in 1963.  The movie Iron Man 2 is once again directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Smog) picks up a year or so after the last movie left off. Genius weapon-maker Tony Stark (Downey Jr. - Johnny Be Good, Chaplin, Ally McBeal) has fully embraced his alter ego, Iron Man, with robust gusto.  But his heart is failing; it appears the suit is burning out the power supply and in the process poisoning his blood. 

Stark doesn’t tell anyone what is happening to him, not even his closet friend Jim Rhodes (Don Cheadle – Hotel Rwanda, Talk to Me, Traitor) a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force who ultimately will slip into one of Stark’s suits and become known as War Machine.  He doesn’t tell his personal assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow – The Talented Mr. Ripley, Duets, Proof) either, but instead make her CEO of his company Stark Industries

Meanwhile trouble is brewing in the form of Russian scientist Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke ~ Sin City, Man on Fire, The Wrestler) who blames Stark’s father for his father’s banishment and eventual death.  So he is out for revenge and puts together a suit that radiates very high voltage and assaults Stark at a public event.

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson ~ Soul Man, Jumper, Lakeview Terrace), and Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson ~ He’s Just Not That into You, Match Point, Vicky Cristina Barcelona) round out the cast of characters.         

My Thoughts

Where other Marvel hero’s lacked personality in the move from the page to screen, Robert Downy Jr. as Tony Stark breathes life into the man of iron.  In Iron Man 2 Downy Jr. continues to play the flawed man who would be the one man Peace Corp, the Pax Iron Mana if you will, with startling aplomb; he fits the mold so well. 

However, Iron Man 2 like to movie that preceded it is a little short on action; if you’ve seen the many trailers for this movie you’ve pretty much seen all of the action it serves up.  Quite frankly we could have used a lot more action to go along with the human element.  If anything there is less action and crime busting in the “action flick” than there was in the last; very disappointing. 

The chemistry between Paltrow and Downey Jr. was palpable and Ms. Paltrow looked adorable as usual.  More importantly Ms. Paltrow’s performance is on par with Downey’s.  The banter between the two characters makes for some of the best scenes in the movie, but there were far fewer and a bit less fun than the first movie. 

Don Cheadle steps ably into the Air Force issued boots Terrence Howard and straps on the iron battle armor of the War Machine, thus becoming Starks right hand man after Iron Man losses his grip to booze.  

Iron Man 2’s special effects are of course top-notch (how about that suitcase suit?), but CGI does not take over the film; it is not another character, but simply tool to enhance the movie.  Iron Man 2 is a remarkably intelligent and human story, and Downey Jr. as Tony Stark is very much at the center of the film. 

Much was made of Scarlett Johansson’s turn in the movie, but she ended having a bit part and only one action sequence.  Granted it was spectacular to watch—and Ms. Johansson looked stellar in a black body suit—but a bit more meat and action would have been nice.    

Kudos to director Jon Favreau for delivering an intelligent movie wrapped in personality and not CGI.  His adaptation should be one of the templates where upon all others now stamp out their comic book inspired movies.  Others have made the journey as well, most notably Bryan Singer’s X-Men (2000) and colorful Superman Returns (2006); Tim Burton’s dark and brooding Batman (1989); Chris Nolan’s excellent Batman Begins (2005), and; Robert Rodriguez’s sexy and violent Sin City (2005)

Conclusion

Despite the limited action sequences I enjoyed Iron Man 2 due in large part—once again—to the performances of Downey Jr. and Paltrow.  Modernized, Iron Man 2 has been brought into the 21st Century in grand intelligent style. Perhaps in the next sequel—of course there will be one—there will be more action!

Recommended:
Yes

Movie Mood: Action Movie
Viewing Method: Studio Screening/Premiere
Film Completeness: A few glitches, but mostly complete.
Worst Part of this Film: Music

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October 24, 2010
I always had mixed feelings for this franchise; I liked it but honestly, I thought the character can be a lot more compelling. Hollywood tends to water down these super-hero characters. Nice review! (too bad the review in not in our Movie Hype community, I wanted to feature it)
 
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Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #78
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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Wiki



Iron Man 2 is a 2010 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name from Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures. It is the sequel to 2008's Iron Man, and the second film in a planned trilogy.  Directed by Jon Favreau, the film stars Robert Downey Jr., reprising his role as Tony Stark.

Tony Stark has revealed his identity as Iron Man and is resisting calls by the United States Government to hand over the technology. Ivan Vanko has also duplicated the technology and built weapons of his own, creating new challenges for Stark.

The film held its red carpet premiere in Los Angeles, California, on April 26, 2010 and in France on April 28, 2010. It was released in the United States on May 7, 2010.





After the high-flying adventures of the firstIron Manpicture, the billionaire arms manufacturer and irrepressible bon vivant Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) finds himself nursing a hangover. But not like any hangover he's had before: this one is toxic, a potentially deadly condition resulting from heavy metals (or something) bleeding out of the hardware he's installed in the middle of his chest. This is the problem Stark needs to solve inIron Man 2, not to mention the threat from resentful Russian science whiz Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), whose father helped create the Iron Man technology. There's an even bigger problem for the film: the need to set up a future Marvel Comics movie universe in which a variety of veteran ...
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Details

Director: Jon Favreau
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: May 7th, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Studio: Marvel Studios, Paramount Pictures
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