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Lacking in Iron

  • May 9, 2010
  • by
Written by Justin Theroux
Directed by Jon Favreau
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Dona Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke

Ivan Vanko: If you could make God bleed, people would cease to believe in him.

When the lights went down at the sold out opening night screening of IRON MAN 2 that I attended, there was a particular energy in the air.  It was that moment when you realize that what you’ve been waiting for for so long is really about to take place.  The hushed anticipation was infectious and, as exciting as it was to feel it build, it was just as disappointing to feel that energy die off as the film unfolded.  Iron Man may have a brand new suit but his heavier armour ultimately just weighed this new adventure down.

I had no knowledge of Iron Man before the first film, other than the fact that he existed anyway.  When director Jon Favreau introduced him as an irresponsible billionaire who learns that his legacy would be essentially ensuring continuous and unnecessary destruction until there was nothing left to blow up, I instantly loved the guy.  Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), as privileged as he was, was still human and still had a soul that he didn’t want to see damned.  Super ego still intact but changed nonetheless at the end of the first film, Stark re-emerges now as narcissistic and oblivious again, almost as if to satisfy what test audiences liked most about him after the first film.  It gives the film itself an air of arrogance that it is difficult to recover from.  The Iron Man people know they did good last time out and like Tony Stark, it seems to have gone to their heads a bit too much. 

Justin Theroux, the writer of TROPIC THUNDER, is a new addition to the Iron Man team and, despite his clear ability to be laugh out loud funny, he takes Iron Man and Tony Stark to some pretty dark places.  There is nothing wrong with going to these places in a superhero movie but with Stark coming off more smug and callous from the beginning, there isn’t as much sympathy to go around when Theroux finally reveals why Stark is acting this way.  Downey Jr. still nails Stark but despite having some serious mortality issues to deal with this time, he never seems to get to the core of where Stark is coming from.  And, correct me if I’m wrong, but Iron Man is nothing without his core.  

Other newcomers to the Iron Man world include Mickey Rourke as a sinister Russian physicist bent on revenge, Sam Rockwell as a less successful version of Stark himself, Scarlett Johansson as a sultry new member of Stark’s team and Don Cheadle as a replacement for Terrence Howard in the Rhodey role, Stark’s best buddy.  Rourke is certainly scary but he seems to be trying too hard to redefine evil, much like Heath Ledger did as The Joker in THE DARK KNIGHT.  Rockwell is hilarious and stylin’ in the three-piece suits he wears to cover up his inferiority issues.  Meanwhile, Cheadle does nothing with the opportunity that fell in his lap and I would really like to see Johansson do something other than just look sultry for a change.

IRON MAN 2 does get better as it goes on.  I don’t want to make it sound like it’s a bad time.  It’s just easier to focus on what isn’t working when everything worked so well in the past.  Favreau does his best to keep things smooth and fresh; Downey Jr. delivers as expected but ultimately, IRON MAN 2 just isn’t as much fun as the first.  You might say it has an iron deficiency.  You might.
For Black Sheep's review of the original IRON MAN, just click the title.
For more Black Sheep Reviews, click this link.
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May 09, 2010
Nice review. Nice info on the screenwriter. I actually liked it a little more than you did. But I think you may go on a 10 scale while I only go on a 5. So I think our opirnion is very similar. The movie has gotten a lot of positives and one negative review in our movie community. Perhaps you'd like to join us? Your reviews would really fit in, and we do try to support one another.  I've been meaning to send you an invite before but I never got the chance. Thanks for the review!
May 10, 2010
Yeah .. I do look at the rating system here as if it were on 10 .. I find it confusing the way it is set up but on 10 is the best I got. I thought the movie was perfectly adequate, didn't turn me off the franchise but just didn't thrill me like last time. And I thought the Ivan quote was appropriate because I found Iron Man went from Godly to human with this second installment.
More Iron Man 2 reviews
review by . February 11, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     The sequel to Jon Favreau's near-perfect "Iron Man" turns out to be pretty darn good, mostly thanks to the directorial talents of Mr. Favreau himself. Since it's nigh impossible to make a sequel to "Iron Man" and make it nearly as impressive and refreshing as the original film, Favreau decides to use what he's got. And he presents "Iron Man 2", in all its star-studded, CGI-happy glory, in the most passionate way possible. If you've heard that "Iron Man 2" …
review by . May 02, 2011
The first Iron Man is and will always be the better film, but Iron Man 2 is still a superbly entertaining, albeit somewhat uneven film tailor-made for the summer audience. It features strong action scenes, decent storytelling and naturally, a powerhouse performance from Robert Downey Jr. Again, I was never really interested in Iron Man until word of the Avengers movie (which is elaborated on in this movie) and now I definitely recognize them as two of the greatest superhero movies of all time. …
review by . May 07, 2010
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3 ½ + Stars: Shellhead Gets a
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review by . May 09, 2010
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Superhero movies have a strange formula to them that, for the most part, has served it well for the past decade.  The first movie spends quite a bit of time on the origin of the hero and thus it's usually not quite as interesting as the first sequel.  Once we get to the first sequel we've passed the "how" someone became a hero and usually the "why," so the bigger focus is usually on a nemesis to the hero and perhaps digging a little deeper into the hero's own story, …
review by . May 07, 2010
Forgive the parlance, but I can't think of a better name for an irresponsible man who gets loaded, straps on a suit of destructive armor and starts using his laser beams to trick shoot fruit and vases in a crowded room full of people.  Tony may have seen the error of his ways in the first movie but with those troubles behind him theres plenty of room for his fast lifestyle and inner jerk to come out in this one.      Iron Man 2 is THE most anticipated Summer movie of …
review by . May 15, 2010
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Iron Man 2 takes off at a thounsand miles per hour and doesn't slow down.....
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review by . May 12, 2010
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Sequels have a tendency to be on the mixed reaction of results. In the case of Marvel films (Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic 4, Hulk), it's a hit or miss. Regardless, we still love those comic book heroes in their adaptations. As with all comic book adaptations, they all loosely follow the comics per panel.      Iron Man 2 continues the origin story of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) as he continues to rise and protect the world from evil in his armor powered suit. Now that he has …
review by . March 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The United States government is now demanding of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) that he hand over his advanced armor technology to the military. Stark publically refuses in a fashion that gets him a lot of negative attention. Though one day Stark is attacked by a man named Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) who has technology of his own that might be on its way to being able to defeat Stark. Vanko now possibly has the technology to make a suit even stronger, and more advanced than Stark's. Meanwhile, …
review by . August 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Plenty of action. Plenty of drama, partying, flirting. But it lacked the heart of the first film (pardon the pun) and felt more choppy and predictable. There was one very satisfying relational moment, but other than that, I felt pretty indifferent and glad I didn’t hand over the moulah to see it in the theater. I’d suggest trying before buying.     
review by . May 07, 2010
If the turnout tonight is any indication of how popular Iron Man is this movie is in no danger of flopping. Iron Man was a comic book I picked up to try to get into something long ago as a kid. I wasn't completely familiar with the whole story, but that's what these movies are really designed to do. Initiate the public into the fantastic and interesting worlds of the comic books.      Most everyone already knows what this movie will entail from the previews. Mickey Rourke? Check. …
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #24
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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About this movie


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