May 4, 2010

Review: Iron Man 2

Directed by: Jon Faverau
Starring: Robert Downy Jr. Don Cheadle, Gweneth Paltrow, Micky Rourke

It’s been six months (well about 2 years, our time) since Tony Stark threw down his cue cards and announced to the world that he was Iron Man. The world is a different place, it is at peace and the worlds first walking nuclear deterrent doesn’t only have to worry about enemies on the battlefield. The government wants his suit, his company is on the verge of ruin and the arc reactor chest piece that saved his life is now beginning to kill him. When things couldn’t get more challenging, enter Ivan Vanko, son of Howard Stark’s disgraced Russian employee, intent on destroying Tony; not just the man, but the symbol he has become.

I’ve been waiting for this since the credits rolled on the first movie back in 2008. Since then I’ve been drip fed nuggets of info that have just made me want to see it even more. War Machine, a new Iron Man suit Black Widow and more cool tech than you can shake a repulsor at. Couple that with rumors that the movie would see an even stronger resemblance to the source material (the comics) and you’ve got the makings of one exciting movie.

As has become the standard with Marvel comics adaptations since Marvel studios took full control of the productions; I was not disappointed. It seems the team at Marvel studios aren’t stupid, well they have been giving geeks what they want for over 60 years. They kept all the things that made the first movie so great and then added more!

The movie is certainly intense; especially the Monaco grand prix scene which, thankfully, the trailers didn’t ruin at all. War machine and The Black Widow are introduced in an unfamiliar but graceful way. Even the one character I had my reservations over, Micky Rourke’s Ivan Vanko, was skillfully and effectively portrayed and despite him not getting that much screen time still painted an appropriate amount of threat through the story.

One thing is clear in Iron Man 2; Marvel love tie-ins. Any fan of their comics has seen how good they are at crossover storylines with Civil War, Secret Invasion, Dark Reign and most recently Siege being very well received. No surprise then that in Iron Man 2 we see a shit load of subtle (and not so subtle) references to upcoming titles The Avengers, Captain America and (if you stay past the credits) Thor. These references work in varying degrees but even at their worst, see Cap’s shield, don’t do much to tarnish the movie.

So the performances were all good, the action and geek-o-meter all satisfied and it was as consistent, with regards to the first movie, as it could ever hoped to have been. However it wasn’t without its problems. As with the first movie, Iron Man 2 suffers a kind of cinematic premature ejaculation. It peaks early and once this happens the plot seems to wander a long while before returning for its second wind which isn’t as good as its previous, premature climax. For me the grand prix fight between Iron Man and Vanko is infinately more exciting than their final confrontation, albeit not as grand.

The movie also kind of teeters on the edge of a common comic book movie killer; character soup, y’know, that thing Spider-man 3 had. Though oddly I kind of wish some characters who didn’t appear did have little roles. For example I was well psyched for seeing Iron Man throw down with the Hulk, something that was rumored for some time during the movie’s production. But hey ho.

All in all this was a really entertaining movie and a more than competent sequel. Let’s hope that they hold it together for the next installment and, of course The Avengers.

Verdict: starstarstarstar

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Rick Nunn
May 5, 2010 - 8:05 pm


I really enjoyed this one, and it’s did some very subtle* pokes and calls to other marvel characters I am sure we will be seeing on the big screen soon!

*some of them really really were not subtle!

Ste
May 5, 2010 - 9:14 pm


You didn’t thnk the final fight scene with vanko’s son ended a bit lamely with the two suits firing the repulsors at each other = game over for vanko? I wanted some epic end of level boss fight scene on the scale of devil may cry etc.

Adam
May 5, 2010 - 11:40 pm


This film was awesome – I really really enjoyed it. And as you said, it really did satisfy the geek-o-meter; almost to its full extent!

You say about Iron Man throwing down The Hulk and the like, but I really want Iron Man to say as close to reality as possible. I am not a fan of super heroes in the sense of Super Human Powers. I like Iron Man & Bat Man because everything they do doesn’t rely on said ‘Super Human Powers’. Hancock, for example, a good film to watch, but I wasn’t a fan of the plot much – I guy and gal who can just fly, common its just not going to happen in ‘the real world’. With Iron Man however, the tech in the suit makes enables him to fly, just the same as I can fly when I board an Aeroplane (not quite the exact same thing, but its the same principle). An Iron Man principle is real, a huge green man called the Hulk or a ‘guy and gal’ who can fly, are not. I really do hope they keep Iron Man story’s the right side of the super hero line and not the wrong side, else I will loose interest and that’s something I do not want to do.

I hope that all made sense and I don’t sounds like a boring old fuck?!

All in all, nice review and as I said, great film which I really really enjoyed, can’t wait for the 3rd instalment. I do wish I had stayed till the end of the credits though – lets hope YouTube will enlighten me! P.S. I have got to get a basement like Tony Stark’s, too cool!

kym
May 6, 2010 - 9:05 am


I’m not a comic book geek at all. I don’t even know who Thor is so staying past the credits was lost on me.

But maybe this is why I thought this movie was awesome, start to finish, without any complaintsā€¦
and that has nothing to do with my crush on Robert Downy Jr, I swear.

I quite liked the final battle with Rourke/Vanko too, it wasn’t drawn out, I could actually make out what happened, and the fucker got pwned. Kym happy.

And Robert Downy Jr is hot.
And his suit is hot.

SUITCASE SUIT? c’mon, I want one.

Luke Jones
May 6, 2010 - 9:06 am


I went to see this film last night and it was INCREDIBLE! I’m really annoyed about the credit sequence though, I waited through most of the credits because the lights were dimmed, but they lit up so I assumed that there wasn’t going to be any sort of clips after the film. :-( .

Robert Downey Jr is absolutely incredible. I would let that many touch me anywhere.

Dan Schonhaar
May 6, 2010 - 10:30 am


@Ste – Cheers for the spoilers. ;) I disagree that it was a bad way for them to kill Vanko but I do think that they could have had a bit more of a fight first.

@Adam – I see what you mean but one of the things I love about the Marvel universe is just how massively OTT they make powers and events. Things like The Hulk supporting the wieght of an entire mountain range and Iceman from the X-Men having the potential to freeze the entire solar system. I love that shit. So considering the fact you’re not a fan of super-powers… you’d do well to avoid Thor. That shit will be spectacular!

@Kym – You know some reviews I read said that a lot of stuff would fly over the heads of non-comic geeks but to be honest it was all stuff you could be ignorant to and still enjoy the movie (Stuff like S.H.I.E.L.D and Nick Fury). BTW, Thor is one of the original Avengers, along side Iron Man and Captain America. All these movies are basically prologue for the forthcoming Avengers film which will be Marvel Studios’ money shot.

kym
May 7, 2010 - 10:54 am


For sure, I loved the first Iron Man too and I didn’t know anything about Iron Man AT ALL before I watched that.

I mean if people like yourself and Rick are more than happy with the films as a whole then they must be doing justice to the comics and even as a non-comic geek, I am glad that they do.

I will say this, the one thing that I *did* pick up on, was when Vanko was controlling the drones and Rhodes’ stolen suit, and yet he didn’t think to disable the radio between Rhodes and Starkā€¦ but you know, as you do with entertainment movies, you let it fly :P

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