Iron Man 2 (Devil’s Advocate Review)

To say expectations are high for Iron Man 2, two years after the original was a smash hit, would be an understatement.  On most levels it delivers, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t flaws here as Robert Downey Jr. returns as the man in the iron suit.  The common mistake that one makes when making sequels is simply trying too hard to top the predecessor.  Examples can be found in many of movie franchises whether it’s from the 80’s, 90’s, and down to current films being released.  Iron Man 2….no exception.

Jon Favreau directs this picture,as he did the first, and even returns as Mr. Stark’s driver Happy.  With the screenplay written by Justin Theroux (who also wrote Tropic Thunder) there seems to have a lot going on in this fast paced sequel.  Sub-plots are a norm but too many can be tiring and redundant.  In the first movie, Favreau had a less complex plot to work with and didn’t have to throw sub-plots into the picture just to set up future features.  In fact, he actually waited to do that till after the ending credits.  <Side note: There is another scene after the credits here as well to help further along the feature film arc Marvel Comics is creating for the silver screen>  A side effect to more sub-plots sometimes is the pacing of the movie.  The reason I say that it affects it is because of the amount of story that can fit into a movie time frame.  Watching this particular film, the pace seems just a little bit too fast.  Jumping back and forth from one sub-plot to another was a little too much.  I feel the film would have flowed better and still make perfect sense if one or more was omitted.

Now that I talked about the making of and behind the scenes stuff, lets talk about the film itself.  In part two, we start where the first one finishes.  Actually it coincides with the end of it.  As Tony Stark finishes his speech announcing that he is Iron Man, we see Anton Vanko and his son Ivan, Mickey Rourke, watching the news conference on tv.  From that scene we learn the connection of the Vanko’s with the Stark’s that set conflict between Iron Man and Whiplash (Ivan) into motion.  That is the main story here while there are many sub-plots involving Justin Hammer, Sam Rockwell as a sniveling weapons competitor of Stark as well as more of Nick Fury and the introduction of Natasha Romanoff (who as comic book fans know is the Black Widow).

War Machine...he's just Iron Man with a military trained tailor.

As far as acting here, Downey Jr. doesn’t dissappoint as he handles this role with ease as he did in the first one.  Rourke does excellent as the villian counterpart.  The scene between the two in a jail cell was very powerful.  On the other flip of the acting coin, I felt Samuel L. Jackson was not empowering as Fury.  His scenes felt like he was trying too hard to be Jules Winnfield from Pulp Fiction.  While Scarlett Johansson provided eye candy, with some nice athleticism, Rockwell was the better of the two as far as newcomers to the franchise.  Don Cheadle steps into the role of Lt. Col. James Rhodes that was previously played by Terrance Howard.  Overall I wasn’t wowed by his performance but yet wasn’t dissappointed either.

I was lucky enough to be able to view this flick at a midnight showing with 3 other reviewers from the forum here.  While the consensus was overall positive, I felt compelled to bring out the negative to them as I’m doing here.  I have to say after doing reviews for this website, I am becoming more observant to both spectrums of positive and negative of the films I watch.  I like everyone else will make bad judgements but that’s life.

As the Devil’s Advocate, I rate Iron Man 2 3 out of 5 pitchforks.  Even with the negative things I have mentioned, it was still entertaining to watch.

In reality, I actually give this film 4 pitchforks.  Like I said, after doing these reviews this past year, I always will look at the negative but I still get chills from the positive and Iron Man 2 delivers a lot of positive here.  Sam Rockwell was excellent as always and I look forward to more Justin Hammer in the future.  I can’t wait for the next chapter in Marvel Films.


Posted on May 11, 2010, in Comic Book Films, DA Film Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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