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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have given Iron Man 2 the same 8 rating I gave the original. Mainly
because both are flawed films, but in the end, are rousing, fun summer
movies that do not cater to the lowest common mind level, yet don't
take themselves too seriously.
Iron Man 2 starts out, much like Spiderman 3, with Tony Stark seemingly basking in the glow of Iron Man's accomplishments (it is set 6 months after the first film). However we learn quickly that Tony is hiding a pain within; the reactor is slowly killing him. A long with that, we learn Tony and his father were not very close, more angst to throw into the pot. Thus we have Tony Stark slowly going out of control and his friends; Pepper, Happy and Rhodie must pull him in.
The first half comes off a bit uneven to me, not sure why, it just never seemed to find a steady groove. It is not the pace, as with the first, there is never any moments of watch checking, it just had an uneven flow of one scene to the next for me, like they were trying to find the groove but not quite getting it. It isn't until an hour into the film that it finally found a rhythm for me. Once it did find that rhythm it brought the film home, with an excellent 3rd act.
Performances across the board are excellent. I have to say I missed Howard as Rhodie. Cheadle is by no means a slouch actor, but he doesn't have the same presence in uniform that Howard had. Johanson brings everything you would expert to the siren role she is cast in. Definitely look forward to seeing more of her in further adventures. Rourke is his usual method self, totally absorbed in the role of Whiplash and eating up every scene he is in.
One of the things I enjoyed most about the film is the continual interweaving of the whole Marvel universe, especially the hints of other characters involved with the Avengers. We are actually introduced to the Avenger concept in the film, which, for the comic geeks out there, will be a glorious thing to witness. Another is the expanded role of Tony's father, which is done through old news and company reel, but helps to give us more of a full view of the Stark patriarch and more importantly, his feelings toward his song Tony, who has felt he never quite measured up to his father's expectations.
My two main complaints with the film are minor ones, but still kept it from being a 9. The first I have already mentioned, the first hour was herky jerky, never seeming to find a steady groove. This was resolved by the last hour and it gave us a much improved upon 3rd act, one of the flaws that the first film had in that the 3rd act was entertaining, but lacked a grand finale feel. My other complaint is the score. I absolutely loved the score for the first film. The mix of guitar and drum interwoven with string and horns made for a score that felt at home with a move titled Iron Man. This go around, no such guitar or drum woven score. The "theme" from the first film isn't even used again, a minor complaint, but one that took me out of the film a little as the first score really worked well and is sorely missed here. Composer Ryeland Allison and original music by Ramin Djawadi gave us an excellent score in the first. This go around they are replaced by John Debney who gives us a lackluster score.
Lastly on the music front, don't believe the hype about the Iron Man 2 soundtrack, which purports to be nothing but AC/DC. There are only 2 songs by AC/DC in the entire film. So not sure why the soundtrack CD, which has 15 songs by AC/DC, is being purported as being the soundtrack, which it is not. Again, a slight critique, but something fans should know going in.
My complaints are minimal, the film delivers on exactly what it should and it brings forth a start, of what looks to be a very fun and exciting summer full of theater entertainment. Oh yeah, one final thing, DO NOT GET UP AND LEAVE BEFORE THE END CREDITS. Wait them out, you will be pleasantly surprised, especially if you are a Marvel/Avengers fan.
The thing that is so hard to do in films is to make your content convincing. This is why so many other films fail. Favreau does not fail. I was worried going into Iron Man 2 that it wasn't going to live up to its hype and its prequel. But it did. The only criticism I have is that it is a bit slow for its type of movie. However, the content within the slower scenes is often filled with witty dialogue, low-key visual spectacles, and some confusing concepts. What I'm trying to get at is that Iron Man's audience is typically smaller children, and for them, I would say this movie is going to be a bit boring, for it lacks in the action department for the most part. But what may be its downfall box-office-wise is also its greatest accomplishment. Much like the Dark Knight, Iron Man 2 takes the superhero world and not-cheesily but convincingly conveys what it would be like in today's world. Not to mention we actually see Tony Stark go through a hero cycle in this one, without taking away his compulsive and loud personality. All in all, Iron MAn's long awaited release was worth it in my eyes. It was a perfect movie to kick off the Summer hype films and it makes me eager to watch what else Favreau has planned for the franchise.
It starts with a bang from the great moves by Robert Downey Jr. and the witty one liners. Followed by the crazy iron man tricks. Slightly better than the first movie in terms of action. What it really lacks is a true storyline. While some may say it definitely is better than the first I beg to differ. Robert Downey Jr. simply manages to play a drunk crazy old rich fool who thinks he knows it all. The villain is smart and sometimes more appealing that Mr. Stark. Scarlett Johansson is as gorgeous as ever. She didn't look this good even in Lost in Translation. The action is great, the story decent the movie above average. If you love comics you'll love this one. It got me back to reading comic books and I hope it has the same domino effect on you as well...
I caught this movie with friends and in doing so became probably one of
only a very few people to see it without having watched the first "Iron
Man" movie. Knowing the basic premise behind the original comic book,
though, I found that "Iron Man 2" holds up very well entirely on its
own, and as a piece of entertainment is a thorough success with nary a
Like any good action movie, I think, "Iron Man 2" realizes it can't consist entirely of action, and this one at times feels just as much like a comedy or political thriller as it does a superhero-based special effects spectacular. That comedy is rooted in and succeeds because of really good character work, particularly with the lead Tony Stark. The script by Justin Theroux (who is, I found to my pleasure, related to the other writers Paul, Louis, Marcel, and Alexander Theroux) shows a facility with pointed, revealing dialogue and a whole lot of wit. This script also seems preoccupied with getting characters to declare -- if not in so many words "Oh, yeah? Well just try and make me!" which is deeply satisfying to empathize with even if it does eventually become a little repetitive as a theme.
Robert Downey Jr gives another simply brilliant performance, and his character seems fully alive as a self-absorbed, witty, arrogant, and super-intelligent jerk of a superhero who knows his own life is about to end. This character is as much of a reason to watch the movie as anything.
There is no attempt to hide the fact that much of the plot and its developments are based on pure technobabble -- a new element is discovered with suspicious ease, computer systems can be commandeered with only a few taps, &c. -- but these are not terribly insulting when left out in the open, and they do not interfere with the political caste that keeps the action story moving. Towards the end things become a little less thoughtful and it becomes harder to invest without a grounding in how the rules work for the new technologies that have been introduced, but it never descends to dullness.
Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson do well in their roles but those roles, while significant, are never explained or fleshed out much, and they sometimes seem to be there largely to look impressive each in their own way. Gwyneth Paltrow extends the cast of all-stars with a good performance as Pepper Pots, though she seems a little stuck on the note of "beleaguered." It's a nice surprise to see Garry Shandling show up as a fun comic-relief senator.
This was great entertainment and well ahead of a standard issue genre action or superhero adaptation picture, served effective and real wit, good dramatic sub-plotting, and an extremely memorable lead performance from Downey that does a huge amount to make some scenes that would otherwise be laughably absurd very believable.
Robert Downey Jr. coaxed you into the movie theater to see something
you'd never usually see- a sci-fi comic book hero movie. Now you're
back like a hungry kitten looking for more. And Rob Downey's
metaphorically waiting at his doorstep for you to come back so he can
give you some more (movies, I mean). Maybe I should stop with the
metaphors. All I'm trying to get at is this movie totally dominates
over the first one.
Having one villain was cool. But how about fighting a whole army of robots programmed to kill you? WIth Tony Stark, saddle up. This is gonna be a crazy ride.
My legs hurt by the end because I had been leaning on my seat the entire time! The action is more intense, the comedy really sticks out and everything really seems to bunker down and get into serious comic book entertainment mode. And the looming question of will Pepper and Tony kiss or not still bites at you. Are they going to make us wait until 2013 to see them kiss? Hmm.
DEFINITELY if you saw the first one YOU MUST SEE THIS! And after speaking to some people, even if you haven't seen the first one you still catch on. You won't be sitting there going "Huh?" for 2 hours.
There's more of everything from the first movie (in a good way) in this, and yes, Robert Downey Jr. is unquestionably HOT in this! ^.^
A couple of things we knew we were going to see - hinted at in the 1st
Film - Rhodey as War Machine, the Suitcase-Suit, the dying Stark who
has to drink 80 glasses of Green Machine a day, Pepper Potts as the
head of Stark Industries - S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury and The Avengers -
Black Widow! We get to see all of it in some form or other in this
excellent Sequel. Adding to my belief that Robert Downey Jr was
practically born to play Tony Stark, he builds on the first performance
and reveals even more about who Iron Man is.
Nothing really can be said about this that otherwise cannot be seen by simply watching the film. In Blu-Ray if Possible, on DVD if not... Looks good both ways.
My only beef is that Terence Howard did not reprise the role of Rhodey/War Machine - But the addition of Scarlett Johanssen as Black Widow, Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer, Mickey Rourke as Vanko, and Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury - Ease my initial disappointment at seeing Don Cheadle take up the mantle of War Machine - But the fact that Cheadle plays it JUST like Howard did - Even the Mannerisms, so it really IS the same Character, Cheadle does the best he can, not being Physically matched to Howard but personality-wise captured it. Also, the repeat performance of Leslie Bibb as the Vanity Fair Reporter Christine Everhart was well used- Even hinting that she was a fair Reporter, so maybe if there are any more of these, we'll get to see her come back, probably one of my favourite characters from this franchise. Finally, director Jon Favreau gets to be Happy Hogan a Lot MORE in this film much to my relief (Why recreate a great Iron Man character and only show them twice? Much better to have them in the film as much as the story can benefit by it?) The choice of Justin Theroux/Screenwriter made this a much darker story than the initial Iron Man story - As Tony builds Iron Man in the first film, this film mirrors that by having Vanko building his Arc-Reactor weApon. I thought they were bringing In Omega Red (X-Men Villain) into the story with the addition of Vanko, but apparently this is a combination of a couple of Iron Man Villains.
This film is just another link in the upcoming promise of an Avengers film, and Marvel is gathering all of its forces for this effort. One thing we do know is that Iron Man WILL be a major part of The Avengers - And I ain't talking about Emma Peel!
Iron Man 2 left me a very pleasant taste. Maybe it doesn't have the same amount of action than the first one but it is compensated with better CGI, a better developed plot and a more interesting story. 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. As I say before, this sequel isn't full of action like the first one but in my opinion it has enough to leave you satisfied and entertained. It also has good moments of humor specially from Robert Downey Jr. The cast is excellent, and practically the same of the first one with the addition of Scarlett Johansson as Natalie Rushman/Black Widow and Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vankov/Whiplash and the substitution of Terence Howard with Don Cheadle as Rhodey, in fact I think that with Cheadle the movie gains in acting . Downey is again perfect as Tony Stark/Iron Man, it is a role made for him. Gwyneth Paltrow is good enough as Pepper Potts and Samuel L. Jackson is excellent as Nick Fury. In conclusion, Iron Man isn't as exciting as the first one but it has everything to be a total summer blockbuster and pleased the viewer. Oh and one more thing be sure to stay at the end of the final credits to watch a very good surprise.
Combine lighthearted humor and wit against a somewhat darker backdrop,
add in great visual effects and actions scenes, the end result is a big
summer film in Iron Man 2.
The dialogue and the way the whole cast interacted throughout was superb, beginning with the ever charismatic Robert Downey Jr who played the flawed but capable superhero in the lead role. A super villain is very important in these types of films, this was obviously not lost as evident and cleverly done by the exceptional Mickey Rourke. The always wonderful Gwyneth Paltrow, the amazing Scarlett Johansson, and the talented Don Cheadle round out the fine supporting cast.
One outstanding feature of Iron Man 2 was the awesome action sequences, I found the Monaco car race scene to be quite impressive. On another note, there was some subtexting going on at certain moments with this film, which will explain some minor roles, particularly that of Samuel L. Jackson. I understand there are supposedly tie-ins to the upcoming Avengers movie, it should be quite interesting to see how that pans out.
In any case, it was hard not to be blown away by this blockbuster. Directing a huge summer action movie of this caliber is no small feat, but it manages to get done with aplomb, kudos to Jon Favreau and team on this awesome film, sequel or not.
The old saying goes that when people retire, they don't come back head strong. I disapprove very strongly whoever said that. When Iron Man come on the scene in 2008 as a remake of the original comic book, I said it wouldn't last. I was completely, out-of-my-freaking-mind, THIS MOVIE ROCKED!!!!! I'm talking about Robert Downey, Jr. He may have had a rough beginning, but he has shown his true colors, especially the gold and the red colors. Now that they have added a third to make it a trilogy, I can't wait to see that one. I didn't think I would like Iron Man, but I do here's what I think and believe about this, I think we are going to see Downey, Jr. more and more and more. Great acting, wonderful cast (Downey, Jr., Paltrow, Rourke, Cheadle, Rockwell, Johansson, Jackson) and a wonderful director who by the way made a cameo in the second. Let's give our props to Jon Faverau. Great movie, Great Job!
The first Iron Man film seemed more like an action film with a guy in an Iron Man suit than anything else. This film actually felt more like an Iron Man movie and it was a more enjoyable experience. All the usual, excellent cast members, made their appearances. Robert Downey JR. and Gwyneth Paltrow are the returning champs while Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke and Garry Shandling come along for this one. Finally, Scarlett Johansson finds an action role fit for her and it should carry her into Marvel History as the Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff in future film endeavors I hope. After seeing her in "The Spirit" (2008), I was a little worried. Samuel L. Jackson continues his outstanding portrayal of Nick Fury. However, there is a casualty. They still haven't found the right guy for Lt. Col. James 'Rhodey' Rhodes. In the last film it was Terrence Howard, who looked the part, but I thought wasn't able to sell it well enough. In fact I laughed at him way too much. This time it hurts, because I like Don Cheadle, but not here. The search continues. The SPFX totally do the job right. There is an excellent introduction in the beginning of the film of our hero to the blaring tunes of AC/DC, that is totally believable and quite exciting. Many of the fight scenes truly give us the feeling that we are seeing a comic-book come to life. What is good about this film is, if you do not know much about Iron Man that does not matter. Anybody will enjoy this one and can follow along with the story. Mickey Rourke adds a nicely acted dimension as the bad guy that Tony Stark's Iron Man has to face. I rather enjoyed this film after having a bad taste in my mouth after watching the first one.
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