Iron Man 2

2010-04-30 15:04
 
 

What it's about:

Picking up where the first film left off, Iron Man 2 deals with the fallout of Tony Stark's very public "I am Iron Man" reveal. Caught between an adoring public, military pressures, government spies and a company spiralling out of his control, Tony is also faced with the double threat of a villain with old ties to Stark Industries and being poisoned to death by the very energy core that is keeping him alive. 

What we thought:


Despite some stiff competition from that year's other superhero offerings, The Dark Knight and Hellboy II, the first Iron Man stood tall as one of the best comic-based superhero films to date. Not only was it expertly performed, written and directed, it was that most rare of animals: a superhero film where the hero's civilian identity was far more interesting than his more colourfully armoured alter ego. In fact, if there was one failing in that film it was precisely that the more character-driven sections dealing with Tony Stark completely over-shadowed the relatively lacklustre Iron Man action.

The good news then is that Iron Man 2 restores the balance somewhat by exponentially increasing the thrilling excitement of the action scenes while never losing focus of the real drive of the film: Robert Downey Jr.'s spectacular performance as Tony Stark. Not since Christopher Reeve's unforgettable take on Superman has a classic, four-coloured superhero been brought to vivid, cinematic life by an actor. Iron Man 2 is packed to the brim with such A-grade heavyweights as Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sam Rockwell – but this is Downey Jr.'s film all the way.

He somehow manages to cram all the roguish charm and flat-out hilarity of Tony Stark's public persona with all the underlying arrogance, narcissism and insecurity that makes the character so interesting. From the lively opening section where we find him enjoying the attention that is being bestowed on him from all directions, to his hilariously willful disregard for authority, to his self-destructive ways of dealing with failure, Iron Man 2 devotes plenty of time to exploring the many conflicting sides of Tony Stark.   

Unlike the first film though, there is a lot more in the way of terrifically fun set pieces, climaxing in a final act featuring a leather-clad, jaw-droppingly sexy Scarlett Johansson (as Agent Romanoff) beating the holy stuffing out of a building full of baddies, a frantic chase scene through the night skies of Manhattan and a final showdown between Iron Man and his amped up comrade in arms, War Machine (Don Cheadle) with the film's primary villain, a gleefully menacing, Russian-accented Mickey Rourke. Add to all this some nicely imaginative science fiction trappings, romantic tension, smarmy businessmen and politicians as well as further developments on Nick Fury's (Samuel L Jackson) Avengers project (Joss Whedon's still-in-negotiations Avengers movie is due 2012), and you have a pretty packed superhero film. Better yet, you have a packed superhero film that never gets away from itself in a way that Spider-Man and the X-Men's third film outings did.  

Unfortunately, for all of this, the film is not without some nagging flaws. I found the actual plot to be somewhat underwhelming and while Rourke did a bang up job, the main villain still felt rather under-developed. Also, there is only so much men in robot suits beating on each other that I can take before it starts feeling uncomfortably similar to Robocop 2 or, worse still, Transformers 2. Most problematic however, was that I thought the film was a bit inconsistent in terms of its pacing. It may have managed to hold my attention throughout but the transition between comedy, drama and action wasn't as smooth as I might have hoped, making it something of a bumpy emotional roller-coaster.

Still, even if it isn't without its disappointments and failings, Iron Man 2 is still a funny, massively enjoyable summer (or winter, for some of us) blockbuster that will thrill just about every film fan – most especially to the comic fans who should enjoy all the small,  non-obtrusive hints towards Marvel Comics' rich history.         


Sexy, funny and packed to the gills with thrilling action - the Marvel movie machine is onto something great here.

Ordinaty SA person 2010/05/02 1:19 PM
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This movie really did not do it for me. I guess after watching Avatar in 3D any other film will be a disappointment. But I really expected more story and honestly a better review. The comments in the last paragraph multiply by 10 and you might get the picture. I'm not a bit Shuster fan, but that preview even did more for me that Iron Man 2. Sorry all, but hope this comment save someone else R76.00
Almo 2010/05/02 2:51 PM
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For those who love Marvel films and science fiction, this movie is still worth it, especially on IMAX, and don't forget to wait till after the credits (all the credits) to see a sneak glimpse of the next Iron Man movie.
@Ordinaty SA person 2010/05/02 7:13 PM
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Maybe you should stick to watching movies reviewed by Barry Ronge, he seems to like movies where there is zero action and too many soppy moments. Avatar was great but don't compare the 2. It's like comparing Star Wars with Star Trek, both good in their own right but completely different styles of telling the story.
Prime Evil 2010/05/03 6:14 AM
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@ Ordanaty SA Person(WTH?): If your spelling is anything to go by then you are a moron! Iron Man 2 was an EPIC MOVIE! where as you(Ordanaty Sa person) are and EPIC FAIL!
LM 2010/05/03 6:58 AM
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Sadly disapointing. Metacritic score of 52% echoes this. Too many plots & characters, confusion, multiple villains, multiple heroes (Two Iron Men??) and misguided story lines. The whole plot is based on a disgruntled employee's son's revenge? And what is at stake here? And when it cannot get any worse, enter Samuel L. Jackson as The Shaft, sorry, I meant Nick Fury.
Preshen govender 2010/05/03 8:01 AM
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Ordinaty SA person SHOULD stick to brokeback mountain
Beauty 2010/05/03 8:13 AM
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I waited in anticpation, skipped class and stood in a long que for this movie. Beggining i was excited and as it went on my energy levels drained. I felt that the action was too little and there was more drama.Most film makers are unable to pull of a sequence and for me Iron man did not make it. Though i must give them credit for trying.
Hullabaloo 2010/05/03 8:31 AM
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Iron Man 2 was okay at best. Why do all comic book movie sequels have to involve the main character de-evolving and being hated by the general public (Spiderman2, Batman Dark Knight etc)? The movie had way to little action. My two biggest pet peeves: What kind of insane Grand Prix racers continue driving around a track where a madman is blowing up cars? Do their managers not tell to get off the track? Clearly the race is over when the car infront of you in cut in half. My second peeve is the Hammer industry douce gives an insane genius free reign of his weapons factory and didn't see the eventual betrayal coming. "Sir, erm, maybe we shouldn't give give access to everything, maybe put up a password or something. Or at least have somebody other than the crazy guy building all of our giant killer robots"
Jakkals 2010/05/03 8:42 AM
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*sigh* good, but not as good as I hoped. Rather wait for the DVD (if you haven't watched it on big screen already), because the action scenes are few. I didn't read the comic book, was that the reason why I didn't get half of the new characters?
JK 2010/05/03 9:07 AM
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Loved it!!! RDJ owned every scene. As Prime Evil says, it was EPIC! As a fan of the comics, I was very impressed. IM2 better than stupid Avatar
oh go away! 2010/05/03 10:13 AM
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Oh Preshen, go back to the sex-sites! And learn how to spell.
Martha Focker 2010/05/03 1:50 PM
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Preshen should watch Harry Potter then he will learn how to spell
THE BOSS 2010/05/04 12:03 PM
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I AGREE WITH YOU PRESHEN. THIS WAS A RUBBISH MOVIE. BORRRRRRRING!!!.DONT WASTE YOUR TIME. RATHER WATCH BROKEBAK MOUNTAIN!!!!!
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