I’m in St. Paul, Minnesota this week and I decided to take a night off and veg in front of the silver screen. Iron Man 2 was my movie of choice, right after a hearty meal at Hometown Buffet. (they call them ‘Old Country Buffets’ here in the Midwest, but I wasn’t fooled… I know my buffets!)
So, the theatre was actually worse than Southington… it is a combination bus-stop / movie theatre (first time I’ve seen one of those), and it’s quite busy / dumpy! I had to dodge 2 buses to get into the box office where someone had posted a hand-written sign:
“Dragon not in 3d”
Yeah, like I’d mistake this cruddy theatre for someplace with technology from this millennium… tho, I guess, someone got angry!
Anyway, I guess I can talk about the movie itself, but there’s really no need. The chicks are hot, shit blows up and it’s a comic book story. What more do you need to know?
[mild spoilers below – read with caution]
Gary Shandling is a dick (padel!), and they changed Rhodey to Don Cheadle (who I always confuse with Tim Meadows)… Cheadle rocks, so the change isn’t for the worse.
The first Iron Man kicked ass. So, I was worried when I saw the trailers for this one (the whole part where Paltrow kisses the helmet from the trailer isn’t in the movie, btw). I think the action was actually a little better in Iron Man 2. Instead of fighting Al-Quieheda (or however you spell it), he’s fighting an army of Mecha in Iron Man 2… definitely a step in the right direction. However, the story was a little weaker, and it felt forced at points.
Of course, we don’t watch comic book movies for the story (usually). The effects were downright awesome – especially with the suit. The damage and wear/tear is all very visceral and real. I do love Iron Man as a comic book character because he’s not Superman. He (along with his suit) gets the crap kicked out of him and you feel a sense of danger – yup, he could get hurt here! All the damage he takes was well-portrayed in the CGI effects… well done.
Now, I do have a gripe with both Iron Man movies – the ‘boss fights’ in each of them has been… lacking. In the first one, I just didn’t buy the whole ‘best-friend turns against you’ bit… wasn’t done well, and the motivation was weak (money? I still don’t know…). In Iron Man 2, the boss fight is over so quickly – you feel used and cheap afterwards. (like after a date with me) Was that all?
Then there’s the whole Shield thing… just seemed like an afterthought and not very well put together. Coulda been better.
I do like the villains better in the sequel – Hammer made me chuckle a few times and Mickey Rourke… shudder… all I know is I’d never want to meet him in an alley. He is a downright scary individual. His character’s motivations (at least to start) were well-founded and believable.
Despite some of my negativity, Iron Man 2 drips with style and ‘coolness’. The production qualities are all very high and it is fun to watch. It’s no X-Men 2, but it’s worth watching for the action (which is still sparse, but I think that is a good thing) and for the great character Downey Jr. has built.
Now… let’s see if Metacritic agrees with me…
ugh – 57! Comic book movies rarely do well with the critics who’d rather watch two old people write in a notebook and then croak on each other. I agree with the Orlando Sentinel (75): “A movie franchise can only take us by surprise once, and by that measure, Iron Man 2 is a preordained letdown. But so much of what gave the first film its gas – is still here.”
Gosh, that’s an awful pair of sentences, but I agree with the gist.