First of all, I shall just state my opinion: Iron Man 1 was better. The special effects and digital magic may have been more spectacular in the sequel but it was also kind of a dud in other areas.
Things that I liked: Any scene that had interaction between Tony and Pepper – the writer(s) handle them so well. Their exchanges are quick, witty, and full of flavor. They’re entertaining. In fact, the same can probably said of the exchanges between Tony and his best friend, Chead–wait! Omg!
Yeah. I thought I’d do a list of things I liked first – but look where I found myself. See that side by side there? Notice anything fishy? Like…oh, I don’t know, the fact that these are two very different men? (Who coincidentally stared together in Crash, *wink* just a little FYI on the side there!)
This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I hate it when they change actors and expect you to ignore the fact that the person is someone totally new all of the sudden. Do not try to play off Don Cheadle as Terrence Howard. They don’t even look similar.
Here’s the thing… if the actor refuses to come back or there are scheduling conflicts, whatever, I think the character should just be written out. Or better yet, change the character’s name. That could’ve worked here. Tony only has one friend?
Sure, I bet the script was already written, the story was already done, etc. So yes, this would be a terrible problem. No one wants to try rewriting that much but if you know you’re going to do a 2 or 3 movie package – why don’t you contract your actors ahead of time? BOOK their time. RESERVE the actor.
I hate it when the characters magically transform into new people.
So, let’s just get into the things I thought were weak with this movie. Let’s start with Mr. Hammertime. The character of Justin Hammer – I imagine you’re supposed to despise him because of the choices he makes in the film. He’s not a good fella. But you know…he was more like a spoiled brat. He reminded me of those nerdy little rich boys who throw hissy fits if they don’t get things their way.
But that wasn’t what really bugged me about him.
Anytime Hammer was on the screen…I was just bored. I don’t know if it’s because the actor has no charisma or if it’s because his placement in the storyline was overdone. He seemed to get in the way and pull the pacing down until it was dragging along. In short, I couldn’t stand him.
I also felt like this film was just one big opportunity for the filmmaker/cinematographer/special effects guy/whoever to get to showboat it up. They spent entirely too much time showing how glamorous and awesome Tony’s life was. Yes, he’s insanely rich and the people love him – we get it. Now let me have the story.
I got sick of aerial shots of the city, of the racetrack, of his house, of whatever…They pan across these things slower than the scene when Forest Gump’s leg braces bust off in slow-motion.
Now if we consider the rest of the movie, without Hammer and without all the spectacle in a “The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous: Tony Stark Edition,” kind of way, we might be able to say it was a good movie. I think these things are what killed the pacing for me.
I loved Gwyneth Paltrow, and I typically can’t stand Scarlett Johansson. However, in this film – there was too little Gwyneth and Scarlett didn’t bother me as much as I expected to be bothered. She pulled the part off remarkably well compared to what I’ve seen of her prior. But again, that’s my opinion.
Samuel L. Jackson. What did I think of our friend Nick Fury? Well, who gives a rat’s ass? He was in the movie for 5 minutes. However, this is one of the only characters that actually serves to help move the story forward. Without him, we’d just have Hammertime running around building little lego-men and erector sets and getting mad when his prison playmate pulls their heads off.
As my brother pointed out: Iron Man 1 consisted of Tony getting new suits and then fighting a guy dressed up in a rip-off suit, and Iron Man 2 consisted of…that’s right, Tony getting new suits and then fighting a guy dressed up in a rip-off suit. Whats the third going to be about? Anyone think it might be about Tony getting new suits and then fighting a guy dressed up in a rip-off suit?
The possibilities are endless.
So, here’s the bottom line: Robert Downey Jr. was good. Gwyneth Paltrow was good. Scarlett Johansson was okay. Samuel L. Jackson was necessary. Cheadle was good – but wrong. Hammertime – whoever the hell he really is….Sam Rockwell? Please leave him out of all movies pertaining to action/superheroes/comic books/video games/etc. He is an office man character – or the guy that gets beat up on the greyhound bus as he sobs his way back to mama’s house because his business failed him. I don’t know.
And finally, our little Russian friend? Mickey Rourke playing Ivan – I couldn’t understand a damn word out of this man’s mouth. No idea what he was saying most of the time. I seriously… it was like watching his scenes while constantly searching for subtitles that I just knew had to be there somewhere.
Biggest Disappointment? They ended the first movie and you were left thinking there was going to be a relationship between Pepper and Tony – but there’s pretty much nothing like that in the sequel. He’s too busy with other issues. So even though they spent most of the first movie building up to it, they kind of put it aside for this film – mostly. There should have been more Pepper. I laughed the hardest when Pepper and Tony were interacting.
The biggest plus for this movie? Dialogue. The writer(s) have a knack for great dialogue. That’s the only thing that’s fast-paced and sharp in this movie.
Now before I totally end this… I should clarify: I didn’t HATE this movie. It’s actually decent. In my opinion, it’s not as good as the first one. It dropped the ball just enough. BUT it’s still worth seeing if you’re an Iron Man fan for the simple fact that the action scenes were really well done.
The fight scenes between Tony and the other suits were really cool to watch. They typically made up for the boring scenes that came just before. Because of the action scenes, I feel like it was more of an up-down-up-down kind of roller coaster ride. Great – boring – Great – boring…
On that note, you should realize this movie will not be as awesome as the first one, but you shouldn’t totally blow it off. Now, would I pay 10-14 bucks to go see it at the movies? Knowing what I know now, probably not. I’d probably wait to watch it at home. Or maybe at the dollar movie. I’d save my 10 bucks for Robin Hood – which was twice as good.
But if you’re a big Iron Man fan…I think it’s probably worth your 10 bucks. You’ll probably love it. If you’ve read the comic books and Hammertime was in them, then you may be expecting him to be a big ass douche and it may not faze you in the least.
So, without further adieu – I give Iron Man 2 something like 3 stars out of 5.