the first Iron Man movie came out a couple of years ago, comic book
adaptations had pretty much forgotten how to have fun. Instead,
Hollywood seemed to think we wanted our superheroes dark and brooding like
Batman Returns or The Hulk or any of many others.
Iron Man is essentially a multi-billionaire playboy who vanquishes bad guys
in a heavy metal armor with a whole series of insanely cool weapons.
What's there to be depressed about? (Of course, that never stopped
Bruce Wayne from massive bouts of navel-gazing.)
smartest move that Iron Man director made was taking a chance on
Robert Downey, Jr. as his hero. (It's hard to remember now that this
series rocketed Downey's career to the stratosphere, but at the time the
first film was made Downey was still considered a serious a gamble even
though he had finally conquered his massive addictions.) Downey had
never helmed a big franchise like this - in fact at that point of his career
he was reduced to doing supporting roles in crap like the remake of The
was able to give the film a shot of adrenaline simply through pure
personality. He took what was obviously a kind of ridiculous story and
made us care about the man behind the armor. It was a good trick and
deservedly pushed Downey back to the A-list.
However, for as good as Downey was, the film itself was right on a par.
Finally a comic book film could be fun without being silly. Iron
Man connected on all cylinders.
Iron Man 2, the sleek and powerful engine is back and mostly intact, but
the contraption is starting to sputter a bit.
film starts off confidently where the original left off, looks like it is
making all the right moves, then suddenly bogs down in a horribly slow
Probably the biggest problem with Iron Man 2 is that they create a
terrific villain with Mickey Rourke's muscled and metal-teethed Ivan Vanko, introduce him in
spectacular fashion in a Monaco Grand Prix showdown with Iron Man, and then
pretty much shuffle him off to the sidelines until the climax. If you
hire Mickey Rourke to crazily emote and act the horribly eccentric yin to
Downey's yang, it seems like you should give him much more to do in the
flabby middle section of the film. We want to see these two premium
but occasionally overwrought actors just go at it - a no-holds-barred
knock-down-drag-out fight of overacting.
Instead, the film spends entirely too much time with Samuel L. Jackson and
Scarlett Johannson, apparently trying to set up an Avengers spin-off
series of films.
Iron Man 2 is something of a disappointment in comparison to its much
more confident predecessor, but it's still one of the better superhero films
to come down the pike in recent years.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2010 PopEntertainment.com.
All rights reserved. Posted: June 4, 2010.