By Devin T. Quin
In Iron Man 2 Robert Downey Jr. plays a booze swilling, millionaire at the forefront of civil defense who battles foreigners in order to secure his father’s legacy. It’s like the George W. Bush story, only Tony Stark fights his own battles! ZING!
In case you missed the first movie, Tony has an artificial heart he uses to run a powerful battle suit called the Iron Man Armor. As we join him in his sophomore film endeavor he has successfully privatized world peace, making a bundle as a scoundrel war profiteer, although his mechanical heart has burned out and is slowly killing him…So it’s more like the Dick Cheney story only Tony Stark actually SHOWS UP at Senate Committee hearings into his possible criminal malfeasance! WHOOOooHOOO! I’m on a roll!
At his side is his best friend, the decorated military hero James Rhodes a.k.a. War Machine played by Don Cheedle and love interests Pepper Potts and Scarlet Johansen. He is menaced by Micky Rourke who’s character name, I believe, was Ivan. The toys on sale for the movie name him as Whiplash, though he’s never called that in the film, which proves that toys are filthy G.D. LIARS!
Most of Tony’s troubles stem from his inability to stop being a totally awesome party machine with a machine gun loaded with one-liners for a mouth, though some of his problems are caused by Sam Rockwell. Sam plays a struggling and insignificant second banana so desperate for the wealth, power and fame awarded to people with actual intellectual acumen that he’ll say anything, do anything and betray any trust he can in order to advance himself. Think of him as Sarah Palin, only without the horrible affected accent! BOO-YEAH BABY! Take that, politicians-I-disagree-with-who-will-never-ever-read-this-article, EVER!!
Robert Downey Jr. is an amazingly suave and entertaining fellow to be sure. Scarlett Johansen is an extremely attractive woman. Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell show off in front of millions as the two greatest supporting actors in Hollywood. All that said, was the film any good? Let’s do the math.
Awesome performances4 + nifty visuals – a solid story / too many characters – clear motivations + car chase + cockatoo = A big fun, brainless time out at the cinema.
So, “Yes,” Iron Man 2 was technically a good Movie. I’d go so far as to say that “Iron Man 2 was a rocket powered Mr. Goodbar of fun, replete with action, humor and peanuts.” See it on the big screen while you still can, as the small screen transfer will probably lose much in the transition.
Comic book movies cannot be quantified with the same measuring stick you might use on actual films. No film about tights and capes is going to resemble anything other than a toy commercial next to ACTUAL films like Gone with the Wind or Howling 3. Comic book movies are best digested in the context of other comic book movies.
This reviewer liked it better than Spider-Man 3, Daredevil, both of the Hulk films, and X-Men 3. I liked it less than Spider-Man 2 and Watchmen. I have my beefs with the Batman movies from Kevin Nolan (too dark and miserable) though I have to say they sure look like art house films compared to the bright and shiny feel good fun time of the Iron Man films.
So, what’s next?
Unfortunately an endless parade of super hero movies for characters you didn’t care about when they were comic books.
Ya’ see, Hollywood needs “Tent Movies,” films that are garaunteed to make bank to ensure the studios can keep business going. The Harry Potter films, the Lord of the Rings Films and the Twilight Films are all based on properties with definite endings, and those endings have either come or are oncoming. Hollywood’s intention is to keep up the flow of Super-Hero movies and make them perennials, films you’ll go to see every summer or winter break.
A movie like Iron Man is fun because it’s a simple, fast diversion from real life and subsequently real films. Iron Man is a chrome thumb in the eye of taste. It dares you to take it seriously so it can laugh at you while it drinks a martini by the pool.
If Iron Man and co. have to trot out every summer it will get harder and harder to keep the spontaneous magic alive, and far more difficult to wow audiences with any semblance of whimsy or charm.
There will be an Iron Man 3, and an Avengers film as well as hordes of spin-offs. Audiences will get sick and tired of grandstanding do-gooders, ushering in more anti-hero films like Nolan’s Batman. Soon we’ll be sick of heroes, anti-Heroes, villains and vampires. Folks will even shun movies about sailors because they’ll see those little flaps of cloth on the backs of their uniforms and think they’re capes!
The Super-Hero movie will ultimately destroy itself, leaving the cinema open for invasion from Pirates and WWI dough-boys and bi-plane pictures! ARG!
Iron Man 2 is fun, Iron Man 3 will be a grind, and if Robert Downey Jr. is fool enough to try for it then Iron Man 4 will be a disaster. STOP making hero films while you can, Hollywood, lest you undermine your own success with mediocrity. Just like conservative war hawk John McCain, ‘cause he’s a politician, and he was a maverick, and now… uhm… I got nothing.