Iron Man 2
 
Director: John Favreau
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Samuel L. Jackson & Clark Gregg
 
The Basics:
Picking up six months after the first movie, the sequel deals with Tony’s efforts to keep the Iron Man armor and related technology out of the hands of the feds, while making moves to ensure that his legacy is safe in the hands of his closest friends and allies, all while maintaining his “Jerk with a Gold” demeanor.
Why? Because he’s got a secret.
Meanwhile, a very pissed off Russian with ties to Stark’s father wages his private war against the Armored Avenger.
Throw in Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson a lot of Large Hammery, one liners and the first Crisis Intervention with powered armor suits and you get Iron Man 2.
Overall, the movie is a blast. It’s filled with enough action, one-liners and tech porn to keep the casual viewer engaged; and there’s TONS of shout outs to the comic mythos, the greater Marvel Universe itself (the comics and the movie adaptations (MJOLNIR!!! I see you!)) and a reference to Walt Disney (which is Marvel Entertainment’s new owner btw) to appease the fandom and geeks.
On the down side, the movie feels does a bit bloated at times. While this movie is free from having to establish the origin story that the first one did, Iron Man 2 relies heavily on multiple plot threads (many of them sequel hooks), a few of which that could’ve been dropped. As a result, it looses some of the whimsy of the first film.
However, you’re not going to care about that once Tony Stark and James Rhodes start kicking ass… when they aren’t trying to kick each others ass.
 
The Good
Cast. Downey remains amazing as Tony Stark. Sam Rockwell had to have channeled Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor for Justin Hammer. Don Cheadle as Rhodes is an upgrade.
One liners. “Hey Goldstien, play me a phat beat to beat my buddy’s ass to.”
The Iron Man itself. Any time the Iron Man appears, something badass has happened, will happen, or is happening right now.
Rule of Cool. In full form. The Briefcase suit? can it even work? How much does it weigh?
Does it even matter? IT’S AWESOME, ALL RIGHT?
Scarlett Johansson. Need I say more?
 
The Not… So… Good
Too much exposition. Most of the 204 minutes is expo speak and plot building.
To Many Subplots. Plot threads are established over the course of the film, with a few of them being sequel hooks.
Some subplots could have been dropped.
Weak Villain. Mickey Rourke was underutilized. Plus, Iron Man has a decent rogue gallery… yet they decide to fuse Crimson Dynamo and Blacklash? Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer made a better big bad over Rourke’s Ivan Vanko, as his one liners and smarmy demeanor much him more entertaining.
 
Final Thought:
While a little bloated at times (it felt two movies in one) and Mickey Rourke could have been better utilized, the great cast and dialogue rescue this movie from its apparent sequelitis.
 
Rating:
3  (0ut of 5) Stars.
Go see it. If you did, go see it again!

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Bahamut Six is a blog with a slant towards anime (Mecha anime, to be exact) and music, western TV, movies and other assorted crap that I find interesting.

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