Stark Raving Mad.. The Iron Man 2 review..
Does the Iron Man 2 succeed in building on the great initial launch of his first movie as well as the beginning of the Avengers Initiative. My Review and thoughts.. next.
After what I thought was an extremely well done Iron Man, I was very curious, yet cautious about what may become of Iron Man 2. Leading up to the movie, I was intrigued about some of the casting news. Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, and Sam Rockwell are all extremely talented actors. Also, bringing in Scarlett Johansson was an interesting choice to play Black Widow. The key to me was if they could somehow blend everything together, continuing to drive the Avengers Initiative, while also fleshing out the characters as needed. It was a tall task, that ultimately ended up in an entertaining movies, with some great pieces, but failed in capturing the depth of the characters and truly defining their purpose.
As expected, RDJ was excellent as Tony/IM. He owns the role and I think totally gets the character. I feel that the script and direction failed him slightly in IM2. I thought there was an excellent opportunity to really get into his psyche regarding the Palladium poisoning Tony, and the very real possibility that it would kill him. This was a huge factor on the way that Tony acted in the movie, yet i felt it was slightly glossed over. A real fleshing out of that vulnerability would have given IM2 a much different dynamic.
I was disappointed in the way that Justin Hammer was portrayed. Hammer was always someone that you felt that you truly needed to watch as a ruthless schemer who was a worthy adversary. In the film, he was never a threat. He was the money behind threats, but both Vanko and Tony made him look stupid more often that not. In may ways he was portrayed like a bumbling fool. It was a lost opportunity to create a worthy villian/schemist in the universe that could pop up at any time as someone trying to undermine Tony.
I'd love to have a lot to say about Vanko, but the reality is that both the character and portrayal confused me. I understand in many ways they tried to parallel what Tony accomplished in IM, by having Vanko create his Whiplash technology while in what felt like Siberia. However, it fell totally short due to really knowing nothing about the character.. yes, his father died, he blamed Howard Stark, but that was it. There was no development, if he was a brilliant engineer, why did he only come off as a Russian Prison Thug. More than anything, I came away confused by the character, and sad that the time we saw him as whiplash was poorly staged and developed.
I liked Don Cheadle as Rhodey. I fel like he brought a savvy to the character that was missing slightly in the first movie. Going forward, I feel he will bring a lot to the character and the dynamic that he has with Tony as both Rhodey and War Machine. The biggest issue that I have with the character in the movie is the missing opportunity to further flesh out his relationship with Tony. There was too much focus on him taking the Iron Man suit. As his best friend, he should understand and know what Tony is dealing with regarding his poisoning. Instead it is glossed over in one line. I also felt that the Birthday Party/DJ meltdown was a poorly constructed scene, that slowed the movie down to me, rather than pushing the movie forward.
I really enjoyed the introduction to Black Widow, and the scenes that help to push the Avengers Initiative forward. Part of me wonders if they slow down the movie a bit and don't necessarily help the IM2 story, but as lead ins to the Avengers, I think they do a great job of setting up the world, and also laying the groundwork for some of my favorite moments in the film when Tony watches the old videos of his father, on his was to discovering the new element. Great stuff there.
Overall, another extremely entertaining movie from Marvel where we learn more about the MCU, meet new characters and set up even more leading up to the Avengers. Though i was disappointed in the story slightly and the way the characters were developed, it was a movie that thoroughly entertained me and one that will always be part of my watch list. And the subtle hints about New Mexico, then the final scene showing off the hammer in the dessert.. a brilliant lead in to Thor.. One thing is certain.. Marvel really knows how to film an after credits tease..
Until next time.. when i take on the God of Thunder..
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