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Old 05-07-2010, 12:25 PM   #661
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Default Re: OFFICIAL: Rate & Review Iron Man 2

Spoilers! Read at your own peril!

Iron Man 2 picks up right where the last film left off practically down to the moment. In Russia, Ivan Vanko sees his father die, and his father's dying words show hate for the Stark family. Vanko decides to make his own armor over the course of 6 months, and go after Tony Stark himself. Also, competitor Justin Hammer is trying in vain to replicate the Iron Man technology. Meanwhile, Tony Stark is faced with the ultimate questions of his life: how does he handle dying? The paladium that powers his mini-arc reactor is now poisoning his blood and slowly killing him. Tony becomes more and more reckless in his own life, fueling speculation that the Iron Man technology must be turned over to the military for safety purposes. Before Tony can fight the combined forces of Vanko and Hammer, he must first fight the demons within himself and come to terms with his past and present.

The first Iron Man film was a surprise in many respects. No one expected the film to be as good as it was or as successful. Iron Man 2 had a lot to live up to. It had to be a sequel to the smash hit. It had to expand the Marvel film universe. It needed to juggle many things, and it doesn't disappoint.

Just like the first film, Robert Downey Jr. shows why he was perfect for Tony Stark. He does look a bit older than the 6 month timeline the movie outlines, but it is not a distraction. Once he gets going, he is infinitely entertaining. I also feel Stark was a stronger character in this film. In the first Iron Man, Tony Stark's character arc ends once he returns from the Middle East. From then on, he knows what he must do and is always right. He doesn't grow much. In this film, Tony Stark has an arc throughout the whole film, and he grows during the entire film. Tony has to face his reckless nature, his mortality, and examine his relationship with his father. The writing is stronger in this respect, and Robert Downey Jr hits on all the right notes.

Stark's supporting cast of Pepper and Rhodey are great in the film, too. Pepper and Tony have great funny and underlying romantic elements going on that are gold to watch. Paltrow and Downey have great chemistry. I also have to say Don Cheadle was a much better Rhodey than Terrence Howard. Howard felt a bit meek to me as Rhodey, but Cheadle is very strong ad works much better. In this film, there is animosity between Tony and Rhodey over their visions of how to approach the Iron Man armor, and Cheadle's stronger take on the character I feel made this conflict more interesting than if Howard would have comeback. Happy gets a bigger role, but it doesn't serve much purpose and he doesn't add much but a couple of laughs. Scarlett Johanassen is okay as Natlia Romanov, but her character has little to work with. She has decent screentime, but her character is one note, always looks serious, and never really has character moments. This is in introduction to her character, but I feel more could have been done with her. She gets little to work with.

The film got a lot of hype around the castings of Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer and Mickey Rourke as Whiplash. More emphasis was on Rourke, but I feel Rockwell had the better performance and character. Ivan Vanko is not developed much more than he has a grudge against Tony Stark because of his father. I feel he needed more character growth. Justin Hammer, however, was very well developed. The route they went with Hammer was a good one, and kept the tone of the film consistant with the first film. He so badly wants what Stark has, and he is willing to get it by questionable means. He just lacks the brain to accomplish his goals. He is constantly overshadowed by Tony Stark, and this is what makes his character work. Sam Rockwell does a great job at being funny, awkward, and at times scary.

The action and special effects are great, but the final fight of the film is anti-climactic. For the time it spans, the fight is cool, but it ends extremely briefly. The end fight in the first Iron Man was much more satisfying in that regard.

How does Iron Man 2 stack up as a film furthering the Marvel Movie-verse agenda? I actually feel like this was an Iron Man movie more so than an Avengers set-up like many reviewers complained. We get a few nods like Captain America's shield and the after the credit scene showing us a certain thunder god may have arrived, but other than that, the film is mostly self-contained within the confines of the Iron Man franchise, and this is a good thing. We do get Natasha Romanov, some background on SHIELD, and a few mentions of the Avenger Initiative, but all those moments work within the confines of the film and don't feel like going off-topic to set-up the Avengers. They felt necessary to know in this film, and since this film is about Iron Man afterall, it is only right they did that.

Iron Man 2 has the heart that made the first film so awesome, and I feel it maintains its focus better than the first film did. However, I feel the first film is stronger overall. The first hour of Iron Man is better than Iron Man 2, but Iron Man 2 is better than Iron Man's 2nd hour. That said, Marvel can chalk up another success under their belt, and we now must wait patiently for the Avengers to come to fruition. The film has somewhat weak villains, but ultimately is entertaining. I am excited for the Avengers projects that are lined up, especially after seeing Iron Man 2, but I'd also like to see Favreau get another go at Iron Man in the future, too.

All in all, make mine Marvel! 3/5

Last edited by Spider-Fan; 04-12-2014 at 12:02 AM.
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