Monday, 3 May 2010

Iron Man 2

Tagged as the sequel of the year - is Iron Man 2 a shinier new model or ready to be scrapped? The Wild Bore finds out.

To fans of the first film, this must be one of the most anticipated films of the year. Not only is War Machine in it, but Mickey Rourke as the bad guy and Scarlett Johannsen as the new sexy seductress as well as some Samuel L Jackson fun is surely nothing to be sniffed at.

The problem is, I never really enjoyed the first one that much, and this one isn't really as good as the first. That might be enough to satisfy your curiosity but let me tell you why. There are a number of issues with this, namely Stark's character who was a charming charismatic charlatan before isn't a revelation when presented to us in the same light once again, in fact it makes you slightly annoyed that so much seems to be hanging on Downey's shoulders.

Rourke almost lazily drifts through his performance in a character you can tell he's not that fussed about - and rightly so as it is not fleshed out at all and merely revolves around a tale of revenge, nothing new here. Sam Rockwell was probably the brightest spark, but again not used nearly enough as Downey hogs all the limelight constantly; I mean I like the guy but, come on. Even Don Cheadle as War Machine doesn't get half as much attention as he should. Scarlett might as well be a talking doll and Jackson's brief appearances feel so forced that it might as well start blending into the Avengers film by the end just to make sense. But the main annoyance is with the director Jon Favreau, not for his directing (which actually was quite good) but instead that his cameo in the first film has now turned into a full-on character. In fact he seems to be Stark's best mate, it's cringeworthy to watch; and Paltrow? Who cares, she just looks like some old biddy now.

Not a good start then, and the plot is even worse. Stark is trying to fend off the military for taking his suit and that thing in his chest is slowly poisoning him. Meanwhile, Rourke is a bit pissed off and decides to get some payback - in the weirdest way possible. There's so many holes in the plot it might as well be something ... with a lot of holes in. For example, Stark spontaneously decides to get in an F1 car where Rourke awaits, how the hell could he predict that? Also, Rourke is some kind of genius without real explanation apart from he's a physicist (?) and his dad was really clever and he seems to be able to take a fair punch from Iron Man who you would think, could crush an entire face in one go. This parallel father/son story could have been really fleshed out but instead it uses dodgy old film footage to bring the point home for Stark and nothing but the first 10 seconds of the film for Rourke. There's also little annoyances like how Cheadle seems to know all Stark's security and does in fact take a costume for no real reason but to end a party. Yes you heard right. Johansson might as well not be in it and the SHIELD thing just takes away from the flow of the narrative.

Well okay then, so much for the plot, what about the action?

The action when it's done is good, but my God it does drag halfway through. It completely loses the pace of the first film and the final fight with Rourke is brief to say the least and even references Ghostbusters (you'll see what I mean). But generally, it was entertaining and you could see a lot of money on the screen, even if Iron Man looks like he's flown out of a computer game for most of it.

Overall, if you liked the first one you will no doubt enjoy this as well, but it's lost the original flair that people enjoyed first time round and by the next day you would probably have forgotten all about it. See it for spectacle - not for substance.
Also, stick around in the cinema for after the credits to see a bit of footage about another forthcoming Marvel film!

Rating: 6/10

No comments:

Post a Comment