Iron Man 2

Posted on Monday, May 17th, 2010 at 4:20 pm

If you sandwich together the first Iron Man and Iron Man 2, I think you would find them like a night out at the club with Lindsay Lohan. In the beginning, she’s the life of the party – telling jokes, exuding charm, people are excited to meet her and wanting autographs. Several hours later, her jokes are mean and no one laughs but you, she might have thrown up a little in the bathroom after heaving a bottle at the bouncer’s head but GODDAMN IT WE ARE HAVING FUN STOP CRYING.

The joy of the first movie is just gone, but Favreau forces it rather than tell a different story. There’s a faint whiff there that suggests he wanted to go a bit Dark Knight with it, but either failed miserably or the studio forced him to try to clone the mood of the first movie.  Too many long takes stretch the narrative to the breaking point – this is an ADHD movie franchise, pal; you need to hit it and quit it. The effects are good, of course, but frankly all the robots looked too similar and when every other scene consists of blurry hunks of metal flying through the air at each other, I get really annoyed trying to keep straight which hunk of a metal is which. It just got boring. Oh, and John Favreau? You’re not Tarantino, and even he is annoying with his constant onscreen cameos.

Mickey Rourke is pretty great when he’s alone in a scene, and I have to give him props for dressing like Keith Richards but being an extremely believable physicist,  yet his total inability to connect with any other actor does not seem like a character choice. Sam Rockwell and Don Cheadle are miserably underused and don’t shine like they usually do. RDJ and Gwyneth Paltrow are very good, they both seem to have a rock-solid grip on their characters.

I haven’t been on the Scarlett Johansson boat for a long time, but I liked her quite well here. She looks great but manages to carry off her role as though she weren’t just a set of tits in a jumpsuit. She does well with her fight scenes, but makes me miss Eliza Dushku. Scarlett just doesn’t follow through on her moves in a realistic way, although she’s clearly very agile and fast. I’d buy her as a ninja, but she’s not kicking anyone’s ass.

So, overall disappointing but not unwatchable. Worth renting so that you’re prepared for Iron Man 3, and for the Silver Fox cameo,  but…meh.

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