Yesterday was my birthday, and I indulged myself in a little Iron Man filmgoing instead of a full 12 hour workday. Now, I’m an old and crotchety scoundrel, and rarely find a comic book movie that I can recommend to people, but Iron Man 1 was one of those rare movies. The original was clever and exciting, with an Academy Award winning cast, wonderful human moments of character interaction next to epic moments of HUGE Marvel punch-em-outs, gleefully updating the Iron Man story with flawless ease.
I’m afraid the sequel is not playing in the same league. Iron Man 2 is a fun little romp, entertaining for the two hours you’re sitting there, but it is not in the same league. This sequel is dumb where the original was smart. It’s slow fat in the middle, where the original was fast paced. And perhaps most unforgivably, this is a sequel about the Iron Man suit itself, and not really about the man within it.
So, it’s an adequate movie with some very cool special effects, and some fun fight scenes. That’s what I get for my twelve bucks, and I couldn’t ask for more. But I’d come to expect a little more from this crew. I was hoping for another 10, and we got a respectable 7. It’s got all the bells and whistles that exploding-robot boy movies require. It’s just missing that hint of humanity, or sparkling character dialog that made the original an instant classic.
Not bad, but that’s about it.
NOTE: Every scene with Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson) and the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), was fantastic. I’m with the rest of the world and I want my S.H.I.E.L.D. and BLACK WIDOW movie franchise right now. If and when you go see this, make sure you sit up and pay attention when Natasha Romanov is onscreen. She owns every frame of film she’s on, and we totally believe she can take down fifteen people in under a minute.
(By the way…the people she knocks out, maims, hurts, strangles and kicks in the crotch are all security guards working for a legal company, trying to earn a respectable buck to feed their families. It’s a huge mistake to put blue collar men in the hospital for this scene, as I wasn’t cheering for the Widow so much as I was horrified at the damage she was doing to hard-working, innocent American citizens. In the context of the story, it couldn’t be helped, but it made the movie a bit mean spirited when it was supposed to be way-cool at that moment. One of the flaws of tone that run through this film…)
And Mickey Rourke is not too bad. He’s a two dimensional cartoon action
figure, unlike Bridges’ Obidiah Stane from the last installment (who was chilling, complex and interesting) –but Mickey does his best with an empty script. I just wish EVERY villain in these movies wasn’t a copy of Iron Man, right down to the technology involved. We get it. Evil twins are extra evil. But it’s been done, and done, and done, and done.
As I said…overall this is a 7 out of 10. Perfectly acceptable, a passing grade, no one can blame them for not being genius-good every time.
But I was hoping….