Skip to main content

Review: Iron Man 2

There’s always something worth watching in a character, whom in his means of turning to good only succeeds in making things far worse than ever imagined. Like The Dark Knight and Spider-man 2 the plight of Iron Man 2 is escalation. In the six months following the aftermath of Tony Stark's (Robert Downey Jr.) revelation that he is Iron Man, there is an unprecedented peace across the planet. With a nuclear deterrent ready to go at a minute's notice the Stark legacy may finally be remembered for peace and, with the resurrection of Stark Expo, a better planet.

Legacy is an important part of any man's life in Tony's case - as a former arms dealer - it is especially important. Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) provides an unique take on a villain that is essentially a mirror of Tony. Both men had fathers who were pioneers of science, unfortunately, only Tony used his gift for good. Sons have always been burdened with the task of becoming more than their fathers, when you're father is extraordinary, or a criminal, this task becomes more arduous.

Ivan Vanko and Justin Hammer represent everything Tony could have resorted to, thankfully, even in the time of personal distress, he dons the suit in pursuit of making this world a better place than he found it. But when confronted by Whiplash during the Monaco race sequence Tony is momentarily caught off guard and, "if you can make God bleed, people will cease to believe in Him," the world is coming for Tony and he cannot be the Shane of global peace.

As for the toys in the new film two words: suitcase armor. It has been featured  extensively in the trailers, but it plays out best in the theatre. Like the first film the suit's aesthetic stays practical instead of going for Spider-man 3 level CGI mess. I wish the rest of the Monaco race scene could have done the same.

Robert Downey Jr. is finally receiving the All-Star status his talent so richly deserved. Downey could have simply coasted playing off his natural charisma, yet envelopes the character in a moral complexity not found often in comic book films.

What ultimately brings down Iron Man 2 is that the story hits its peak at the Monaco racetrack. A goodie vs. baddie fight at the end doesn't make up the lack of drama in between.

Mickey Rourke is actually very good in his role of Ivan Vanko. After the trailer I was expecting campy Russian eccentricity, but his performance was instead a level, functional mirror for Tony. Unlike Iron Man a solid opponent is available for the climactic battle at the end. However, Sam Rockwell's portrayal of Justin Hammer came from Kevin Spacey's Lex Luthor school of villainy. Don Cheadle is kind of an interloper during Iron Man 2. He and Gwyneth Paltrow are involved in the story but both just seem to react to Tony than make the story move along.

The first real summer blockbuster of the season is here. Remember, stay after the credits.

**1/2 out of ****

Popular posts from this blog

Jack the Giant Slayer Giveaway

Warner Bros. and PartnersHub are teaming up to give one lucky reader will receive a blu-ray prize pack to celebrate the release of Jack the Giant Slayer .   Want to win? Post your results from the How Brave Are You? quiz into the Comments section and leave your email address so I can contact the winner. All entries must be in before June 29th and the winner will be noti fied June 30th.

The Best of the Decade

Over the last ten years, the cinema has given us a great deal to be thankful for: a rebirth of the Batman franchise, a series of examinations of what it means to live in this particular decade, and a mass of character studies whether they be animated or popcorn thrillers. As much as I have enjoyed the offerings, a list must be culled together for the end of the year. Except this year is different, this year ten films must be selected from hundreds. Below are some of the best of the aughts. Enjoy! 10) There Will Be Blood Paul Thomas Anderson's magnum opus, a scathing look at extremism in America and the evils of greed and profiteering from religion. It also features the best performance of the decade with Daniel Day-Lewis as oil-man Daniel Plainview. 9)  Up A beautiful tale that entrances all ages,  Up managed to captivate children and tell a tale that adults cherish as well. 8) The Dark Knight Maybe just a comic book film, but it is the best comic book film

Herman Melville and Office Space

Just from gleaning the surface of Office Space one would assume that there isn't anything simmering below the surface except for a raunchy work-comedy, but they would be wrong. After the harsh critical reception of his greatest work Moby Dick Melville wrote a collection of short stories called Bartleby and Benito Cereno perhaps the greatest slam at the time against industrial America. Bartleby is the story of a Wall Street copyist who has his three employees proof-read and copy law forms. Shortly into the story Bartleby starts responding to work commands with, "I would prefer not to." Frustrated by his employee's subordination the Narrator tries to have him fired but Bartleby refuses to leave the office. The Narrator comes back the following morning to find Bartleby living inside his office. Bartleby becomes increasingly less apt to perform basic functions as eating after he is jailed for trespassing and dies in a jail cell. What at once starts out as a comedy