May 3, 2010

[Movies] Iron Man 2 (2010)

Iron Man 2In the movie world, sequels are just slightly above remakes in the entertainment food chain. Sequels are frustrating since we can't help but hope for the best at times but then statistically you stand about a 40% chance of it being a good movie and a 15% chance it's better than the first one.

But those are just my estimates, mind you. Feel free to disagree.

Despite the odds being against us, there are just those movies that get us extremely excited and actually make us hope for a sequel. I'm not saying that every single movie inspires that kind of thinking, but you know what I mean. There's an unwritten genre of movies that scream "a sequel is possible" and they tend to action or adventure movies and sadly enough some comedies. But that's life for you.

As far as sequels, this was definitely not one of the bad ones. No, not at all.

Iron Man 2 is the sequel to the hit 2008 comic book movie and apparently the second in a trilogy of Iron Man movies.

Iron Man - Robert Downey Jr.Image by ♭ Nocturne ♬ ♪ ♩ via Flickr

The movie starts with a world at peace thanks to the efforts of Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) He's become an even greater celebrity as a superhero while government scramble to find a way to acquire the technology of his armor for themselves. The US Government goes as far as demanding the armor from him but of course he refuses, further infuriating the government. At the same time, Tony discovers that he's slowly dying from palladium poisoning as caused by the same arc reactor in his chest that is keeping him alive.

On the other side of the world, Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), son of a Russian inventor who helped Tony's father Howard develop the arc reactor technology, creates an arc reactor of his own. He creates a pair of arc-powered energy whips to seek revenge against the Stark family for exiling his father. Once he makes his first move in public, Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) see this as an opportunity to finally acquire Stark's technology himself and further his own weapons development in order to secure his position as the military's top arms provider.

First, major credit needs to go to Tony Stark for continuing to be a widely snarky and lovable jerk of an industrialist. I loved his performance in the first movie and he continues with that same level of acting excellence in this movie. He's just done amazingly well in bringing the character to life. Plus the writers did well in further developing the banter and camaraderie between him and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). The two just do really well together and I'll continue to pay money to see that kind of on-screen chemistry.

Scarlet Johansson did rather well as Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow and her fight scenes were very well put-together. If you ever wondered how an ordinary human being like her got in to the Avengers, this movie will help put those questions to rest. Rourke was okay as Ivan and the same comment goes for Don Cheadle as the new James Rhodes. I wasn't overly impressed by either performance, but I didn't dislike how they carried things either. I totally hated Sam Rockwell's Justin Hammer though. Can you say one-dimensional character?

Oh, but I continue to love Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. It so works for me!

The overall story was okay but nothing special. There were elements of the Armor Wars storyline from the comics and Ivan was an odd mix of other villains like Backlash / Whiplash and the Crimson Dynamo. On the whole it still worked and the special effects helped carry things along further the rest of the way. There were some interesting designs for the other armor units that feature majorly towards the end of the movie (as you've seen in the trailers) although I didn't see much development for the Iron Man armor itself.

Iron Man is a great action comedy of sorts on the whole and a highly enjoyable movie experience. It gets 4 annoying office desk toys out of a possible 5.

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