Movie Review – Iron Man 2

*Spoiler Alert – contains spoilers*

Who doesn’t like the sound of metal? Metals clinging whether it makes music (guitar) whether it’s just clash of two metals, we all have our love for the sound of metal.
Before I start with my “short review” of Iron Man 2, I’m not that familiar with original comics, so if some of the stuff I felt was weird, was actually accurate adapted from comic and I may please be excused.
I’d like to start with the villain: Mickey Rourke’s Character as “Vanko” had almost the same potential as Heath Ledger’s Joker in Dark Knight, judging from his talent as an actor and his looks in the movie. I had loved his acting in Sin City. But he does not steal the show or lived up to that expectation due to the lack of screen time and, well a good story. One can find Vanko as basically the dark opposite mirror image of Tony Stark. Both are masterminds, both are where they are coz of their fathers but followed entirely different paths. Vanko’s parallel story never quite collides with Stark’s to deeper effect. Mickey Rourke is a fantastic villain and he had me contented in every scene, but it was quite unfortunate how quickly and easily he lost the final battle. Using an actor with so much potential, but failing to use him to his full potential is just a shame.
The main problem I found with Iron Man 2 was the lack of a significant story (maybe you can interpret this as lack of continuing the storyline) and motivation for almost all of the characters.
The action sequences are fun, though not as exhilarating as in the 2008 original. There were enjoyable action scenes in Iron Man 2. However, they didn’t feel as compelling as the first one. Through each and every action scene, it’s easily predictable that Iron Man will just win.
There are too many new characters, too many crossing story lines, not enough romance and our hero’s a smug jerk for the first half hour. Who cares? Iron Man 2 still rocks.
Iron Man 2 is a good flick, not doubt about it. But, unfortunately, it fails to live up to hype and expectations of the first Iron Man.
A storyline was introduced with Tony’s father and Rourke’s father. Most notable of story is the theme of “legacy”, of what people leave behind when they are gone; their impressions on their descendants and how the effects of their past actions would ricochet down the years long after one has passed.
Starting from where the first film ended, billionaire Tony Stark has just revealed to the world his identity as the Iron Man. Now he faces consequences of his actions as both the military and devious competitor Justin Hammer compete to obtain the secrets of Stark’s Iron Man technology for their own gain. Part of the plot involves Stark’s willful reluctance to hand over the Iron Man technology to the U.S. government and military. Too add to the flames, Stark soon discovers that the very technology that is keeping his heart alive is also poisoning him. As he tries to salvage a life that is slowly falling to pieces and his growing feelings for his long time assistant Pepper Potts(Gwyneth Paltrow), Stark has to contend to with a foreign weapons genius named Ivan Vanko who seems to bear a deep seated grudge against the ailing billionaire; a grudge that stemmed from the legacy of Tony’s father, Howard Stark.
Whatever was good in the first movie is carried on in true sequel fashion. The acting and chemistry among the cast is definitely the highlight of the whole film. Robert Downey Jr is Tony Stark, though less of a playboy following his “change of heart”(symbolically and factually) in the first movie, but still the same wisecracking, grin eccentric.
What I really liked though, was Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer. One can tell he enjoyed his part as the sleazy scumbag pulling the strings in the background. Everyone is just so natural in their roles including the villains, Hammer had all the makings of a silly one dimensional villainous caricature, but manages to be a corporate competitor, providing some excellent comic relief while still presenting a credible threat to the hero. Sam Rockwell mixes evil and comedy up very nicely.
Scarlett Johansson, plays Natalie Rushman arrives at Stark’s with a serious behavior of from ‘legal’. Later she earns amused giggles. She’s portayed as formidable. “I want one,” Stark tells Potts. Who could blame him? ScarJo is sexy, but that’s about it. She isn’t really given much to work with dialogues and the one long action scene she has in a tight super hero costume and to find Vanko seems slightly out-of-hand.
Samuel L. Jackson is provided with very little screen time too, He does deliver just like you would expect him to. The ring on the tone of his voice is impeccable.
I also liked Don Cheadle as James Rhodes, but his character too suffered from the lack of time for character development. There is this scene, where Stark is seriously messed up, partying at his home in his Iron Man suit and Rhodes is tired of the condition and grabs himself another one of the Iron Man suits, battles Stark and then leaves with the suit. But in the first movie we observe how Stark becomes Iron Man, how he needs to learn to use the suit and become one with it, how he builds it and we can appreciate, that he is the only one, who could use it that way. Apparently we’re wrong, because all you need is the suit. It’s like anyone could be a SuperHero like Batman. No justification is given as to how Rhodes can fly this suit like he owns it
Superhero Stark remains intriguing. Fresh from “successfully privatizing world peace” as he boasts, he has restarted the Stark Expo, a trade show his father began. He arrives from the sky to the World’s Fair site to deliver a welcome with chorus line of high-kicking ladies in the background. He’s a rock star without guitar; he’s Tony Stark, man of enormous ego. Like a diabetic checking his blood sugar, he is constantly sticking his finger to measure his blood-toxicity level. There is a lot of humorous and satisfying dialogue throughout. This is probably mainly due to the stellar cast. Robert Downey is perfect, again!
A lot of “could have been more” moments hang by the time the show ends. At least the action is satisfying high octane eye candy as Jon Favreau’s steady directing hand brings out the intensity of every battle scene. Special effects are top notch as usual except for a couple of cartoon-like moments that do require some suspension of disbelief, for example Stark’s nifty suit is portable and looks like a suitcase.
The movie is funny (actually it felt more like a comedy than an action flick) and when the action happens, it’s looking great. Overall, Iron Man 2 will satisfy your hunger, but it will leave the dessert section empty and unfulfilled as it lacks many of the elements that made Iron Man 1 such a big ‘bolt from the blue’.
A good watch overall. I’ll give 7 out of 10.

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