Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2

The sequel to Marvel’s big-screen adaptation is pretty much what I expected in that it’s more of the same with more bangs and booms. The bloated cast which has been criticised elsewhere for spreading the drama too thinly isn’t actually that large, although the screen presence of so many bankable actors could dilute character development in many productions you have to account for this being Iron Man - there’s nothing lost here when compared to the original.

There are a fair few genuinely exciting action scenes - Scarlett Johansson’s Agent Romanoff fighting her way into Justin Hammer’s HQ (Stark’s arms dealing rival, played by Sam Rockwell), two Iron Men exchanging clanging blows with Stark and his friend James Rhodes in the opposing suits (with Don Cheadle now taking the place of Terrence Howard as Rhodes in an earlier case of alleged pay dispute that more recently has seen Ed Norton give up the role of Bruce Banner), and the pair later facing off against Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash and a small army of war droids all standing up well against anything in the original.

Aside from this you get Downey Jr. as charismatic as ever, Sam Jackson with a little more screen time as Nick Fury, Gwyneth Paltrow a little less annoying this time round as Pepper Potts, Rockwell strangely irritating as arch-cock Hammer and an unintentionally scary cameo by Gary Shandling as senator Stern, more swollen-faced than Rourke who has traded on his damaged looks for the last decade. Rourke pretty much reprises the Ram from Aronofsky’s The Wrestler, only this time with a dodgy Russian accent and a slightly camp line in evil genius tech.

The plot threads all tie up and generally it works, but as a proportion of the running time the action scenes are few and any jokes tend to raise smiles rather than chuckles. It’s worth a watch and by no means bad, but seems to be scared to try anything out of the ordinary and instead settles with above average, admittedly no sin in terms of comic book movies. Likeable rather than something to get excited over, the relatively low standard set by the first film in comparison to Spiderman, X-Men, Batman Begins etc. may help it as a franchise to progress at a more even pace, rather than fall at the second sequel. So long as they don’t try to cram even more faces in next time, that is.


Monsterwork said...

They sacked Edward Norton because he was an asshole, didn't they. That's pretty much what the press release said. It wasn't a pay dispute. It was about ego.

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