Friday 14 May 2010

Iron Man 2 - Review

The first Iron Man movie was one of the best hero movies of recent times.  Funny, sexy and true to the comic book that spawned it.  Marvel were heading somewhere with this too, the Avengers film is the eventual destiny, bringing together, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Hulk, along side SHIELD.  But we're not there yet, this is just a stepping stone to that film and it, to be honest, it felt like it.

That's not to say that this sequel isn't hugely entertaining, it is.  Robert Downey Jr brings so much to the role of Tony Stark, his charisma and humour shining through the movie just as it did in the first.  If ever someone was born to play a part this was it.  Stark has this likeable self awareness of his own preposterous life and that works great in a superhero movie, giving it more depth than it otherwise should have.  Downey Jr makes the character believable.

The film itself has a plot but although we get to meet War Machine and Whiplash (played by Mickey Rourke) Iron Man rarely seems to be under any real threat and the film, although it has plenty of momentum, doesn't feel like it's going anywhere, despite moving there fast.  The final climatic battle is a bit of a disappointment.

However what many critic have missed out on is how much of a Marvel Comic book geek fest this is.  There are so many Easter Eggs here that for the most part, unless you have the eyes of a young hawk, you'll miss them.  I won't spoil it for you, but hey, don't walk out before the lengthy credits have rolled.

It's good film taken in context of what's coming and what Marvel are starting to build.  Don Cheadle is a better James Rhodes than Terrance Howard and Gwenyth Paltrow is still great as Pepper Potts.  Scarlette Johansson is sexy as Black Widow but like Rourke we don't see enough of her.

It's a strange film in many ways.  Easily as entertaining as the first, a little grittier, but the characters haven't moved on very much and not a lot really happens.  The stuff that does happen is tiny detail, that if you're not a comic book geek you're gonna miss, but it's that detail that brings the film to life for me and once the Avenger's tale has been fully told, I'm sure we'll be looking back at it with much affection.

If the geekery doesn't appeal, go see it for Downey Jr alone.  He is Tony Stark.


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