EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|IRON MAN 2 (director: Jon Favreau; screenwriter: Justin Theroux; cinematographer: Matthew Libatique; editors: Richard Pearson/Dan Lebental; music: John Debney; cast: Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), Don Cheadle (Rhodey), Scarlett Johansson (Natalie/Black Widow), Sam Rockwell (Justin Hammer) Mickey Rourke (Ivan Vanko/Whiplash), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson), Garry Shandling (Senator Stern), Jon Favreau (Happy); Runtime: 117; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: Kevin Feige; Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment; 2010)|
|"Pales beside the original."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
("Elf"/"Made"/"Iron Man") directs this sequel, which pales beside the
original--a film that both the critics and the public loved. Writer Justin Theroux doesn't give it much
interesting action but provides many unsatisfying subplots, and hands
in a talky and less than worthy screenplay that's only entertaining in
starts and fits--one that doesn't kick in until the fiery CGI-filled
climax at the giant Stark Expo in New York's Flushing
Meadows. Robert Downey Jr. is still a gas
as the charming, comical, irresponsible, tipsy, genius, narcissistic
Tony Stark, the billionaire rogue defense contractor turned metallic
super-hero with daddy issues,
who is slowly dying from the poison in his mechanical heart. Tony
invented the Iron Man armor suit--the ultimate weapon for modern
times--but refuses to hand it over to the Pentagon, even when squeezed
by the powerful showboating super-patriotic Senator Stern (Garry Shandling). Tony is afraid that his weapon if in the
wrong hands will not be used right, and feels it's best if the world
leaves keeping the peace to him--a believer that the private sector
works better than the government. Tony feels no urgency to turn his
weapon over to the government since the world is at peace because of
his leadership role due to his powerful Iron Man suit and because his
intel tells him Russia and other foes are many years away from copying
The plot thickens when the
wacko genius, Ivan Vanko, a.k.a. Whiplash (Mickey Rourke), enters the
scene. He's a Russian killing machine covered with tattoos from head to
foot, who blames Tony's father for stealing his invention from his
father and vows revenge. First by trying to kill Tony, as he gets into
his Whiplash outfit with
two springloaded electromagnetic whips extending from his arms and
confronts race car driver Tony when he's competing at the Monaco Grand
Prix. When that fails and Ivan's imprisoned, Tony's slimy unscrupulous
rival contractor, Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), engineers his prison
break and gets him to work on building a better Iron Man so he can get
Tony's government contract and become the 'big man in the world.'
Instead Ivan builds an entire droid army to crush both Tony's Iron Man
and the secret War Machine army under the charge of Tony's military
Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes (Don Cheadle).
Also part of the subplot is
a.k.a. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), who is a sexy double-agent
working for both Tony and for the eye-patch wearing Nick
Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., which makes it
difficult for Tony and Pepper
Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), his
Friday who he promoted to be the newly appointed CEO, to figure out who to trust.
The film never reaches the
same emotional levels as the original and never quite got around to be
anything special, just another disposable blockbuster action pic that
kills time for those who yearn for lightweight escapist films like
homesick Russians yearn for parrots.
REVIEWED ON 5/9/2010 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ