Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Movie Review: Iron Man 2

Director: Jon Favreau 
Screenwriter: Justin Theroux 
Starring: Robert Downey Jr.Gwyneth PaltrowDon CheadleJon Favreau,Mickey RourkeSam RockwellSamuel L. JacksonScarlett JohanssonGarry ShandlingJohn SlatteryKate MaraClark GreggOlivia Munn 
Genre: Action, Adventure 
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sequences of intense action violence and some language) 
Official Website: 

My Wonderfully Majestic Opinion
I fully understand that most action films follow a certain set of guidelines.  They have this elitist sensibility that makes it “ok” to be no more ambitious and thought provoking than the prizes you get from a box of Cracker-Jacks.  In fact, the mind-numbing attitude action movies constantly bring to the Hollywood stage is revered and accepted by fans as superb and top notch film making.  It’s almost as if the only thing that makes a movie good these days is the “cool” factor; the amount of explosions and animated sequences are at the heart of what makes a good film these days in the eyes in fans.  Iron Man 2 meets this general cinematic overlay, and then some.  However, despite your own personal opinions about the films quality and overall status in the world of movies, there is one aspect of this film that is undeniably true.  With all of it’s cool special effects, massive explosions, pretty faces, and mechanical finesse, Iron Man 2 meets all the fantasies of the stereotypical, and stereotypical American male and shows it’s most defining characteristic…Iron Man 2 is nothing more than the biggest cinematic erection to hit the big screen in years.

Now the film isn’t without its good points, Robert Downey Jr., as always, dominates the screen with humorously electrifying and incredible performance as Tony Stark/Iron Man. I can’t picture anyone better than the former jail bird to star as the play boy narcissist with his keen sense of bastardness, male elitism, and techno geekism.  Alongside him are the quite experienced Farceurs who only enhance the comedic entertainment such as Sam Rockwell (Justin Hammer) and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Furry) who have an arsenal of experience as bad-ass characters under their belts.  Mickey Rourke could not have played his role any better as I’m sure he was having the time of his life as the sinister Ivan Vanko, (otherwise known as Whiplash to the hardcore Iron Man fans).  I won’t really go into the female duel-fecta of Scarlett Johansson and Gwyneth Paltrow, both of whom beat the pants off of Megan Fox in the looks department.  Just know they played their parts admirably and with a lot of spice!

While I have no doubt that the battle sequences between the characters were effectively planned out and executed, the reasoning behind each one was virtually pointless and unnecessary.  Even the introductory fight scene where Whiplash walks out on to the race track nonchalantly, while still being very important scene, was drug out to the point of no return, only to be saved by Downey Junior’s brilliant comedic timing.  But overall, the motivation and execution of these fight scenes was so pro forma that the intensity and excitement dwindled into a timid and meaningless bit of visual rhetoric that never served its purpose.  I’m don’t think I have ever seen a more pointless fight sequence in a blockbuster hit film than the one between Tony Stark and Lt. Col. James Rodes. Clearly, Marvel Comics quest for edge of your seat action was so predominant that they lost sight of the film’s purpose.

As if Marvel didn’t already fall flat on their backs with that, they also found a way to forget about the general, non-comic book reading crowd by randomly inserting Nick Furry into the mix.  To you hard core Iron Man entrepreneurs, this makes perfect sense and obviously wouldn’t feel out of place.  But to the normal people of Earth, this is a rather baffling and confusing character insertion.  And I wonder why Marvel felt the need to leave out the fact that Ivan Vanko has a super villain name?  It seems Marvel Entertainment is forgetting about its non-comic book viewers and making films that assume they know what the heck’s going on.

Of course you boys out there who love your “big guns” and “mechanical warfare” will become so smitten with this film, you might findyour pants a little messy and seedy in the crotchal area.  This is the ideal film for the tough guy whose masculinity is defined only by how much bigger their gun is than yours.  I’m convinced that the design team had an orgy every time they went to work with how excited they got over the detailing and technical side of this movie.  Please, if you are a guy and got an erection during this film, please raise your hand.  This was truly the motivational driving point for the film, especially due to the immense flaunting of Miss Johansson in her Black Widow outfit.  Boobs and guns, that’s the focus of this film, don’t mistake it!

Amongst the montages, delaying and unnecessary babble from most of the characters, and the sex magnet otherwise known as Scarlett Johansson, the film’s overall feel leaves little room for excitement.  I would say the only redeeming quality of the film, other than the amazing performances by the cast, would be the opening court room scene where Stark let’s our American Senators have with a good ol’ American twist.  “I have successfully privatized world peace,” might just be the greatest line in movie history.  But of course, we are a country who thrives on the belittling and mockery of our government while still saying it’s the best and most “kick-ass” country in the world.  Ah Rhetoric, how I love thee.

My Awe-Struck Conclusion
The biggest problem with the Marvel Comics superheroes is their celebrity status.  Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Green Lantern, they all maintain a level of secrecy that keeps the characters interesting and fun.  (Hooray for DC Comics!)  But Marvel holds nothing back in letting the world know who their heroes are.  The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, the Punisher, and many others have no secret identities.  Everyone knows who they are and where they live.  (Does anyone else see a problem with this?) The excitement and thrill of the world not knowing is gone, which makes Characters like Iron Man less appealing and likeable as a hero.  Apart from the fact that he is a product of the Cold War era, Iron Man has very little potential as a good character and no real purpose except to blow shit up.  What’s worse is, plans are already put in place for a third Iron Man film and casting decisions have already been made.  Ugh, why do I torture myself?

Rating 5 out of 10

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