Iron Man 2 (Jon Favreau, 2010)

Year 2008 is the year where 2 comic adaptation superhero movies dethroned X-Men 2 (Singer, 2003) as my favourites. One of them is the sequel to the reboot DC Comics Batman series, The Dark Knight (Nolan), the critical acclaimed and arguably the greatest superhero movie ever made to date. On the other hand, the lesser known Marvel Comics' Iron Man burst onto movie screens for the first time and won the heart even the most cynical fan. I, for one, from knowing nothing about Tony Stark, to collecting the metal armoured hero's merchandize products, I also delved into the comic's timeline history from other reading material, that is how the movie does to me. Also I think I am the minority who laud Iron Man over The Dark Knight. Neither the fact IM has a less epic feel (compare to TDK) does not diminish its status, nor a less threatening villain reduces my love for the movie.

So now Round 2, the often cited as the difficult middle part of any trilogy. Prior to watch Iron Man 2, I am anxious, I know it WILL NOT surpass the 1st movie's awesomeness, deep down in my heart I hope it will not embarrass and destroy the 1st movie legacy, that is how I lower my expectation. Like any 1st sequel bridging the trilogy, the protagonist always deal with bigger issues. Since Tony Stark revealed the real man behind the mask to the world, everyone wants a piece of the arc reactor powered armour suit. The pressure from US government, his rival business entrepreneur, Justin Hammer (played by Sam Rockwell) to its own gain, try to emulate the technology that help Tony to preserve the peace. That was not the only problem Tony is facing: the arc reactor planted in his chest plate that keep his heart beating ever since the near fatal injury, is slowly poison his body. Failure to find an alternative component affects him mentally as well.

Meanwhile, the romantic tension between Tony and his personal assistant, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) continues. But sadly the ever present flirtation is best seen during the original movie. Remember in the past James Rhodes said to himself that he will wear the suit next time? Well, this is the time, he is the War Machine teaming up with Iron Man. Don Cheadle played the role of Rhodey this time, replacing Terrence Howard due to alleged contract dispute. I prefer Terrence's portrayal of Rhodey. He had a great chemistry with Robert Downey Jr. He can shows a straight face with doses of playfulness underneath. I am delighted by Mickey Rourke's performance as the villain, the development of the character, Ivan Vanko draws a parallel similarity to Tony Stark, but with opposite direction. They both have brilliant minded father, and inherited their knowledge. Only the contrast upbringing makes the difference.

Iron Man 2 did not improved from the 1st movie, I guess the director, Jon Favreau did not try to up the ante, I mean, ask yourself, how do you surpass the 5 stars rated Iron Man 1? You can't, *gasp* you can only stick with the Unofficial Rule of 2nd Part in a Trilogy as follows:

1) Bigger production budget
2) Larger casts
3) Bigger explosion (applicable, if any)
4) Expanding plotline
5) Darker tone
6) Main character faces bigger issues

Compare to its precedent, Iron Man 2 has less action, more talky scenes, I am all for that, but the middle act is sluggish, with direction-less feel to it. Too bad the drunken brawl scene was done comically, stick out like a sore thumb. The final battle is yet another machine vs machine, the only difference is the plural of it. Give me a more "organic" villiain in the next installment OK?

Like it or not, while we are waiting for final part of the Iron Man trilogy, you do not need a comic book geek to tell you that the appearance of Nick Fury, Agent Coulsen, the teaser of Captain America's Shield and Thor's Hammer are all part of the bigger Marvel Comics' universe. Plus the coming up full length features of Captain America and Thor, all these are and will be paving the path to the colossal The Avengers movie. By the way, can anyone tell me where was Stan Lee's cameo this time? Or do not tell me *another gasp* he did not make any appearance?

You may notice my comment for Iron Man 2 so far is less enthusiastic, yes i am slightly letdown by the latest outing, save for only the man himself, Robert Downey Jr. who once again shines as the womaniser billionaire, a heart of gold genius. His flamboyant body language, often carry a smirk on the face and never feel the need to hide his alter ego side. It may sound cliché, but Robert Downey Jr. is born to play high-handed Stark Industries CEO, he is the one who carries this movie steer it away to become another generic superhero movie.

1 star = Pathetic, SowYau feel ashamed of watching it
2 stars = Off the mark material, approach with caution
3 stars = Generally good, you should watch it if it's your favourite genre
4 stars = excellent, strongly recommended
5 stars = A classic status? only time will tell. But it is definitely in SowYau's Hall of Fame List

No comments: