Thursday, May 13, 2010

Iron Man 2

With very few exceptions, sequels just don't live up to the originals. "Iron Man 2" definitely falls into this category. With the idea that bigger is better, actor/director Jon Favreau aims high but falls short with an over produced and overblown spectacle that will still appeal to fans simply because films like this are critic proof.

Robert Downey Jr. is still a dashing hero and quick with the one-liner but it's obvious he's working a lot harder than he did in the first film, which found him a lot more relaxed and natural. Gwyneth Paltrow isn't given much to do except whine and complain and Scarlett Johansson's best scene is when she lets her actions speak louder than her dialog. Don Cheadle, so loose in the "Oceans" films is stiff as the iron suit he wears as "War Machine". As the villains, Sam Rockwell hams it up as Justin Hammer and is actually quite funny while Mickey Rourke's "Whiplash" looks imposing but is beaten much too easy.

Mr. Favreau fills the screen with so much sound and vision, it masks the fact that there is very little action with only 3 sequences to pump up the audience. And while those scenes may look good, (don't be fooled by all the exploding cars and glass), there is never any sense of real danger or suspense.

Marvel Enterprises continues to use each film as building blocks in it's comic film franchise, hinting here to the arrival of a full blown "Avengers" film on the horizon(expected in 2012). We get more of Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson, who needs to be tougher), a piece of one hero's equipment put to comic good use, and if you stay past the credits, a sneak peek of the next Marvel hero waiting in the wings.

Despite it's overindulgent flaws, "Iron Man 2" was a bit better than expected and if you enjoyed the first film, grab your popcorn and immerse yourself in it's comic book silliness.

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