Wednesday, May 05, 2010
IRON MAN 2
Director: Jon Favreau
Screenplay: Justin Theroux
Comic: Marvel (Stan Lee)
Stars: ROBERT DOWNEY JR., Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson, Garry Shandling, Scarlett Johansson, Clark Gregg, John Slattery, Paul Bettany (the voice of Jarvis)
The much hyped sequel to one of the most successful comic book movies ever made, Iron Man 2 is on our screens, giving us another dose of that essential mineral, while simultaneously baffling us with a host of science nonsense, and some hilarious dialogue.
Picking up where Iron Man left off, Tony Stark (the superb Robert Downey Jr. still playing the narcissist bar*tard so well) revealing to the public that he is the man behind the superhero mask, now has the government pressing him to share his technology with the military.
Concerned it could fall into the wrong hands, Stark remains adamant claiming the rest of the world is years behind in developing similar tech. He has single-handedly saved the universe. As he puts it, ‘I’ve privatised world peace’! Remember, this is a super hero movie, so the status quo is about to change.
This time around Ivan Venko (Mickey Rourke) is our ‘super-villain’, giving us a menacingly quiet and calculating foe nicknamed ‘Whiplash’. Although his performance is classy and distinctive, it’s Stark’s other nemesis Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) that steals the show. His performance so spot-on you couldn’t knock it with err… a Hammer!
He’s is amazingly sleazy, and displays the right kind of attitude for anyone going after the billionaire industrialist with inferior product should. Everyone knows that Hammer is no match for Stark, yet he will persist, and this persistence keeps the viewer interested to the very end of this CGI-drenched-mecha-fest.
Iron Man’s seemingly impenetrable armour is what eventually saves the day, but it takes a whole detour circling angst ridden characters, double-dealings, sub-plots involving the next generation of super heroes, and baffling scientific experiments, while our hero toughs it out again before we eventually get there.
Don Cheadle has replaced Terrence Howard as best friend Jim Rhodes, getting little screen-time for an actor of his calibre deserves. As Stark’s personal assistant, Ms. Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) has to contend with Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson). She’s more of a side-note, and introduced to us for reasons that will become apparent later.
I have no idea if the story line and its finale bear any resemblance to the original comic book. However, Iron Man 2 the movie is definitely worth seeing as a stand-alone. It’s the sort of movie that allows grown-ups to indulge in playing with toy cars and robots, and flying rockets through the air to attack the baddies, albeit in a ‘virtual’ world. A real ‘boys’ movie – you’ll have to see it to understand what I mean by this.
However, if you didn’t enjoy Iron Man the first time around then you’re not going to like this much either. Director Jon Favreau and screenwriter Justin Theroux have crafted a move that, on the whole, is a more interesting experience than the original; and still as topical. No signs of rust on this franchise yet!