Friday, May 7, 2010

Movie Review - Iron Man 2

I've mentioned the The Dark Knight is my favorite movie before. The Dark Knight is a masterpiece. I don't however, necessarily consider it the best superhero movie of all time, because there's nothing super about it. It's based in a world firmly grounded in reality. It was a crime drama in tights.

Iron Man, which released a few months before hand, however, is what I would call the best "Superhero movie" in the traditional sense. Iron Man was a blast to watch. You watched the character of Tony Stark progress, but it never feels like he changes persay. He's still the same guy, but his near death experience has made him more responsible. It was a great movie. I loved it.

I guess I'm a little disappointed in the fact that Iron Man 2 just isn't as good. Don't get me wrong, it's a good movie... But I couldn't help thinking during it, "The first one was better."

One of the biggest problems is, in my opinion, the fact that Whiplash, the villain of the movie just isn't very interesting. I just couldn't care less about Whiplash. He was uninteresting. He was boring! For one thing, his accent was waaaay too thick. I couldn't understand anything he said. At several points I wasn't sure if he was speaking russian, or english.

In a superhero movie, the villain is as important- No! More important than the hero. Let me use The Dark Knight as an example. I'm of the opinion that Christian Bale is not a very good Batman. He's a great Bruce Wayne, but not a very good Batman. But The Joker and Two-Face are really great villains, and make it my favorite movie.

Better yet, let's look at another one of the greatest Superhero movies ever... The Incredibles. Syndrome, the villain of The Incredibles is a really great character. The interesting thing about him is the fact that you kind of feel bad for him! He was Mr. Incredible's biggest fan, and Mr. Incredible just pushed him aside! You understand his motivation!

On the commentary track for The Incredibles, Brad Bird (Director of that movie as well as another great movie The Iron Giant) said something that really applies, in my opinion, to Iron Man 2.

"A good villain can be funny. You can laugh at a good villain. But there's one thing you have to make sure: You have to make sure your villain is always a threat." Syndrome even says something similar in the film. "(Speaking to Mr. Incredible, who tries to reason with him) Now you respect me, because I'm a threat."

Whiplash never really felt like a threat to me in this movie. In Iron Man, Ironmonger was always a threat, but Tony never really knew until the end. In this, Whiplash spends most of the movie sitting in a lab. It's really rather boring. In fact, without giving too much away, the final battle at the end of the movie was really anti-climatic.

Of course, the movie does have some high notes too. The humor in this movie is still very similar to the first movie. The first time you see the character of Rhodey (who was recast in this movie. Don Cheadle now plays him, instead of Terrance Howard.) Tony says "I didn't think I'd see you here!" And Rhodey replies "Yeah well it's me. I'm here. Get over it." Unfortunately, I never really warmed up to Cheadle, and he and Robert Downy Jr. didn't have the same chemistry as he and Howard did.

Robert Downy Jr. did a good job as Tony Stark, just like in the first movie. I wasn't super partial to Scarlett Johansson in the movie though. She was ok I guess.

And that's the problem with a lot of the movie. The action sequences, the explosions, the plot... It all just end with me having a feeling of "Yeah, ok I guess." It just doesn't seem to have quite the same charm as the first movie did.

For all its faults though, Iron Man 2 is still worth seeing. I give it a recommendation, just... Don't expect it to be as good as the first movie. Because it isn't. That's all there is too it.

Oh, and without giving away too much... Make sure you stick around for the Easter egg after the end credits. It's basically a teaser for the next Marvel movie... Just watch it.

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