Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Iron-Man 2

This is not Iron Man 2. This is Tony Stark 2.

And, as such, a lot of critics have said that Iron Man redux has bombed. I completely disagree. Because I think that Iron Man, the suit, is boring. Stark, as portrayed by Robert Downey, Jr., is the whole thing here. He can entertain simply by standing still and saying nothing. But he does little of that here.

We join the scene just after Stark has declared himself to be Iron Man. The whole world goes nuts with the news, including Ivan Vanko, an inventor in Russia who decides to take it to Stark in a public arena. Mickey Rourke, I understand, went to Russia in a bit of method actor obsession to learn a Russian accent. He learned it so well I didn't understand much of what he said. He's very good in this part, totally believable as the brilliant but over-the-top inventor.

Sam Rockwell fares less well as Hammer, who is the antithesis of Tony Stark. He's in it for the money, fame, glory, and doesn't have an ounce of Tony's genius. But he does have showmanship, and a penchant for the dramatic.

The film has a well-placed cast. Rhodey, the Army colonel who is Tony's best friend, has a face-lift here but some really great scenes as he gets to wear an iron suit of his own. Pepper Potts, as portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow, has some good scenes, although we're so smitten with her we wish she'd had more. And Jon Favreau - yes, the director of the film - has an ongoing role as the chauffeur who leaps in to help, but not always in the best way.

But the real show is Downey, who shows what a man will do when he's circling deeper and deeper into the abyss, unable to control this monster that he's created: himself and the Iron Man, who are one and the same.

I loved this movie. Sure, there are bits and pieces of scenes that don't make sense or don't belong, but the adrenaline peak excuses all of that.

Thumb's up.


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