To make a successful sequel to one of the greatest and highest grossing superhero movies of all time is no mean feat. Well, as it stands Iron Man 2 has been very successful throughout the course of its opening weekend, but does that mean that it’s been good? I’ll be frank, Iron Man 2 was a good movie, but not as good as its predecessor. I hate to disappoint anyone who is getting their hopes up for seeing a godsend of a film, but sadly, Iron Man 2 is just too discombobulated.
I don’t want to give off the impression that I disliked Iron Man 2 because that would just be false. I think the problem for me, besides the ones that actually correlate with the movie, was that I went in with exceedingly high expectations and low and behold, I was mildly disappointed. Even though it pulled out all the stops with the special effects and along with casting and the characters, and even though everything should have worked marvelously, well…That said, Iron Man 2 is better than a lot of other movies out there, and much more fun at that.
The movie definitely offers a bang-for-your-buck approach, but it’s also accompanied by philosophical and moral dilemmas that seem to tie everyone down. But that’s not the problem, the problem is that there’s too much going on. The scenes seem only loosely connected and everyone appears to be doing their own thing, behaving in whatever manner seems right, disregarding everyone else or even the plot. Yes, the movie did wrap up nicely and every little arch that popped up was resolved in a reasonably coherent fashion, but some of these moments felt forced. The one occasion that pops in my mind is when Stark dons the Iron Man armor and get drunk, singing to a bunch of people at a party of his, going on to shoot wine bottles, while his friends can only stare in abject horror. The whole point of a scene like this is to tie up some loose ends from earlier in the movie, where Iron Man was deemed a threat, and the idea that a drunk is behind the armor serves to reaffirm this view. While this may eventually lead to the “Demon in a Bottle” story arch that many Iron Man fans seem to love, it still seems somewhat contrived.
Robert Downey Jr. still makes for an excellent Tony Stark, something I’m sure will never change, Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow is certainly a crowd pleaser and even Samuel L. Jackson as the elusive and awesome Nick Fury is great to see, especially now that he has more of an important role. The relationship between the bad guys, played by Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke is perhaps one of the most interesting dynamics in the film. It’s not very often we get to see villains interact with one another and probably for good reason. Villains are not team players, they have their own agendas and the repertoire between Rockwell and Rourke is not only funny, but just damn intriguing. Don Cheadle as War Machine is the moment everyone was hoping for after the first film, and even though Terrance Howard is no longer playing the part, Cheadle suits up expertly and commands the role.
There are moments in the movie when it’s difficult to recognize an important scene, because they are scattered. While I’m a huge fan of director Jon Favreau, I’m under the impression that he just didn’t know what to do with all the material that he got presented with, reaching the point where he’s pretty much forced to wrap it all up, since the movie has to end sometime.
In the end, Iron Man 2 is alright. The filmmakers went to the trouble to make the movie feel like the first one, and it does, only not completely. They decided to stick with the exact same formula without any real deviation, and that didn’t work out for the best. Still, there is plenty of fun to be had with Iron Man 2 and many geek-tastic moments, moments that I shan’t reveal. Fans, along with the casual moviegoer, should enjoy the movie; just be sure not to expect something completely astounding.