Saturday, 20 November 2010

Iron Man 2 review

WORTH SEEING? The first half of the movie is worth seeing, maybe even several times, but a flat ending leaves the movie feeling more 'fizzle' than 'bang'.

TELL ME MORE - Seconds after viewing Iron Man, while the intense strains of Black Sabbath reverberated in our ear drums, me and my cousin made a commitment to see the inevitable sequel together the moment it came out.

Ironically, I wound up seeing Iron Man 2 on three separate occasions, three separate screens, and not one of them involved my cousin. Basically, this is my long-winded way of slipping in a pun and to point out that Iron Man 2 has absolutely zero replay value.

1st Viewing - Exciting enough. Don Cheadle gave an over-the-top introductory account of himself, but in the world of Iron Man & pals he seemed the most down to earth. Everyone else was playing their parts almost to the extent of ham-acting. A lacklustre final battle didn't ruin some decent action scenes from earlier in the film. All in all a decent blockbuster romp.
2nd Viewing - Still enjoyed Mickey Rourke and Robert Downey Jr, everyone else served as decent support, nothing particularly exciting (except using Cap's shield to hold up some pipes). Fell asleep during the final act.
3rd Viewing - Began pondering logistics, such as how a rickety old pipe being propped up by a shield could produce such pin-point accuracy. Began day-dreaming about science.

THE CAST - Robert Downey Jr (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) provided a perfect Tony Stark yet again. Not a lot else to say. Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) is finding a late-career revival playing quiet, dark and ultimately skeletal characters with only a hint of a past. He plays it well, but there's not much to comment on really. He's the villain, end of story. Don Cheadle (Ocean's 11) as mentioned above is the least O.T.T. Of the bunch, but largely forgettable. Gwyneth Paltrow (Running With Scissors) has beefed up her role considerably, especially in the second act. Good show. Sam Rockwell (The Green Mile) is for my money the better villain over Mickey Rourke - smart, more fully realised, and flawed. Finally, Scarlett Johansson (Ghost World) and Samuel L Jackson (every film without a Morgan Freeman budget) were there to set up sequels, weren't needed and (with the exception of one Matrix-esque fight scene) entirely forgettable. Which is a shame.

WRAP IT UP - Decent action flick, not life-changing, director Jon Favreau really needs to sharpen up his 'fight scene' skills, but the casting is pretty much spot-on. A strong 6/10 in my books, but that score diminishes rapidly with repeated viewings.

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