Saturday, May 08, 2010

Iron Man 2 - A Review

The biggest question plaguing everyone's mind is whether Iron Man 2 is as good as its first iteration. As trends go sequels have a tendency to fall flat on the face though recent successes like the Spiderman series seemed to have turned the tide. Thankfully, Iron Man 2 contributes to that growing minority.

Without giving away the story, I am going to try my best and give you all a faint idea of what to expect from this action powerhouse.

Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as the smooth talking, swashbuckling Tony Stark. His dialogues are full of wit and humor and like in Sherlock Holmes the audience falls for all that glib talk hook line and sinker. Gwyneth Paltrow is back as Pepper Pots and despite looking old in some frames stands her own against Tony Stark's shenanigans and at times dick head behavior. What also redeem's the movie is that the viewer is able to separate the characters of Tony and Iron Man and see them separately. Tony Stark is shown with all the human imperfections he is known to have and yet has that endearing hero like quality that makes him acceptable under the metal suit. Iron Man whenever he is on screen is invincible in all his shiny metal glory and nothing can keep him down. Tony's increasing despair at the life threatening condition and how it leads him to behave incorrigibly pulls at the viewer's heart strings. Not to be missed is a drunk performance by him in the Iron Man suit that elicits some good laughs.

Terrence Howard was not so lucky and is not missed either. His shoes ably filled by Don Cheadle as Jim Rhodes who hits paydirt by getting to be War Machine. Though not true to his comic book origins, the character development is believable and he plays worthy adversary/sidekick/partner to Iron Man.

Another character high on the anticipation list was Scarlett Johansson, very drool worthy as Shield Agent Natalie Rushman aka Black Widow and boy does she have those curves down pat. Scarlett can act no doubt and does ample justice to her secretary avatar, however there seems to be a lack of finesse and fluidity in her brief appearance as Black Widow. The script writers should have spent more time fleshing this one out. Her main action sequence is contrived and does not do justice to the expectations that weight down the character. Nor is the character important enough to be required by the main story and could have been done away with to give more emphasis and justice in later movies.

I was also pleasantly surprised to see Olivia Munn of French Maid Pie Jump and Eating Hot Dog fame in a newscaster role. A short and sweet appearance but her innate sassiness was very much missed. Stan Lee also does his customary blink and miss guest role.

Playing villains are Mickey Rourke as Whiplash an out of luck Russian Physicist able to duplicate Tony's reactor core design and Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer who  wants to make an army of Iron Man suits and sell them to the US Army. Though worthy adversaries they never seem to offer anything other than a minor distraction to Iron Man. Both of them lack the devilish quality and do not inspire awe and hate like The Green Goblin from Spiderman and Joker from The Dark Knight. However, the final action sequence between Whiplash's robotic minions and Iron Man backed up by War Machine is a redeeming factor and worthy of all the cat calls and inappropriate whistling your mouth can manage.

Fanboys also have enough goodies and easter eggs to keep them on the edge of the seat. Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury gives up chasing superheroes after end credits roll and appears to seem all important, nudge Tony Stark in the right direction and still look like doing nothing but eat screen space. The studios do seem to be prepping up the audience for the Superhero universe they want to explode in our faces. As with all recent Marvel movies, do stay back till end of the credits roll to know what I am talking about.

At this point one might wonder what is the movie doing with so many characters who must be jostling with each other for screen space but all credit to the Indie actor turned producer/director Jon Favreau who helms a tight ship even putting in a cameo himself and never allows the movie to go out of hand. The story moves forward seamlessly and even the minor characters have enough personality to make the audience feel for them yet not get distracted from the central ones.

As expected from any Hollywood creation of this caliber the production is top notch with no cost spared on the CGI. Apart from usual strapping on the suit and robots going all guns at each other scenes, one of the most jaw dropping ones are of Tony interacting with J.A.R.V.I.S. his lab AI which makes Minority Report look amateurish in comparison. However, that star shield didn't really seem like it belonged to a super soldier but maybe there is a deeper explanation for it. (*evil grin*). The retro/rock soundtrack infuses a sit back, look how cool we are and enjoy the movie feel. AC/DC has a major hand and the wait for end credits to roll is made bearable by "Highway to Hell" belting out from the Dolby speakers.

So does it stand up to scrutiny and deserve a watch? Hell Yes it does. Even if you are  someone who has not followed the Iron man series and is just looking for some mindless weekend entertainment from a film that does not take itself seriously then Iron Man 2 will provide you the escapism into a fantasy world of flash boom bang. So go out and break out the popcorn tub cause Iron Man 2 does not disappoint. 

Rating: 3.5/5

Please share your opinion on this post in the comments section.


  1. hey nice review, the movie has it highs n lows, was hoping for a better fight sequence

  2. hey abhi. yea, the villians weren't really good enough to offer a worthy fight :D

  3. Hey Vishal...I stumbled on your blog when I was searching for Cafe Good Luck on the net..Cool stuff.You've really done a great job. In fact I too write a blog - I was all over the place with my posts, but looking at your blog has given me some new inspiration. Keep up the good work man..

    Anup Pimpalkhare

  4. I totally loved Iron Man 2. Maybe its just because I have the hots for Robert Downey Jr. Its like when he's on screen all the critical appraisal flies straight out of the window and my eyes are glued to him :P

    But yes, I agree there could have been more action. Less talk.


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