I just got in from watching a preview of Iron Man 2 which gets its full theatre release tomorrow in the UK (wait…later today it’s pretty late now isn’t it?). This is a big one for me. I do like my comic book films, not that I’m massively into comics but I dip my toe into that pool of literature from time to time and always rather enjoy them. So it’s always intriguing to see what happens when they hit the big screen, where the characters go and what new things happen in sequels.
I think I’ll assume for the purposes of this blog (I’m rather tired at the moment!) that you have all seen Iron Man, and if you haven’t get off this and get watching that you crazy fools. I bloody loved Iron Man, and now can not think of Tony Stark without immediately thinking of Robert Downey Jr, he is a fine actor and is the best thing about these films. Where the first film was an introduction, this sequel is definitely building up to something big that will transform over the next couple of years (Avengers, Thor, Captain America).
This film really hits all the right notes for me in terms of what I was expecting from the sequel. It’s another top notch performance by Downey, he’s got that usual charm but this film brings out darker tones of his personal life. We see him pretty much break down at one point, it’s not quite pleasant to watch so I guess that’s a job done well hey.
I thought Mickey Rourke was fantastic as Ivan Vanko/Whiplash, he totally underplayed the character creating a really menacing, psychotic baddie which is generally what you want from a typical “bad guy”.
The most exciting thing for me was Nick Fury played by Samuel L Jackson. A rather small part in the film but was much anticipated from the teaser we got from the end of Iron Man. So Sam Jackson pretty much has one acting dimension which is…”cool/badass” wait, is that two? Anyway, he’s both of these and that’s what we want from the head of S.H.E.I.L.D. All of this is of course wetting our appetite for The Avengers due 2012. There are plenty of little teasers strewn through out the film that will get the geek within you screaming, “argh it’s all coming together!”**
Iron Man 2 is a fantastic sequel that will please most comic book fans, however, I will say that halfway through the story and momentum does lag a wee bit. Watching Tony Stark have a bit of a break down yes is human, but we want ass kicking goddammit! I also felt that Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow could have done a lot more. Her action sequence was brutal, but her story went no where and I’m sure people unfamiliar with the source material may be left wondering…”Who was that?”
All in all, Jon Favreau I salute you. The effects are stunning, the way the costume fits together is perfection really. This is a great sequel and I can’t wait for more to come. 8/10
** OK, no spoilers I promise and you probably know this…but keep watching until the end of the credits…ok good. Bed time for me.
EDIT: In my sleepy state I completely neglected the SUBLIME Sam Rockwell who played Tony Stark’s business rival Justin Hammer, possibly the best performance of the whole film. My bad!