Steel City Girl Enjoyed Iron Man 2

May 8, 2010 at 5:40 pm (Movies and TV)

Welcome, Summer Movie Season, 2010!!!!! What a way to start!!!!

We have a 6-year-old who was obsessed with the first Iron Man movie. We own the movie. He has Iron Man shoes, hat, shirts, coloring book, action figure, etc. I considered the fact that they make little boy underwear that say “Iron Man” kind of funny but wrong…though his little butt sports those, too. He spent Iron Man 2 fighting along with Iron Man in his seat, and in some parts where rock music was involved, he was dancing like a goof. He woke us up at 8am this Saturday morning by jumping on top of us and singing Ozzy Osbourne’s Iron Man theme at the top of his lungs. He was not only undisappointed, he was in the zone the entire time. And he’s been “flying” and calling himself “Iron Bean” for the last two hours.

Recall that the original Iron Man was one of my top 3 favorite movies of 2008. I liked it not just for the luscious rogue-ish-ness that is The Downey, but because it asked important questions about weapons and war and peace.

Here we are 2 years later. Very, very rarely does a sequel live up to the original. From a pure entertainment value standpoint, I think I enjoyed Iron Man 2 the same amount. However, that was in spite of The Downey rather than because of him, as when we meet him it is 6 months after his announcement that he is Iron Man, and he has become a pompous ass. In the first one he was a pompous ass but a FUN one. The plot in this sequel requires that Downey become just an ass, so that he can be taken down a couple pegs in order to return triumphant. Tony Stark is less fun, but that’s less Downey’s fault than it is a plot device. He has his reasons.

I always grin like an idjit the entire time Samuel L Jackson is onscreen, and we think they may have even used the Pulp Fiction diner in one scene. The long-suffering Gwyneth Paltrow is delightful as usual. Scarlett Johanssen kicks much butt, and, I am happy for my husband that we finally get a good movie that has eye candy for BOTH of us. There was a flap over the fact that Terence Howard was re-cast with Don Cheadle…they handle this by having Cheadle’s first line be, “I’m here, it’s me, deal with it.”

The big coolness in terms of characters and actors, hands down…MICKEY ROURKE. I have no idea why Hollywood has waited this long to start casting him as a true bad-ass. I sympathized with Rourke but was also completely creeped out by him, even while seeing his answer to Iron Man’s technology and thinking, oh, now THAT is COOL! He was just as much a show-stealer of a bad guy as Heath Ledger’s Joker…which is not to say I equate the two (Ledger rules)…just that I was preoccupied with the bad-guy over the good-guy in Iron Man 2 in the same manner as I was in The Dark Knight.

Iron Man 2 also deals with important themes and asks difficult questions which should be asked, as the original did. If someone invents something that could be dangerous, does the government have a right or a responsibility to take it away, or is it personal property? When you toss your lot in with a bad guy (as the US has done before in the Middle East), why are you surprised to get double-crossed? They made use of the threat of loose nuclear components in Russia, as well as the notion that decisions you make 30-40 years ago can often have a lot to do with where you are right now (again, see US Foreign Policy, Middle East). It also questions the use of robot drones in war (see US Foreign Policy, Afghanistan).

The visual effects are top notch if sometimes impossible according to the laws of physics, particularly, a scene at a Monaco raceway. I do have some questions, though…with some of this film devoted to Iron Man’s vulnerabilities, I’d like to know what happens if he ever goes into water, as surely, he’d sink to the bottom. Also, if you are making robots to fight wars for you, and they’re robots, wouldn’t it behoove you to give them a more streamlined design than to make them human-shaped? I mean, a human-shaped Navy robot wouldn’t be the most aquadynamic, a human-shaped Air Force robot wouldn’t fly as well as other shapes and designs would.

Anyone who calls this sequel a disappointment is wrong. These days, I tend to measure movies in terms of, would I feel bad paying full price for seeing this? How about matinee price? On-Demand rental? Grocery store dollar rental? The answer on Iron Man 2 is…definitely worth full price.

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