Tuesday, 1 January 2013
Iron Man 2 Review
The one thing they didn't do is the proper tweaking of what didn't work and fix it. Ultimately, Tony Stark ends up having to fight a villain that is wearing a more weaponized suit than his own. Sound familiar? That's because it's the exact same thing that happens in the first one. Granted, they had a better actor and villain in Mickey Rourke playing Ivan Vanko than they did with Jeff Bridges playing Obadiah Stane. Vanko was a much more cold and ruthless villain because of his motivation for revenge rather than world domination. But Justin Hammer had the domination motivation so Hammer and Vanko are essentially just Stane rolled into one (sort of like William Riker and data working together to make up Spock for Star Trek: The Next Generation). Doing this isn't necessarily bad because it allows for more focused performances from Rourke and Sam Rockwell and you know where each one stands. The performance they got out of Rourke in this instance is very good.
So, with that, they tweaked the right thing. However, they did some more tweaking that was unnecessary and actually made it worse. Terrence Howard was a very good Rhodes in the first one. Replacing him with Don Cheadle was a mistake. Don't get me wrong, Cheadle is a very fine actor. But Howard suited the role better and they should have kept him.
The film is a bit too preachy in its "America can have toys but nobody else can because we can be trusted and you all cannot" message. But it is a comic book movie made for American audiences. If non-Americans don't like it, they need to step up and make their own films with their own message. We're playing in their sandbox here. It's just something we have to deal with. Fortunately, it didn't dominate the movie as much as it could have and they turned more of the focus to Stark trying to cure his Palladium poisoning and his own growth as a hero.
It is very similar to the first one. But the first one was a very good movie. Ultimately, so is this. There is less drop in quality than, say, the difference between Die Hard and Die Hard 2 but more than Rocky to Rocky 2. See it. Especially if you like all of the Avengers movies.