Iron Man 2
What’s this? Me going to the cinema on the day of a film’s release?! Must be something special….
When I go back and read my original review of Iron Man I am shocked by how ambivalent I was towards it. Seeing it for the second time prompted a whole post about second impressions, and a few more watches down the line I am a die hard Iron Man fanatic.
Today is my sister’s birthday, and having finally succeeded in converting her to the Iron Man church, what better way to celebrate than seeing a movie we’ve both been eagerly anticipating.
On with the review.
While it took me a while to warm up to the first Iron Man, the same cannot be said of this film. I absolutely loved it. And by the sounds of the people in the cinema around me, so did everyone else.
The plot is fast-paced and engaging. It might not have many twists in the tail but it isn’t predictable either. The script is also just as sharp and snappy as the first film, with all the RDJ signatures that make the character so popular. There are genuine laugh-out-loud moments (just ask the guy sitting behind me) and a whole host of fantastically quotable lines that will no doubt be appearing on this blog in the future.
The whole character of Tony Stark is so wrapped up in Robert Downey Jr’s personality that it’s very hard to picture him any other way. But who would want to when he does it so well? The sequel also brings on board the unstoppable Mickey Rourke and a fantastic performance from Sam Rockwell. Both actors are perfect in their roles; I’m really hoping to see more of Rockwell in future films. Gwyneth Paltrow continues to shine as Pepper Potts, a role that really seems to suit her, and she provides a great foil for RDJ. If I had to pick one person out as being less interesting it would be Scarlett Johansson, but I think that is more because she is surrounded by huge competition on all sides and playing a less interesting character. It’s nice to have Samuel L Jackson back too, after his one liner in the first movie stinger.
Speaking of trivia, there are a couple of nice nods to comic book geekdom to make those of us sad clever enough to spot them. In the first film we had S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury, but the hints are more subtle here. Look out for an iconic piece of equipment belonging to an all-American hero, and don’t forget to wait until after the credits before you leave your seat.
Other thoughts: the soundtrack (provided in no small part by legends AC/DC) is epic. Both the use of pop music (absolutely loved the Another One Bites the Dust/It Takes 2 mash up) and the original score by John Debney are brilliant.
The special effects are also great. I really want a computer where I can pick things up and move them around with my hands. I mean, that’s just cool. Some of the handheld camera work in the opening scenes is a little shaky, but that’s what you get with that style of filming and it works most of the time, although it’s a little distracting in the court scene.
I also don’t understand why they replaced Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle as Rhodey. Howard was great in the first films and seemed to have a great rapport with RDJ. Not that Cheadle doesn’t, but it seems a strange thing to do. I wondered if there would be any reference to the change of face in the script and got my answer in Rhodey’s opening line:
“I’m here, it’s me, get used to it.”
Iron Man 2 is an awesome film. Like Spiderman before it I can see the films running for a good while yet (hooray!) Even while the movie was still running I was thinking “I really want to see that bit again.” It ranges from explosive action (and I mean explosive) to big laughs and even manages to have some really sweet moments. What more could you ask for on a Thursday afternoon?
Go out and see it now. And take me. ‘Cos I need to see it again.