Just Pillow Talk v Marvel Comics. Number 9, part 2: Iron Man 2
Welcome back to Just Pillow Talk’s tour of insipid cinema. Marvel adaptations are, judging by this series, a pretty uninspiring bunch with very few of them becoming elevated above their source material. In fact, it does seem that he’s seen an awful lot that I’d term as being utter shit. He split up the two Iron Man reviews, probably for reasons of sanity, as the second Iron Man film is dogshit by any reasonable standard. Nevertheless, he’s back with his update from the bowels of funny book hell:
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Back in the Marvel saddle, I apologize for the delay, but shit happens. While I still have the two FF and Howard the Duck films to contend with, I think it’s time to reflect on how blah Marvel films are. What makers of film seem to forget is to make fun films about superheroes. There should be plenty of action, because, well, it’s a fucking movie based on a comic book. Nor does filling a movie to the brim with characters make it better; it in fact makes it worse since characters inevitably get shortchanged and the overall story suffers.
Now I quite liked the first Iron Man, and yes, that’s mostly due to RDJ’s performance, but there was enough there besides that to make it a good film. The origin of the Iron Man suit I think was handled very well, and the effects were pretty solid. The sequel takes place shortly after the events of the first movie. The world knows Tony Stark as Iron Man, thanks to his announcement at the end of the first film. Tony, suffice to say, loves the limelight. He thinks he is doing a greater good and making America, and the World, a safer place. Alas the U.S. government doesn’t share the same sentiments, and wants the Iron Man suit as government property. They don’t get that warm and fuzzy feeling that a private citizen has control over such a powerful weapon. What Tony doesn’t realize is that Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) has plans to take out Tony with some of the same technology that powers the Iron Man suit and keeps him alive. It turns out Ivanko worked with Tony’s father but got deported due to sharing some of those scientific secrets with the Soviets. Tsk-tsk. Well, Ivan is sort of pissy about that and tries to take out Tony with some electrical charged whips. Close, but no cigar to our comrade friend.
Ivan gets put away but lo and behold gets broken out of prison by Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), who is a competitor of Stark Industries. He wants Ivan to help him build a better droid to compete against Iron Man and win a contract with the military. That tricky Ivan has other ideas and unleashes the droids against Iron Man and the public.
But wait, I got a tad ahead of myself. Rhodey (now played by Don Cheadle), after being reassured by Tony that the technology would not get into the wrong hands anytime soon, he’s upset by Ivan’s attack, which proved the technology is already being copied. This all leads to the worst scene in both movies (think Daredevil vs. Elektra playground scene or the entire Ghostrider movie) with Tony in the Iron Man suit drunk, dancing and shooting dishes with his repulser beam. Rhodey decides to suit up in another Iron Man suit and they duke it out. Rhodey ends up leaving with the suit and bringing it to a military air force base. There, it gets powered up with some of Justin Hammer’s weapons to make it “War Machine”. Are the geeks happy? I think this part was unnecessary; did we really need to get War Machine already? No we did not.
Oh, one more thing, RDJ is dying from the arc reactor even while it keeps him alive. Fortunately for him, Shield gives him the necessary help (sort of) to help him recreate a new element (his dad did it first) and build a brand spanking new arc reactor that is more powerful and doesn’t have the side effect of killing him. Yay Howard!
So Iron Man and War Machine save the day by destroying all the droids and killing Ivan in his all new suit. And there’s more shit about the Avenger Initiative and Nick Fury and Scarlett Johansson is the Black Widow working for Shield pretending to be a secretary for Stark Industries..not that important.
Listen, I actually like the premise of doing the “Armor Wars” (was that what it was called?), where Tony was trying to repossess his technology and undo some wrongs. I just didn’t like the way they went about it. First, the Senate scene was complete shit. Second, I thought Sam Rockwell was a shit villain. I couldn’t take him serious for one moment, nor do I even think he would have had the backbone to have Ivan broken out of prison. The dude is a weasel, doesn’t fit the character. Third, Ivan’s little speech to Tony about “blood in the water” now that he showed the world Tony (and Iron Man) could be gotten to, nothing came of it. It would have been better if Ivan had sold the technology to someone which led to more attacks on Tony. I think the action should have been upped more than it was in this regard. Show what Tony’s overconfidence does to those around him by having everything he cares about put into danger by the technology he created.
The biggest problem with this movie: it felt like a filler between the Avengers movie. It was a disappointment because it did not build off of the first one, more like tread water. I’ll give it 1.5 ScarJo’s out of 4.