Plot: After revealing himself to the world as Iron Man, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) is a hero to the American people. Unfortunately he must deal with a rival weapons manufacturer (Sam Rockwell), a Senator (Garry Shandling) who wants the Iron Man weapon handed over to the military, and most dangerous of all, a Russian weapons designer (Mickey Rourke) who wants revenge on the Stark name.
Well so much for the Dark Knight having a positive influence on comic book/super hero movies. That’s not to say Iron Man 2 is bad…it’s okay. But I thought that after the Dark Knight, many directors/studios would take a note on how to make these movies right. It’s frustrating, because Iron Man 2 has a lot going for it, but it has the same problems that most mediocre to bad super hero movies have.
I actually wasn’t crazy about the first Iron Man. I thought it was incredibly slow and had pathetic villains that included throwing Jeff Bridges into a big metal suit at the end and random underdeveloped terrorists. Lame. Iron Man 2 does improve on the villains’ front 20 times over. This is actually the strongest part of the movie. Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko/Whiplash is awesome. He has a compelling motivation and a kick ass suit to rival Iron Man’s. The first time we see him in his full-fledged outfit pounding the ground with his electric whips was flat out awesome. The other villain is Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), Stark’s rival weapon company. This guy was just a huge dick, but also pretty funny. Sam Rockwell really made this work. He’s comical, but still a pretty big threat.
So what didn’t work in this movie? Where do I begin? First of all, for a 2 hour plus movie called Iron Man 2, you maybe see Iron Man being bad ass Iron Man for a total of 8 minutes of screen time. You’ve got to be kidding me. I criticized the first movie for Stark spending half the film building his suit, but even I understood they had to establish this character. But this is a sequel. There is no excuse this time. Instead of Iron Man fighting and blowing stuff up, we see Tony Stark emotionally self-destruct in his mansion for 3 quarters of the movie. He’s either getting drunk and making an ass of himself, or working in his lab and typing on his expensive computer equipment. Booooooooooring. I mean come on! In fact, I really disliked Stark’s character a lot. In the first movie Stark was the best part by far. He’s a likable prick and always in control. Here he’s just really pathetic. How am I supposed to buy this guy as a bad ass super hero when he acts like a complete embarrassment for more than half the movie.
And this leads into the real issue with this film. It’s way too jokey. It gets really close to Spiderman 3 Peter Parker dancing as a goth level humor. Let me run down the laundry list of jokes for you. Tony Stark gets drunk in his Iron Man costume. He lies in a giant donut during a hang over (still in costume). Then he sits down at the donut shop and talks with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) sipping coffee while still in the suit. I’m not saying every super hero movie has to be the Dark Knight. I get that Iron Man is more lighthearted than Batman, but come on. It’s making a mockery out of these characters. Even in the big climactic action scene where there should be no more fucking around, we get a missile that fails to work and farts on impact instead of exploding. Yea. A farting missile. And people wonder why comic book movies don’t win Oscars. It’s shit like this.
I do commend Iron Man 2 for having a lot of characters that aren’t just shoehorned in. They all serve a purpose. That’s a common comic book movie trap that often fails, but it actually pays off here. The movie is worth seeing because of two fantastic action sequences and a pretty spectacular scene with Scarlett Johansson’s character kicking ass. The problem is these great scenes are just to damn short. Iron Man 2 suffers from terrible jokes and puns, and a very dull middle.
Also, as a side note; I’m really sick of this bull shit putting scenes at the end of credits. Enough already! Yea, I get it. Marvel is making an Avengers movie. How about you focus on making one good movie instead of forcing these random connections that lead to a bigger movie.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10 (‘meh’)