The transition. So after the events of the first Iron Man, the world now knows Tony Stark’s alternate identity, so he is busy living the lifestyle of a rock star with all of the showboating that comes with it, as you would probably imagine. The machine in his heart that is keeping him alive is also slowly poisoning him, so he is self-destructively drinking more than usual. The question arises: who is going to kill him first, the kin of Tony’s father’s former partner that feels slighted, or will it be Tony himself? This movie really was a turning point for Marvel on the whole, and it did get them lots of feedback. To be sure, this is a movie that has its fair share of problems, but it is a necessary step to this expanding this ongoing interconnected series.
He’s still the coolest character in this expansive universe that they’ve created.
Iron Man 2 got the most flack for all of the advertising for the Avengers that is featured prominently throughout. After all the movies they have created so far, it’s not as bad as I remember. Going back and watching this seven years after the fact makes it interesting watch, because all the sidebars with Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. feel more organic than it previously did, but it seems incredibly silly and crowbarred in for Tony to be using a prototype of Captain America’s shield as a paper weight, so there are both successes and failures. But hey, there are some good ideas that they brought to the screen, and there are worthwhile moments featured throughout. For example, the hallway fight scene with Black Widow is really well choreographed, and it showcases the extent of the abilities of the character and serves as a very satisfying introduction. Also, the suitcase suit is an incredibly cool effect, and I do remember squealing a little bit the first time I saw it in a theater. The racing scene in Morocco of cars being chopped in half looks great as well, although I think the villain that is Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) who is the one slicing the cars ends up coming across as being a bit too cartoony on the whole.
Still can’t get past this scene.
If I could summarize this movie up in one word, it would be disjointed. It’s another necessary stepping stone in the Marvel universe, but I feel like they were trying to do too much with the mapping of future projects to allow this to successfully stand on its own legs. The story suffers for it, and because there is so much advertising, it pads the movie out for about 20 minutes longer than necessary, impacting a needed sense of pathos. Tony Stark is an arrogant character, but he should still come off as somebody that you want to be. With this story, even with all his money, women and gadgets, you would still probably pass. This is not one of Marvel’s stronger movies, but it’s not so problematic that you will watch and feel that you’ve just wasted your time.
Iron Man 2 (2010) ***
– Critic for Hire