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Old August 8 2010, 11:34 PM   #106
The Borgified Corpse
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Re: How IRON MAN 2 ruined Jon Favreau's relationship with Marvel

^Stane was a great villain, particularly the way Jeff Bridges played him in the 1st movie. He had an interesting rapport with Tony when they were friends. He clearly had a certain appreciation for Tony's genius even if he was exasperated at having to cover for a bunch of Tony's messes. Then, when we find out he's a bad guy, he's hella scary. I especially love the scene with Pepper in Stane's office. Even though very little is happening in that scene, the tension is quite palpable.

Then, when it comes to the actual fight scene at the end, Stane is still menacing even though, realistically, he probably wouldn't be able to fight very effectively in his armor at that early stage. It helps that, at that point in the movie, Stane has stolen the current chest piece and Tony is stuck with an underpowered Mk. 1 chest piece. It really tilts the odds against Tony, making it that much more impressive when he wins at the end.

Compare that with the "villains" of Iron Man 2. Hammer is played solely for laughs and shows pretty much zero competance at anything. Vanko is suitably creepy but makes a very poor showing during the fight scenes. He gets in a few good shots during the Monaco fight. But even then, he pretty much gets his ass kicked by the end and hauled off to jail.

Compare this with most superhero films where, in the 1st fight, usually the bad guy totally dominates. Like in the Spider-Man films:
Sandman & pretty easily escapes their 1st fight. His shapeshifting abilities totally confound Spider-Man at that point.
Dr. Octopus pulls a standard villain tactic of escaping the fight by putting civilians in danger. That way, he can get away while the hero is distracted rescuing the other people.
The Green Goblin pretty much totally dominated his 1st fight with Spider-Man at the World Unity Festival. Only at the very end was Spider-Man able to get any sort of upper hand by blinding the Goblin with a face full of webbing and then pulling out some random wires on his glider. Spider-Man only wins that fight through a couple of very cheap shots.

The point is that, for a villain to be menacing, it helps if he's able to best the hero at least once.
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Old August 8 2010, 11:39 PM   #107
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Re: How IRON MAN 2 ruined Jon Favreau's relationship with Marvel

I think they should have added something where his drinking was helping ease the pain from the poisoning.
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Old August 9 2010, 01:07 AM   #108
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Re: How IRON MAN 2 ruined Jon Favreau's relationship with Marvel

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
Compare that with the "villains" of Iron Man 2. Hammer is played solely for laughs and shows pretty much zero competance at anything. Vanko is suitably creepy but makes a very poor showing during the fight scenes. He gets in a few good shots during the Monaco fight. But even then, he pretty much gets his ass kicked by the end and hauled off to jail.
I agree. Hammer was more comic relief than villian. It would be better if they made him a threat. That way, it would be Iron Man and War machine vs Hammer and Whiplash.
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Old August 9 2010, 01:10 AM   #109
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Re: How IRON MAN 2 ruined Jon Favreau's relationship with Marvel

I agree totally regarding Justin Hammer. He just wasn't a very good character at all despite a decent performance from Sam Rockwell who's talent was underused in this film. Again I maintain that there isn't a true villain in Iron Man 2 except Tony himself who has become a loose canon and reckless because he thinks he's dying. He was his own worst enemy. It took Nick Fury to wake him up out of his funk when he had the conversation about Howard Stark. From then on Tony was able to find what he needed to refine the palladium which prevented the poisoning.
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Old August 9 2010, 02:58 AM   #110
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Re: How IRON MAN 2 ruined Jon Favreau's relationship with Marvel

I think that's the problem with Tony's issues. He's self-destructing because he's dying and not by his own choices. Now, he is choosing to act this way because he is dying. But a more compelling reason would have been if he just couldn't handle the success, his ego, his problems with the government, a legitimate threat from Hammer, and just turned to drinking and bad choices as an alternative. But his dying (a weak storyline because it will eventually be fixed) is the reason for his behavior.

Another issue I had was everyone talking about how Tony had brought world peace but not seeing any of it. It was completely off-camera. We don't get to see Tony as the hero except for the two battles against Whiplash.

^Stane was a great villain, particularly the way Jeff Bridges played him in the 1st movie. He had an interesting rapport with Tony when they were friends. He clearly had a certain appreciation for Tony's genius even if he was exasperated at having to cover for a bunch of Tony's messes. Then, when we find out he's a bad guy, he's hella scary. I especially love the scene with Pepper in Stane's office. Even though very little is happening in that scene, the tension is quite palpable.
Yeah, Stane's issues and relationship with Tony is something that really worked in the film. They tried to establish a connection between Vanko and Stark with Vanko's father having worked and helped Stark. But it was a connection that never felt very strong. So there's really not an effective personal issue between the two. Spider-Man at least had strong personal issues with all of his villains in the movie. Sandman killing Uncle Ben was was complete and utter dogshit but at least Tobey Maguire sold Peter's hatred for him.
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Old August 11 2010, 05:22 AM   #111
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Re: How IRON MAN 2 ruined Jon Favreau's relationship with Marvel

I've never been much of a comic book person, but I've really enjoyed both Ironmans. I could see nods towards other comic books, like most movies that add nods to a lot of things, but the thing is, these movies take an extra step and seem to distract. If someone like me tends to not know who these people or things are, they interrupt the flow of the movie, made worse by the fact that sometimes not enough is given as to why they're important and should be there. So, while it might be cool, I think in the end, they're doing themselves a disservice.
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Old August 11 2010, 10:20 PM   #112
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Re: How IRON MAN 2 ruined Jon Favreau's relationship with Marvel

DarthPipes wrote: View Post
^Stane was a great villain, particularly the way Jeff Bridges played him in the 1st movie. He had an interesting rapport with Tony when they were friends. He clearly had a certain appreciation for Tony's genius even if he was exasperated at having to cover for a bunch of Tony's messes. Then, when we find out he's a bad guy, he's hella scary. I especially love the scene with Pepper in Stane's office. Even though very little is happening in that scene, the tension is quite palpable.
Yeah, Stane's issues and relationship with Tony is something that really worked in the film. They tried to establish a connection between Vanko and Stark with Vanko's father having worked and helped Stark. But it was a connection that never felt very strong. So there's really not an effective personal issue between the two. Spider-Man at least had strong personal issues with all of his villains in the movie. Sandman killing Uncle Ben was was complete and utter dogshit but at least Tobey Maguire sold Peter's hatred for him.
I was really expecting the stuff with Vanko's father to be a more dynamic plot point than it turned out to be. And in some ways, I think that that plotline's failure to resonate reminds me of Dr. Octopus in Spider-Man 2. (Personally, I never really bought the emotional connection between Peter Parker & Otto Octavius. These guys have a vital emotional bond just because they spent one afternoon together?)

Showdown wrote: View Post
Hammer was more comic relief than villian. It would be better if they made him a threat.
And it's not like funny & threatening are mutually exclusive. I thought the Gene Hackman & Kevin Spacey versions of Lex Luthor from the Superman movies struck a good balance between the two. Bullseye was a certifiably deadly assassin played with comic insanity in Daredevil. Then, of course, you have the Joker. Heath Ledger was the scarier one but there was still an appropriate menace in Jack Nicholson's portrayal. ("Bob, gun.") For a non-comic book example, I've been very impressed with the level of dark humor we get from the Sheriff of Nottingham in the BBC version of Robin Hood.

Sam Rockwell did a good job with the comic elements of Justin Hammer. But if he was supposed to be a credible villain as well, I think he either needed to be written with a more viscious streak or be played by an actor that can be inherently more menacing. (While it wouldn't fix all the problems, I think Craig Bierko might have brought a more intimidating edge to the character.)
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Old August 12 2010, 04:46 AM   #113
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Re: How IRON MAN 2 ruined Jon Favreau's relationship with Marvel

DarthPipes wrote: View Post
Another issue I had was everyone talking about how Tony had brought world peace but not seeing any of it.
He said that he privatized world peace, but I don't know that he brought it.
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Old August 12 2010, 07:07 AM   #114
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Re: How IRON MAN 2 ruined Jon Favreau's relationship with Marvel

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
(Personally, I never really bought the emotional connection between Peter Parker & Otto Octavius. These guys have a vital emotional bond just because they spent one afternoon together?)
Totally agree. I've warmed up to Spider-Man 2 in recent years (especially after the travesty that was Spider-Man 3, even though I can find good moments in that film) but I still think Doctor Octopus was the weakest link in that film (well, one of the more weaker links).

You bought the emotional bond between Peter and Norman Osborne in the first Spider-Man because Norman saw Peter as a sort of son that he never had, one that was interested in science, and Peter saw him almost as a surrogate father figure. They were linked with Harry, Peter's best friend and Norman's son, so that relationship felt genuine and authentic. When Norman first realizes that Peter is Spider-Man, there is genuine shock because it's like he's realizing that his son is now his mortal enemy.

You get none of that emotional resonance in Spider-Man 2 at least when it comes to Peter's dynamic with Octavius. I think Raimi and his writers including Alvin Sargent were so focused on making Peter's life as miserable and angsty as possible and focusing solely on that that the hero/villain dynamic became a little soiled and diluted and didn't quite pack the punch that was intended, judging by the ending.

Whoops. Got a little carried away there.
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Old August 12 2010, 07:14 AM   #115
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Re: How IRON MAN 2 ruined Jon Favreau's relationship with Marvel

Tony was joking when he said he privatized peace...he was generalizing his accomplishments as Iron Man over the past six months in that statement and criticizing the senate at the same time.
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