Iron Man 2: Grading, Review, Discussion **SPOILERS**

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by SalvorHardin, Apr 29, 2010.

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Grade Iron Man 2

  1. Excellent

    60 vote(s)
    36.4%
  2. Above Average

    67 vote(s)
    40.6%
  3. Average

    29 vote(s)
    17.6%
  4. Below Average

    6 vote(s)
    3.6%
  5. Terrible

    3 vote(s)
    1.8%
  1. First Joel

    First Joel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    I wouldn't compare IM2 to TF2. TF2 was one of the worst movies of last year. If I could see IM2 again, I would. But I'm broke,
     
  2. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    The scene in the spoiler code was cut Favs said in a recent interview prior to the premier but it will be included with the DVD. I think Comic Book Resources has the interview where he states it and there is a funny reply from Robert who says that Gweneth is just finding this out now :)
     
  3. N-121973

    N-121973 Captain Captain

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    Thanks for the answers folks. When they stay included on the DVD is that edited back in to the film or simply on the deleted/extended/alternate scenes section?
     
  4. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    ^ That wasn't specified. All that was said is that it would be included in the DVD.
     
  5. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    I would grade it Above Average, or *** stars out of ****.

    My review is below, and I caution that there are some spoilers.

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    Jon Favreau impressed a lot of people with 2008’s Iron Man, a comic-book adaptation based on a superhero that was more second-tier than big league, and not quite known with movie going audiences. It proved that you don’t need to be Batman or Superman to have a movie that will impress and awe movie goers, but what you need is a compelling story and some good intentions. Iron Man had plenty of those, but what made it a real gem was Robert Downey, Jr.’s scene-stealing performance as Tony Stark, who was just as entertaining out of the Iron Man suit as he was in (if a little bit more interesting out of the suit), and it was Favreau’s improvisational nature of storytelling along with Downey’s cocky, witty ad-libbing that helped made Iron Man something truly special and unique.

    Well, Favreau, Downey Jr., and pretty much most of the main players from the first film are back with Iron Man 2, the obligatory superhero sequel that continues the adventures of industrialist and entrepreneur Tony Stark (Downey, Jr.). Picking up where the last movie left off, Tony Stark has announced to the world that he is Iron Man, forgoing the traditional secret identity complexities of most comic-book movies and instead focusing on the celebrity nature that leading the double life of Stark, the wealthy, famous tycoon, and that of the superhero Iron Man brings to his life. We find out that being both Tony Stark and Iron Man, and being known for being both, is not a walk in the park, with the US military wanting his technology for the betterment of the country. Tony argues that he’s already bettering the country, having “privatized world peace”. He claims that his technology cannot be duplicated, and assures that the Iron Man weapon is in good hands.

    It isn’t long before Stark is challenged by that robust claim, when he is confronted and attacked by Russian Ivan Vanko (Rourke) while Stark is living up life driving a race car on the tracks of Monaco. Vanko proves that Stark’s technology can be replicated, and furthermore, presents Stark with the idea that his father, Howard Stark, was not the one solely responsible for creating the arc reactor technology that powers Iron Man’s suit, and in fact, stole credit from the real creator of the arc reactor technology, Vanko’s father. Meanwhile, Stark’s own technology is presenting a health problem, causing him to deteriorate on a personal and physical level, and must face the conflict not only presented by Vanko, but himself as well. Vanko teams up with rival industrialist Justin Hammer (Rockwell, who does the best job he can given the material), who you might say is Tony’s wannabe doppelganger, while best friend Lt. Col. James Rhodes (Cheadle, replacing Terrence Howard from the first film) has to balance his obligation to his country along that of his friendship to Tony.

    Those are just some of the plot threads permeating Iron Man 2, while still trying to interweave the romantic subplot between Stark and Pepper Potts (Paltrow), who is given responsibilities of leading Stark Industries, which faces some scrutiny and garners some tension when Natasha Rushman (Johansson) enters the picture as Tony’s new assistant. Potts eventually succumbs to the stress of leading Tony’s fledging company and managing Tony’s increasingly erratic behavior, and one of the joys of the film is watching the witty banter between Downey and Paltrow. They both have an almost electric chemistry that shoots right out of the screen, and one is reminded of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman of Casablanca, echoing back to an era where sparks flew on the screen from the infectious exchanges between the lead and the romantic love interest. Iron Man 2 has those moments in spades, and its that joyous connectivity that becomes the emotional epicenter of the film.

    Those moments are a plenty in the film, and it also juggles the comedy and the action sequences with aplomb. One of the biggest complaints over the first film was the lack of action sequences, and while Iron Man 2 doesn’t quite raise the bar in that category, the action sequences that are in the film are stunningly photographed and arranged. A sequence at a Monaco race track is almost perfectly paced, with such gorgeous imagery and visuals, that make it a marked improvement over the first film and shows Favreau’s improved skills as a filmmaker when dealing with visuals and imagery.

    However, even given those improvements, Iron Man 2 does falter in some unfortunately crucial areas. One of the strengths of the first film was Favreau’s almost improvisational style of storytelling mixed with Downey’s ad-libbing, that gave the film an almost unpredictable vibe, and while one might say that he clearly implements the same structure here to entertaining effect, it just doesn’t quite work as well as Favreau and his team are hoping it will. The second act, for instance, drags considerably with no real narrative drive forcing the story to stagnate with characters including Stark sort of standing around from scene-to-scene doing almost absolutely nothing. The villains are also cardboard card-outs with no real sense of purpose or relation to the story. Ivan Vanko is an interesting villain who seems to have a compelling relation to Tony Stark, and Rourke gives Vanko some eccentric personality traits, but even with Rourke’s reasonably strong performance, the character just doesn’t connect with Stark the way he needs to in order to make the film feel immediate.

    Additionally, while Sam Rockwell is a considerable actor who more than holds his own during his banter with Robert Downey, Jr., his character Justin Hammer falls prey to this effect even more detrimentally than Rourke’s character does. For many scenes in the film, Hammer and Rourke sort of just stand around, talking about their villainous plans, but there’s nothing really interesting happening that makes either of these characters all that interesting or compelling. There is some really juicy material here, including Stark’s own personal arc (no pun intended) where he becomes ill from his own technology, but most of this stuff is just browsed over in favor of funny dialogue or flashy action sequences.

    Therein lies the problem of Iron Man 2. While the ingenuity of Favreau’s loose structure and Downey’s witty and frenetic performance may have made Iron Man an entertaining and unique experience, Favreau and Downey cannot get lighting in the bottle twice. Iron Man 2 flounders and sort of meanders through its story, and while there are some genuinely affecting moments, there’s something to be said when your most emotional moment in your story consists of a character connecting to a 16mm reel of film. Not to disparage the intent of that scene, because it works especially given the context of that subplot, but there’s just this thematic weightlessness to Iron Man 2 that fails to captivate the way the filmmakers intended. Sad to say, but what was so unique and interesting in the first time around is not enough the second time.

    Instead, Iron Man 2 feels slightly regurgitated and unoriginal, and suffers because of that. With that said, the film delivers in a lot of different ways, supplementing with fantastic action set pieces and some genuinely funny moments that don’t feel forced or contrived, and are therefore even funnier because of that. Robert Downy, Jr. is probably one of the most enigmatic and charming actors working today, and can make even the most uninteresting material work, and he does so here, but Downey’s charming personality alone cannot support this movie. Favreau has a lot of compelling and interesting elements at play, with a lot of talented people and a lot of really cool ideas, but he somehow cannot manage to juggle them in an effective and satisfying way. Let’s hope that if he does return for Iron Man 3 that he finally delivers on that promise which has been dangling but never utilized for the past two films.
     
  6. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    Jackson I'll come back and read your detailed review this weekend, I'm probalby at this point more spoiled than I'd like but anyway. Got to know, did you get into a sneak showing? I have tried to get one in my area to no avail. A 3o4 stars is a promising showing though.
     
  7. Chris_Johnston

    Chris_Johnston Captain Captain

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    I still want to know why 2012 wasn't even nominated for a Razzie™ last year! Sweet Boneless Christ, that was awful!
     
  8. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    There were advanced screenings last week...have no idea how lucky JA was to get tickets but I do know they were available. Radio stations were giving them away here in Vancouver and I know a couple of friends who were able to grab tickets. I was jealous of them myself for being able to go...
     
  9. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    I voted it as Excellent, though its somewhere between there and Above Average, and excellent sounds less derogatory. :lol:

    I really enjoyed it. Downey Jr. nails the role again and is infinitely entertaining - I was laughing all the way through. With both Iron Man films it's been refreshing to have a hero that isn't bogged down in the angst. The sequel perhaps feels a bit less fresh than the first film, if only for one or two elements falling a bit flat. For example, Scarlett Johansonn's character had a couple of good scenes with Faverau, but she seemed quite the wasted potential. I really loved Sam Rockwell's performance too but when his character shared screentime with Mickey Rourke, the story suddenly stumbled. And finally, really would have liked more Peppa. What screentime her and Stark shared though was priceless.

    The Marvel Universe is beginning to make more of an appearance now, which is good to see. Enjoyed the Avengers reference, but was in such a rush to get out at the end that I missed the Thor moment!

    Can't wait to see it again! :D
     
  10. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    How big of a role does Kate Mara(:drool:)'s Bethany Cabe play in the movie?
     
  11. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    Zero to be honest.
     
  12. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    Awww, too bad. :( Was she cut out completely or is it just a small role?
     
  13. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    Honestly I don't even remember seeing her...and Kate Mara is too hot to be missed...perhaps the others that have seen it can recall themselves. I'm pretty sure I don't remember seeing her.
     
  14. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    :guffaw: That's perfect! (Actually, "Hef" was perfect.)

    Stan Lee is also in a Doctor Pepper commercial promoting the movie.
     
  15. SalvorHardin

    SalvorHardin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    No she's in but for about 30 seconds in a scene with RDJ & Favreau.
    She's a us marshal giving Stark the papers that summon him before the senate sub-comitee.
    And of course she looks smoking hot the whole time.
     
  16. Admiral_Young

    Admiral_Young Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    ^ That's right! She shows Tony his badge after Happy jokes that he likes to see the badge.
     
  17. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    Huh. Her IMDB page used to list her character as Bethany Cabe, now it just says "U.S Marshall" What a let-down. I know that Paltrow is the love interest, but was interested in how they would bring Cabe into the mix. I wonder why she was originally listed as an established character in the Iron Man lore and wound up being a bit-player?

    ETA: Okey dokey, I found this article through Google that clears things up...

    http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/MarvelFreshman/news/?a=14152

    I guess it took a while longer for the IMDB page to get updated, because it still had her billed as Cabe as recently as about a month ago.
     
  18. Nardpuncher

    Nardpuncher Rear Admiral

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    I saw it tonight and would say it was very, very good.
    If you enjoyed the first one it would be odd for this one not to be to your liking also.

    I thought the big battle at the end was much better than the first movie's too.

    I just don't want to see so much of Mickey Roarke's fingernails ever again.
     
  19. Crom!

    Crom! Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    Yeah I really liked that it didn't drag. It proved the point that together, War Machine and Iron Man make a helluva team.

    Now I really want to see the Ex-Wife working!
     
  20. Trent Roman

    Trent Roman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Iron Man 2 - Grading & Discussion Thread (spoilers guaranteed)

    Saw this and thought of our conversation here:

    http://movies.yahoo.com/feature/movie-talk-iron-man-2-a-big-hit-with-pirates.html

    Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman