Sunday, May 9, 2010

Movie of the Week

This week,

IRON MAN 2 (2010)

Starring- Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle

I don't usually review brand new films, but I'm going rogue and letting you know my thoughts on a movie that came out this weekend.  Iron Man 2 is the first of what I hope to be many "new release" movies of the week. The film picks up right where the last one left off, with weapons mogul Tony Stark (Downey) having revealed that he is Iron Man, and dealing with all of the problems that come with his new superhero persona. In addition to the government wanting him to turn over his suit, Stark must also deal with rival weapons maker Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), and mysterious Russian physicist, Ivan Vanko (Rourke), who is out for revenge.

The villains set up some very interesting plot lines that play out against a backdrop of witty one-liners, showy effects and thinly veiled social commentary about the military industrial complex. There are, however, some shortcomings in this movie, but they are not enough to derail a very fun adventure. The most major criticisms that I have are with the S.H.I.E.L.D. Organization subplot which only really serves to set up another Marvel film, The Avengers. This distracts from the movie we are actually watching, and muddies up the action with unnecessary characters, i.e. Samuel L. Jackson's phoned-in Nick Fury, and Scarlett Johansson's boring Black Widow, who feel as if they were inserted at the last minute when the studio decided to green light The Avengers. Because of this, there is less screen time for more interesting people like Vanko and Hammer, as well as Stark's sidekick Rhodey, played this time by the always watchable Don Cheadle.

The plot unfolds rather predictably, but there are enough quirky moments and exciting action sequences that it feels fresh. Some scenes of note include, the Grand Prix scene in Monaco, Hammer's presentation of the "ex-wife," and Stark's drunken birthday meltdown. Also, any scene that has Downey and Paltrow doing their old married couple routine is amusing. The ending is semi-anti-climactic, but there is enough of a payoff that you won't walk out feeling gipped. See Iron Man 2 for all the things that were good about the first one- action, charm, wit, gadgets and Robert Downey, Jr.

Things to Watch For-

My Bird
The Late DJ AM
A great AC/DC laden soundtrack
Cool Cars
The after the credits scene

"I have successfully privatized world peace."

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