I Am Iron Man...

I think I was perhaps a little hasty last week when I prophesied a seasonal abatement in movie reviews here at "The State I Am In." Although movie theaters do provide a cozy respite from Chicago's arctic winter climes, they also provide an air-conditioned haven during the dog days of summer, and for Hollywood, summer is blockbuster season. Somehow, this fact seemed to have slipped my mind. Over the weekend, Dad and I kick-started the summer movie season by heading out to see Iron Man 2.

You see, superhero movies are somewhat of a father-daughter tradition in our household. Dad grew up reading and collecting comic books, and for whatever reason, I learned to appreciate superhero movies as one of only two types of action movies that I can not only tolerate, but actively enjoy (the other sub-genre being sci-fi movies of the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises). Hence, whenever a new comic book-based film heads to theaters, Dad and I go out to see it. Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Iron Man, The Hulk, The Fantastic Four -- we've seen them all.

After the triumph that was the original Iron Man, with its judicious use of special effects and brilliant casting of Robert Downey Jr., who brought his innate badassery to the role of cocky industrialist, Tony Stark, both Dad and I had high hopes for the sequel. Unfortunately, Iron Man 2 had more in common with Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer than The Dark Knight. Mickey Rourke was an an inspired bit of casting for the main villian, Ivan Vanko, however, his character's back story was insufficiently fleshed out, and he frankly did not recieve enough screen time. Despite his impressive mechanical suit and wicked electrified whips, I think he spent less than five minutes of the two hour long film engaged in battle with Iron Man. For an action film, that's just not enough. Instead, most of the film's action sequences took place between Iron Man and the robotic drones of his business nemesis, Justin Hammer, leading to what I felt was an over-reliance on CGI special effects.

Furthermore, I felt that the subplots focusing on Stark's declining health and the role of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its operatives both muddied the cohesion of the plot. The former caused too many periods of downtime that dragged down the pacing of the story, and the latter caused the film to feel too much like a vehicle for introducing the upcoming Avengers film. They already planted the seeds for the Avengers franchise in the first Iron Man movie -- why detract from this one with so much backstory for a film that is yet to be made? All in all, it seemed like the filmmakers behind Iron Man 2 had too many ideas, and would have benefited from some substantial script editing instead of allowing the story to be pulled in so many disparate directions. I wish I could say it was at least a fun summer action flick, but there were times when the movie was downright boring. Sadly, I suggest you wait for Iron Man 2 to be released on DVD...

No comments:

Post a Comment