We go from the movie that started it all, that surprised everyone, to a movie that was a big disappointment in a lot of ways. It is hard to catch lightning like Iron Man in a bottle twice, but Paramount and Marvel were certainly going to try. Iron Man 2 may be thought of as one of the worst, if not the worst of all the marvel films. That puts it above most other superhero movies. I think part of the problem when I originally saw the film was that my expectations were really high after Iron Man. There was no way that the sequel was going to live up to the hype. That’s only part of the problem with this film. I really feel like the biggest issue is that they were trying too hard. They were trying too hard to be funny, trying too hard to be cool, trying too hard to throw the Avengers hints out there. That was the real issue, I think.
The dialogue in this movie tried to be as smart and as funny as the first one. What made the first Iron Man film so good is that it wasn’t trying to be anything. The whole thing was cool just by being what it was. Iron Man 2 was obviously trying to be that cool, or cooler. The lines all seem forced, instead of natural, and they just seemed to come one right after the other. It almost gets a little painful part way through. Tony Stark becomes more of a character, than an actual character. He is so exaggerated and over the top, it just becomes ridiculous. As a result, the other characters follow suit. Justin Hammer is just as stupid as Tony. The two characters are competing with each other throughout the film, but they both win first prize for “Most Over the Top Billionaire.”
The biggest thing that happens in this film, story wise, is that Marvel is making it absolutely clear that they are leading up to an Avengers movie now. In Iron Man, it was hinted at and little clues told you it was possibly coming. They were planning on it if Iron Man was successful. In Iron Man 2, it is clearly going to happen, and they can’t help but throw in clues, like Captain America’s shield and Thor’s hammer. These aren’t Easter eggs. These are almost obnoxious with how blatant they are. We also get to meet Black Widow for the first time, which is exciting. We have no idea how important she will be down the road, and it is fun to go back and watch it now, knowing what role she will play later.
One of the biggest disappointments in this sequel is the character development, which is almost nonexistent. Whatever growth and maturity Tony Stark attained in Iron Man is completely erased at the beginning of this second installment. Tony is right back to being Tony, making you wonder what the point of the whole first movie was. In addition, whatever blossoming relationship was there at the end of Iron Man between Pepper and Tony, is completely gone for 99 % of this movie. It is really like the whole first movie never happened as far as the actual characters go. None of the characters came out of this sequel more developed than they were at the end of Iron Man. Most barely made it back to where they were at the end of the first movie.
One of the biggest changes in this movie was Don Cheadle stepping in as Rhodey. Personally, I liked Terrence Howard’s Rhodey better, but the whole contract did not work out, so Cheadle became the sidekick in the two sequels. The inclusion of Rhodey, though, did mean we got to see War Machine for the first time, and the possibilities of the two working together seemed endless. The way it worked out, though, we got one elongated scene and most of it was spent with Rhodey’s suit out of his control and trying to kill Iron Man. Of course, all of this is at the hands of Whiplash, who is basically the Russian, poor version of Tony Stark, the only other person in the world who has figured out the Arc reactor, and he happens to hate Tony Stark. This character just did not work out well. It wasn’t Mickey Rourke’s fault. The writers gave him crummy lines, and Mickey just tried his best to deliver the garage he had been fed. I think there was a lot of potential there, but again the delivery was lacking.
Overall, the film is not the worst movie I have ever seen, just the worst Marvel movie in recent memory. It was still fun in parts, and although the Avengers stuff was almost distracting, on a certain level, it was also pretty fun. That kind of describes this whole movie, overall it was kind of distracting and obnoxious, but on a certain level is was also kind of fun. Overall, I gave it a 2.5 stars.
What did you think of Iron Man 2? Is there someone out there who absolutely loves this movie? Am I in the minority for not really liking this one as much? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. I would love to hear from you. You can also check out my review of Iron Man here.