Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ryan Watches a Motion Picture #28: Iron Man 2 (2010)

Robert Downey Jr. returns as Tony Stark, roguish playboy billionaire turned superguy (I'll say superguy since he never quite reaches hero status in the films - he just owns up to negligence and cleans up his own messes). He's Iron Man of course, and this was the big summer action sequel many people were waiting for.

And it's really fucking boring. Not since Transformers 2 have I sat in a theatre to watch a blockbuster and suddenly realised that I was completely, utterly bored. That I didn't care about anything that was happening on the screen, and that when there was a glitzy CGI sequence, couldn't anchor it to any kind of sense of emotional import. But I don't want to lead you too astray by bringing up one of the worst movies I've ever seen - Iron Man 2 isn't anywhere near as vapid as Transformers 2 because there's only one dick joke in it, if I remember rightly.

Sadly I can only think of one or two action sequences that are somewhat satisfying, and one is close to the beginning and the other not quite at the end, and short. Everything else is annoying quip. A glib talk back and forth that goes nowhere and isn't funny, instead of, say, illuminating the audience as to what's going with either plot or character. In regards to character, there isn't much present. We get a Tony Stark who's a dick and a fantasy of wealth without redeeming quality that I can find, and a Paltrow/Pepperpot that gets mad sometimes about how careless Stark is. Oh, and Don Cheadle getting mad about that too, to the point where he dons a suit of robo-armour for a really ridiculous fight scene at a party. Apart from that there's a lot of time spent trying to sell you on secondary characters. Scarlett Johansson and Sammy J were somewhat fun to watch, but Mickey Rourke's grizzled Russian antagonist was really the only thing I actually found entertaining. Or justifiable.

At least after the credits we see Thor's hammer in an impact crater unrelated to anything we saw in Iron Man 2.

So: A movie as careless and self-serving as Tony Stark. Save your money.

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