Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Movie Review:Iron-Man 2

Comic books went through a massive change from their inception. Much early fare was basic escapist entertainment with outlandish story lines, fantastical feats of derring-do, and campy stories that delivered a high fun factor.

As the mood of the nation changed, so did the super hero comic. By the late 80s or early 90s it seemed many titles focused more on the personal, typically angst-driven problems of the titular hero with the action scenes providing the next beat in that story, almost secondary to the main point of the book.

In that period, when they were trying to be taken as a serious medium, they delved deeply into a variety of social issues and causes. For some, this was a wonderful thing. For others, they started to miss the fun factor that made the medium special.

That is not a criticism that can be leveled at Iron Man 2. The fun factor is high, the action sequences numerous and spectacular, the violence at near spaghetti western levels, and the scenery...just gorgeous.

Director Jon Favreau has a great eye for spectacular, eye-pleasing moments that border on the iconic, a sly sense of humor, and a talent for bringing out the best in his well-populated star list. Perhaps the moment that best displays this is the Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in the donut.
From a story standpoint, Iron Man is excellent. The basic storyline is nothing spectacular, nor are any of the sub-plots taken individually...but when melded together they provide a very nice texture to frame an overall effect that has re-watchability.

Additionally, they show a knowledge of and respect for the fans of the comic book. This is shown by little things such as Stark using the phrase "war machine" in regards to the suit Rhoades (Don Cheadle) is wearing that had a brief run as its own comic titled War Machine. It was a very nice touch.

It is one reason the movie works on many levels. The non-comic fan gets a big, bold action-adventure. The comic fan gets to see little bits and pieces of the Marvel Universe on the big screen with homages to the "canon".

From a cinematography standpoint, I think most viewers can find many things to enjoy. The scenery...whether nature or the often spectacular and easy on the eyes. (When Stark says of Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johannsen), "I want one", many viewers probably already had that thought when they saw the Ironettes).

If you go into this expecting Schindler's List you will deservedly be disappointed. But if you go in expecting one-liners, double-entendres, over-the top action, gorgeous visuals, and a lot of fun you will love it.

Of course, being me, I have to find SOMETHING I did not love about this movie; how, exactly, did the rather light-weighing Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) manage to haul around a suitcase containing a full Iron Man suit? How did Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) make and retain all his money if nothing he makes works?

Those, of course, are things that are irrelevant. Just roll with them.

On the other end of the spectrum are two nice surprises for fans of the Marvel being the sighting of Captain America's shield and the other...well, stay through the end of the credits. Nice teaser to be found there.

If you like fun movies with beautiful people and high-octane action, great special effects and fun...this movie is a must-see.

The Weasel is full.

1 comment:

Watch Iron Man 2 Movie said...

Iron Man bests the biggest adversaries of the superhero genre in his second outing: production troubles, sequel-bloat and overwhelming, unrestrained fanboy hype.