Ah, it’s that time of year where we sit back and reflect upon what we are truly thankful for in our lives. Most would say they are grateful for their families (if they are anywhere near as cool as mine) or their friends (see the comment regarding families). Others may say they appreciate their jobs, their homes, or their happiness. These are all very acceptable answers. I, on the other hand, have something else that I am really truly thankful for. I am thankful that I didn’t pay $15 to see Iron Man 2: Armed and Fabulous in the theaters this summer. It’s pretty bad—almost Robin Hood: The Revenge of Kitty Galore bad.
Now, I admit, I had put off watching Iron Man 2: Battle of the Smithsonian for a few weeks; nor was I pumped up about it enough to see it in the theaters this summer, but it had all the makings of a movie I would enjoy. It just went so wrong. I love super heroes. Love love. And super hero movies are almost always enjoyable in my book. Uh, apparently this was the exception to the rule. Also,I was a huge fan of the first Iron Man, and this sequel was part of the same franchise (with virtually the same people involved); so how wrong can you go? (Hint: the answer is very). Most notably, Iron Man 2 : The Wrath of Khan has a scene that takes place at Randy’s Doughnuts, a beloved L.A. landmark. Mmmmm, doughnuts. I guess it says something if the highlight of the film is watching a super hero eat a doughnut. I am sure it is apparent, but this movie just didn’t work for me.
Here’s a quick recap of the film before I start tearing it apart (isn’t that why you are reading this anyway? Deep down, you really hated Iron Man 2: Lost in New York, but didn’t want to be the only person in the world who spoke out against this blockbuster. It’s OK, you can channel your inner Megan and complain about films. They usually deserve it). Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is Iron Man, a super hero who’s mechanical suit provides him with extreme power (I feel like saying, “snap into a Slim Jim” here. I don’t know why). He does some stuff, has some cheerleaders dance a scene from A Chorus Line while he gives a speech, and blows up random crap. Scarlett Johansson, Gweneth Paltrow, and Mickey Rourke also star. Also, Sam Rockwell makes an appearance as Gary Oldman playing Stark’s corporate nemesis. If you were wondering where the plot went, so was I. So was I.
I’m sorry, I just can not get over how sour I am towards this movie. I am sure it has to do with reality not meeting expectations, but, wow, the franchise took a downward spiral (I think in the clockwise direction… Or is it counterclockwise here and clockwise in Australia?). Instead of writing a novella-length rant, I will just highlight a few of the issues I had with the film.
The opening scene with Mickey Rourke has a weird, extremely drawn out zooming shot to introduce Rourke’s character. The music is ominous, and Rourke turns toward the camera with all the melodrama of a Douglas Sirk film. This isn’t the only time that weird, long shots are taken. It’s just the most uncomfortable.
Directors usually stay behind the camera for a reason. Sure, I know everyone wants to pull a Hitchcock and have their screen time, but it only really worked for Hitchcock (yes, I am talking to you, too, M. Knight). Maybe people had a chuckle when Favreau had his cameo in the first film, but it seemed like he was in the movie a bit much for my taste. Perhaps if he would have spent more time directing the film and less time acting, I would have a different reaction to it.
“Drop your socks and hold your crotch, it’s about to get wet on this ride,” is never a line I want to hear in a movie. Ever. No exceptions. I don’t care how flipping cool you think you are when you write that crap, it just sounds stupid.
The Iron Man suit that, just in the scene before, had to be put on and taken off by several gigantic robot arms (and apparently requiring a squadron of cheerleaders for emotional support) is suddenly portable in a suitcase. Sure.
Scarlett Johansson tends to overact when she is not in the foreground of a scene. It just seems like an overenthusiastic extra noob.
So, the chauffeur and Pepper drive the luxury car on the the racetrack while the race is still going on, and a man with electric tentacles is dancing around. Does this seem strange to anyone else? Thank goodness they were driving an Audi. Audi: the official car of Iron Man 2 and the Chamber of Secrets (Void in participating states, Iron Man not included. Consult your doctor if you watch this film for more than four hours).
Yeah, yeah, I realize I won’t be the most popular kid on the block with this review, but at least I am being honest. If you want my opinion, don’t waste two hours to watch the film– watch the trailer instead. You will get the gist of it, but have more time on your hands for other things…. like stamp collecting or brushing up on your mad crocheting skills.
Have a wonderful day!
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