I liked it. About half the theater didn’t like it.
Here’s my theory why–
Iron Man 2 : Avengers Series :: Empire Strikes Back : Star Wars series.
It’s a bridge film. It’s a middle film, we’ve gotten through the hero’s inception in the first Iron Man, and this film is knee deep into the Road of Trials part of the monomyth. Which means this isn’t the feel-good flick of the summer. Bad shit happens. The flick ends with knowledge (and a pretty blatant visual metaphor) that they’re standing on the edge of a cliff and we have to wait until the Avengers to see the Return.
Which isn’t what General American Public wants from their movies.
Despite the fact my favorite part from the trailer isn’t in the film (and how much does that annoy the ever-loving heck out of me?), I really liked it. It’s a good brain candy ‘ooh, shiny!’ movie.
From here on down there will be some spoilers. You have been warned.
I have mentioned before that I cannot take Jon Favreau seriously as a director because I watched PCU about fifty-eleven dozen times on Comedy Central during my undergraduate years. In Iron Man 2, he spends a lot of time onscreen as Happy Hogan, and every time I see him, I’m all, “GUTTER!” But I did enjoy what he did with the character of Happy in this one.
Scarlett Johansson– yeah. Okay. Whatever. She doesn’t do it for me, honestly. One of the things I did appreciate in this film is that she didn’t do things like, oh, CUT THE LEG OFF A GROWN MAN WITH ONE STROKE OF A SWORD. No, this bicep-free woman managed to pull off some badass, yet credible and realistic fight scenes. “But Mary Sue!” I hear you saying. “How did her skinny little butt pull that off?”
Luchador moves. Which rely significantly on speed and leverage. And wrapping your thighs around the torso and/or neck of your opponent. Which is probably the biggest reason for that choice, le sigh.
Robert Downey, Jr. had a lot of emotional range to cover in this film, and I think he hit it perfectly for the character. Remember, though, that Tony Stark is not a normal human being. He’s a freakin’ genius billionaire playboy, so his reactions to, you know, DYING or TRUE LOVE aren’t going to resemble my own reactions to dying and true love.
Mickey Rourke can do no wrong. I HAVE SPOKEN. My mother tried to tell me otherwise, “He’s creepy!” and I replied, “I DON’T CARE!”
There were some pacing problems, especially in the beginning. It was quite clear that some scenes were chopped into tiny pieces in the editing room, and I would love to see a director’s cut.
I will most definitely be seeing this movie again. Probably at the Kennedy School.