Iron Man 2

[Screenshot]I liked the first Iron Man movie. It had a reasonable amount of style and built in an interesting way on the established characters, making Tony Stark a thoroughly horrible human being in a way that was fundamentally likable.

Iron Man 2, by way of contrast, is 125 minutes of every single male character in the film systematically being a raging asshole to every other character. The female characters are occasionally catty but mostly sensible. Seriously, Tony Stark was so unsympathetic that I found it hard to be even remotely invested in the fact that he was secretly dying of palladium poisoning, which was probably just as well since the whole dying-of-palladium-poisoning subplot actually ended up not making a whole lot of sense, either narratively or physically. On the other hand, without that subplot all we really have is Iron Man pissing off his best buddy and then defeating the villain with The Power of Friendship. Woo.

I like Tony Stark and think he can be an interesting character; it kind of burns me to see the franchise torpedo like this. I’d like to blame it on the fact that these recent superhero films are apparently all supposed to build up towards some big blockbuster Avengers team film, but surely they could write a good film that leads up to a plausible Avengers team-up, no? It’s not like most of the sound and fury in this one was actually relevant to the whole S.H.I.E.L.D. subplot, and, at that, Nick Fury’s role here seemed completely random and he could’ve been slotted in any of a dozen different places if necessary. As far as I can tell the only real effect of the Avengers connection on this film was to make the role of the Black Widow far larger than it really needed to be.

On technical issues: Iron Man 2 is very whooshy and shiny and full of things crashing into and destroying other things. These are kind of par for the course for a big-budget superhero film and it gets no points for them (not that they’re bad, as such, but it’s no more and no less than I expect).

See also: IMDB, Wikipedia.

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About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

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