Sunday, May 9, 2010

Iron Man 2 is twice the fun...

How do you follow up the surprising success of 2008 that was Iron Man? Introduce twice as many villains, spend twice as much money on special effects, make it twice as long, or current flavour of the month, make it in 3D?
Authentic Iron Man 2 suit
Instead how about have a great story with plenty of nods to comic book continuity, but still have lots of surprises and a cast that has great on screen chemistry and who are just so much fun to watch. That's why Iron Man 2 is such great film, it's just a fun-filled, action-packed slice of comic book fantasy.
Iron Man 2 film poster
The humour works so well that you are able to suspend your disbelief and imagine that anything is possible, that there could be men in flying suits, whips that cut cars in half, secret espionage initiatives and armies of robot drones on the rampage.
Iron Man 2 briefcase armour poster
What I've liked about both films is that they've been true to Iron Man's origins, but they've updated them and made them believable and more relevant to today's world.
Iron Man 2 building billboard
In the first movie Tony Stark wasn't injured fighting in the Vietnam War, but by Afghanistan terrorists and in this movie I was worried that they'd use the blood poisoning by his arc reactor power cell to explain his alcoholism, which is a vital component of his character, but it just enhanced the reason why he did get drunk and embarrass himself, without being maudlin or too dark.
Iron Man 2 War Machine poster
Jon Favreau's sequel also has such confidence, from Robert Downey Jr.'s infectious swagger, dancing showgirls at the Stark Expo, an implied sense of history and depth provided by his industrialist father, and cool concepts like Iron Man's suit in a briefcase, which was always a comic book mainstay, but they made work plausibly on screen.
Whiplash Iron man 2 poster
The real-world locations like Monaco and Malibu suits Tony Stark's playboy lifestyle and a protagonist from Russia give the movie a more international flavour.
Robert Downey Jr Iron Man 2 poster
I mentioned not having two many villains and the addition of 'Justin Hammer', his weapons developer adversary, was a clever way to increase the danger stakes as well as keep the emphasis on the business world, whilst 'Anton Vanko' provided more of a traditional costumed threat as 'Whiplash'.
Iron Man 2 movie poster
And following along with the humourous tone of the movie I can see why Sam Rockwell played the character so tongue-in-cheek, but I missed the sinister quality of one of Tony Stark's oldest enemies.
Iron Man 2 Whiplash poster
Scarlett Johansson made a fantastic 'Black Widow' SHIELD operative and her fighting scenes in the white-walled corridors of Hammer's facilities were spectacular and action-packed. You really believed she was a capable, deadly, kick-ass spy, as well as a sexy secretary.
Black Widow Iron Man 2 poster
The film never missed a beat with the substitution of Terrence Howard by Don Cheadle as Stark's best friend 'Rhodey' and the addition of a second hero in a high-tech weaponized suit, 'War Machine', never overshadowed Iron Man as the central star of the movie.
War Machine Iron Man 2 poster
The movie also teased the forthcoming Avengers big screen outing which will unite a lot of the big cinematic properties from the Marvel Universe, like Iron Man and the Hulk, and characters from the imminent Thor and Captain America movies. I bet comic book fans like me loved the touches like Samuel L. Jackson's SHIELD Director 'Nick Fury' and the inclusion of a partially made Captain America shield. But luckily this didn't detract for the quality or pacing of the entire movie.
Iron Man 2 movie costume
If you stayed until the very end of the credits you'll also know that it will soon be 'Hammer time', so lot's of Marvel excitement is still to come.

I give Iron Man 2 five ***** stars for sheer entertainment value.

And if like me you loved the new Iron Man 2 suit in the movie, be sure to check out more pictures of the red and gold armour over at Hollywood Movie Costumes and Props.

I for one can't wait until the 'Avengers Assemble'...

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