Iron Man 2 (2010)

It’s good to be back and someone got his!

Iron Man 2

Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios present…

He has his technology guaranteed, but he will need more than just an armored suit to face his next nemesis and he says “bring it on!”, I’ve got my back covered!

Sequels have a knack of being better for most films and Iron Man 2 is definitely an eye candy! Story is fast paced but still maintaining the right tone of the plot and the characters to meld in with their objectives for the film’s climactic end.

Enter War Machine, created by David Michelinie, John Byrne and Bob Layton. The character debuted in Marvel Comics Iron Man No. 118 on January 1979 while he has the same features as the Iron Man armour; let’s just say his awesome firepower is less finesse and a lot noisier than the former thanks to the collaborated work of Len Kaminski and Kevin Hopgood who designed his specifications. In the sequel, we are introduced to another piece of equipment as Tony explained his armour: “It’s not a weapon; it’s more of a highly advanced prosthesis.” In other words, the suit was designed to be something more in terms of the wearer or whoever is inside and controls it to be tantamount in being “enhanced”…superhumanly that is!

Returning Director Jon Favreau (Zathura) gives both performances in front and at the back of the camera, serving as body guard, personal driver and a punching bag to whoever he pleases! Happy Hogan in the film reunites with Tony and newly appointed CEO of Stark Industries Virginia “Pepper” Potts; she is given life by the always lovely and talented Gwyneth Paltrow (Great Expectations) again in my opinion the most suitable actress who can portray the character. Jon generously made this film in his own delight reaching further in the character’s mythos and assembling a cast courtesy of Sarah Finn and Randi Miller (Crash) both had been working on projects that give credence fulfil the actual people for the right job and profile which is very commendable coming in a long line of Marvel films. To add, I also liked the way he pans in and out of the scene and close-up shots to give it the authentic feel of fight scenes, technological aspects like the armour in flight, drones and weaponry used! He and Producer Kevin Feige didn’t waste time bring out the brandish display of production sets, visually stunning CGI and of course their camaraderie!

Writer Justin Theroux (American Psycho) contributed his screenplay and brainstormed with Don Heck, Larry Lieber and comic book legends Jack Kirby and Stan Lee to provide the “modern day” hero from the pages into the big screen, amalgamating different areas of the character’s background and mixing it with right amount of action, drama, comedy and sense of morality (right).

It had a little back story and coming from Mr. Anthony Edward Stark, played by the ever contrite     Robert Downey Jr. (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) it is not about you, or them, it is about the Legacy we leave for the people and the future. As he presents his continued effort to bring “privatized peace” into the world as guided by his father, the pioneer of the so called “energy race” Mr. Howard Stark.

The film gave direction on how or why the antagonist Ivan Vanko, played by Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) a rogue physicist, definitely a chip of the old block who lived and hated the Starks though ironically, it was not deserved for them to be acknowledged regarding his father’s contribution with the technology shared by both inventors. His performance was a bit stale and underrated maybe it was his delivery or how the character was written that had affected the dynamic between him and Tony. To add, I remember his whip contraption being attached in the dark; did anyone notice that it has the same spine base from Dr. Octopus’s neuro control for his tentacles in Spider-Man 2 movie?

The character is there; the audience knew him and appreciated more the wittiness and most of the time egotistic, self-righteous, condescending attitude that we all love to hate. The good thing about it is he still saves everyone and gives that sense of responsibility and burden to prove that his armor is for him only to use because simply he is the only one who understands its repercussions if it’s going to be being used in the wrong way. The film was ambitious, commendable, funny with all Tony’s banters with Pepper, Happy, Nick Fury, Natasha, James and even with Justin Hammer, the self-centred, egotistic and scrupulous CEO of HAMMER Industries, actor Sam Rockwell (Moon) gives justice for the role (again doing his dance routine) chatty and someone who loves the sound of his own voice (just like his main competitor). I understand they need to change the old man from the pages to a younger version just to keep a closer interaction with the man in the iron suit and their escapades for their business rivalry!

On a side note, too many inconsistencies weigh heavily against the Director from walking and standing on Stark EXPO platform, water changes in glasses, left and right hands for a subpoena, Ivan and Tony at the race track incident in which after whipping him in a striking distance he could still “skip to my loo” while approaching him, abruptly missing fighter plane in a tarmac, moving strawberries and the most recognized of them all which I did not forget the guffaw brought by the audience in the cinema when Tony called Rhodey “Don” his real name for crying out loud in the near end of the film, what was that all about? Were they in a hurry? It was embarrassing enough for them to have these blunders getting way over their heads thinking that they were on top of the world coming from the first film…come on! Jon, I believe took more time to be part of the acting rather than doing his job in the editing room.

Nevertheless, all of the characters did their part well even for the Artificial Intelligence J.A.R.V.I.S the voice rendered by the ever compliant Paul Bettany (A Knight’s Tale). I can easily applaud Natasha Romanoff played by Scarlett Johansson (The Island) for her given role; she nailed it and every single security enforcer in the building! Lt. Col. James Rhodes the new armor owner Don Cheadle (Rwanda Hotel), now inherits (took off) an Iron Man prototype armour to incorporate it to the military as their Variable Threat Response Battle Suit (VTRBS) also known as the War Machine.

His acting is always on par with the main protagonists. Samuel Jackson’s (Shaft) Nick Fury did more talk time and more distinctness for his role in the film and the coming films ahead. Everyone did bring their part and that’s why it worked, everyone should be able to have enough time to relay what they need to bring for the audience to understand what part they are in a given film or performance.

I was watching every Easter Egg that I can to give justice to the epic movie to follow and as the ending credits is done, this new information will give more expansion for these stories to be married into one single assemblage. Everything will fall into place in time and the “Hammer” did fell in the right spot…

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