From a “teacher and student” perspective the film fails to comply and pass the intended trimester. Summer classes required!
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures in association with DMG Entertainment and Marvel Studios present…
To jump start Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Phase 2”, we welcome back the one the only superhero extraordinaire Anthony Edward Stark! Coming straight from the aftermath of “The Avengers” film, Tony finds himself reminiscing time while trying to avoid a nuisance who might deter his New Year celebration with a fling who’s having the same level of intellect that Tony possess and it all goes blurry from there…(drunk or lack of sleep probably).
Now, going on the main points there are hints in the backstory, a very influential businessman, a global and personal threat, a love triangle and a huge epiphany about a “teacher” and his “student” in terms of what is more important, so here’s a pop quiz hot shot do you make the world safe or does your loved ones comes first, what do you do?
Director Shane Black (Lethal Weapon) never compromises a big budget film and its potential to hit (and still miss) the intended mark! Borrowed elements from previous films of the Director was very visible while other platforms from “a decoy villain”, “a destroyed mansion”, “a life without the armour” and “the need in moving on with his life” was already covered by a certain brooding billionaire across the pond. Since the first two films was helmed by Jon Favreau, they now hired a new team to adapt the screenplay which was done by Drew Pearce (No Heroics) together with the Director, they utilized plausible scenarios coming from the storylines of the comic books to make it surreal and grounded as possible. He is currently working on multiple, big budgeted projects which include “Pacific Rim”, the third instalment for “Sherlock Holmes” and “Godzilla”!
Now, I do respect the latter’s work especially with two police officers who never backs down just to do their jobs crazy or how aged they can be. I do not even question his ability to cover all aspects of filmmaking but I really did find his “unoriginality” as a scapegoat to mirror even some key moments from his previous films. But hey, I stuck around just to see what makes a man a hero and still wield the “iron” will to save the world!
IRON MAN NO MORE?
“You know who I am…” is he getting a catchphrase similar from James Bond’s opening song in “Casino Royale”? Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder) the ever so flamboyant one man show! Still the best and closest resemblance to the iconic “ironic” hero Iron Man! I cannot totally say he has matured understanding that he will always be that guy who lets his ego do the talking while he saves the world and himself from embarrassment. The truth of the matter is he never fails to act but it doesn’t mean he also needs to “overreact” when it comes to his friends and for Pepper! But still, how can you not commend this guy in protecting first the love of his life than of his own?
Robert never fails to amaze with his spontaneity and flair to captivate audiences but it kinds of growing old on me in the way he delivers his character for the third time. Really can’t blame the guy since this is who he really is. He’s definitely a thinker and although he plans ahead with contingencies seeing that he is a “futurist”, he only counteracts with individuals if it interests him or becomes a threat which makes Iron Man so different from heroes like Captain America.
LIAR, LIAR PANTS ON FIRE!!!
“I am a Teacher…” Sir Ben Kingsley (Prince of Persia) has been one of the least expected to be portraying the Ten Ringed Conqueror but got fans clamouring for more when Marvel started their viral campaigns. Seeing that his actual origins was Chinese but it was changed explicitly since the release of the first film and moulded him from Middle-East contingent and concurrent to make it more relatable to the movie going public!
That is why Mandarin has always been criticized and made as a joke and to add insult to injury you lambasted the character’s potential to be influential by just probably conniving with the Director’s way of putting the pun dialogue in his films. I mean Marvel people personally acknowledged that Iron Man has the least foes to fight with! He was even suggested to get toe-in toe with Dr. Doom instead coming from the “comic book” creators. No offense to Sir Kingsley, he was actually spontaneously funny and believable but the point here was how Marvel allowed this plotline to happen and making this the main thought in the film which is “you will never really see him coming…”!
PEPPER TO THE RESCUE?!?
This is the next phase, the next chapter in Tony and Pepper’s relationship and it becomes more personal! While she takes care of the Stark Industries as CEO, Tony plays with his toys (pun intended) seriously they are better as the on-screen couple and it had an underlying purpose to how they were able to go through these tough times when people around them are not being safe and what more can Tony do especially for the woman he has grown to love? Gwyneth Paltrow (Contagion) was another cast that was sublime to portray the character, much being said her contribution to the success of the franchise is beyond doubt absolute. She was given a hefty responsibility which was meant for a bigger scope in order for the premise to have the sense of altruism from her boyfriend in the face of despair and uncertainty.
READY, “A.I.M”, “FIRE”!
I have never taught that they would make Guy Pearce’s (Prometheus) portrayal of Aldrich Killian that gawky and obnoxious and spare me even the make-up people who gave him that awful look! I started to remember two brilliant scientific men in which the first one coming from the same family in Marvel wants to exceed the human potential and make humanity without any weaknesses while a certain villain portrayed by “funny man” who was also obsessed with a genius playboy as well but the only difference was this guy had pointy ears and a cape!
He was the brainchild for the A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics). Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee and debuted in Strange Tales No. 146 on July 1966, a terrorist organization fronting as a scientific research corporation with clandestine purposes (who doesn’t) who collaborates with scientist Maya Hansen played by Rebecca Hall (A Bag of Hammers), she developed the virus just to get funding for her unfinished work which unfortunately sets the framework on global terrorism.
To put things on the table, Aldrich gives the audience his work in progress aptly named the “Extremis” which was derived from a six-part story arc released from January 2005 until April 2006 this was conceptualized by Writer Warren Ellis and the man behind the militarized armour of the Golden Avenger used for these films is none other than Adi Gradov!
Guy played the part and he had stolen the spotlight indeed! After saying this was “just a cameo role” at best was an understatement. He was given a redundant portrayal of a villain just to get the attention of the protagonist but he just needs to hide behind the shadows a little longer before he reveals himself. Typically disappointing, to make it worse he exclaimed that he was someone that he was not supposed to be!
THE BUDDY COP WITH A NEW PAINT JOB!
A little paint job does the job? Was that even correct? So, Lt. Col. James Rhodes played by Don Cheadle (Traitor) is taking the next step in government puppetry as Iron Patriot gone is the former War Machine suit. In other news, I believe they paid a little homage there with Miguel Ferrer who plays the “desperate” Vice-President who was part of the cult film “Robocop” seen standing beside the armoured hero in red white and blue! Don and Robert had their moments while bickering which were relatively pale compared to Holmes and Watson’s chemistry. Don in my take is way better than Terrence but have to say he does not look like a soldier or act like one probably with his mannerisms and built which worked better for Idris Elba’s versatility and toughness or Chiwetel Ejiofor’s intensity and aggression coming from his villain roles.
THE CURIOUS BODYGUARD AND THE CAPABLE A.I. BUTLER
I thought Mickey Rourke’s character from the last instalment was the former body guard from a non-linear segment but hey it’s only Jon Favreau (Batman Forever) as usual he is Stark’s I meant Stark’s squeeze newly appointed Head of Security who is more dynamic not just spit-balling or driving around his Employers! With the same kind of bantering, a reason to motivate the hero and a limited but significant screentime just to get the ball rolling! On the other hand, J.A.R.V.I.S. was voiced once more by Paul Bettany (Firewall) but has not been able to get enough credence for his participation which I believe is unfair compared to Don and Jon.
PASS YOUR PAPERS…
It was entertaining at best with certain jocosity here and there to compliment the overwhelming action and special effects courtesy of Scanline VFX, Digital Domain, Framestore, The Third Floor, Trixster Film and Weta Digital as they were able to incorporate a massive output combining studio takes with stunning visual effects. They were able to bring new heights of anticipation seeing that Tony has brought in his “Legion” to kick some serious soldier ass!
Another angle would be his highly advanced bio-tech serum in manipulating his armors to be more “user friendly”. Seeing that they can be controlled mentally which sets Tony in a catch 22 situation making him more physically unstable but in a “safeguard objective” in no time at the same time!
With enough financial security coming from Producer and Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Fiege (The Avengers), they were able to formalize and brought in big names to bring out the said premise making on a bigger level especially that the primary antagonist has laid his cards!
Case in point, I applauded on how Marvel was able to work on their projects by well-thought off leaps and increments! The film sets the stepping stone for the much awaited “Phase 2” wherein the original components that brought together the “Avengers” to come into fruition has been a great inception to a greater and wider universe which in actuality does permeate the mass appeal of these superheroes to flood in the big screen!
Coming up next something “dark” is brewing and it’s not even coffee to keep Tony’s buddy awake… psyche!!!