Thursday, April 29, 2010

Iron Man 2

I've just come out of the theatre for the latest instalment from Robert Downey, Jr. and Jon Favreau, Iron Man 2. It was quite simply: awesome! In my previous post(s), I've harped on about how I really like a bit of a brainless blockbuster. You know, some action packed flick which allows you to have fun but not having to use too much brain power. Well, this pretty much fits the bill perfectly.

I know I'll get some flack for this, but one of my best friends spent about a year trying to coerce me into watching Iron Man (the first one), and he nearly didn't succeed. There has been quite a number of comic book-turned-live action films recently, mostly due to the advent of new technology allowing filmmakers to portray those amazing super hero types in live action. However, I have never been too fussed about it. None of them really gets where your imagination could take you through simple images arranged in blocks. If I remember correctly, my friend (who knows my movie tastes pretty well) said: "I think this is the kind of movie you'll really enjoy." Dammit... How right he was.

I think I've gone over Iron Man about two or three dozen times already, especially in full HD Blu-ray. I just regret not having seen it in the cinema when it came out.

Just a side note, before I continue rambling on... I never really liked Robert Downey, Jr.'s movies. Until I realised he was in Chaplin, and I thought he was absolutely brilliant. Then Sherlock Holmes came into my cinematic world, and I took a 360° turn to realise I really like him and his movies.

So, back to the topic then, Iron Man 2.

It's always been a nightmare for directors to continue onto sequels or trilogies of good movies, the first time around. A good example would be Jurassic Park. The first one was simply breathtaking, but the rest have all been a bit wet. Lord of the Rings was different because it was set on a three-part book of epic proportions and popularity. Did you see Indiana Jones 4? What utter rubbish. But Jon Favreau (the director of Iron Man and Iron Man 2) came out and made something brilliant out of it.

Yes, there are plenty of faults. For example, the main villain (played by Mickey Rourke) didn't really feature much. Well, not his evil and destructive side anyways. I saw an interview recently where a prominent actor proclaimed that your movie is only as good as your villain. The audience needs to connect with him to be able to grasp what you are trying to tell them. And this villain's time was too short on screen. Oh, and it turns out no one died in the massive destruction that did take place eventually. That's a bit strange...

Still, the storyline was great. It was smooth and easy to follow. The action sequences were definitely worth it if nothing else. But what I really loved about the movie was the dialogue and the really quite funny jokes and off-hand comments being thrown around. It's comic book-turned-live action-comedy, and that really sets a great tone. There's no need to have a stick up the backside for superhero live action films and take everything over seriously. After all, it's fantasy, and it's not real (even though we sometimes wish they may be).

Something that inevitably caught my eye was Scarlett Johansson. She never struck me as very beautiful. Of course she has her charms, otherwise why would everybody be so bowled over by her. But I never really caught the bug. But in this movie, it's one of the few occasions where I suddenly realise she is extraordinarily hot. The other time I felt like this was in the first movie when I was shocked to see how pretty Gwyneth Paltrow was. I always thought she looked a bit too old and a bit too boring. In Iron Man, WOW!

All in all, this is a great movie. If I have a chance, I will actually go see it again (or maybe even a third time). By the way, Don Cheadle is a great replacement for Terrence Howard - who seemed to have a very broken and fragmented speaking voice, annoyingly.

Go see it! It's worth it!

Image Source: Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios

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