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Overall Rating

Awesome: 5.13%
Worth A Look: 26.92%
Just Average35.9%
Pretty Crappy: 30.77%
Sucks: 1.28%

8 reviews, 30 user ratings

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Iron Man 2
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by Rob Gonsalves

"More clang-clang."
3 stars

Imagine it’s 1987. Now imagine Mickey Rourke and Robert Downey Jr., as they were then, co-starring in a film, the kind of film they would’ve done then — most likely an intense drama. What you’re imagining could be a classic.

But time to wake up: it’s not 1987. It’s 2010, and we’ve had to wait this long for Rourke and Downey to share the screen, and when they finally do, they’re turned into action figures. In Iron Man 2, Downey returns as the smug tech genius Tony Stark, who moonlights as the armored superhero of the title. Rourke plays Ivan Vanko, whose father, he believes, was shafted by Tony’s father back in the day. If I recall correctly, the actors have exactly one dialogue scene together; the rest is smash-and-bash special effects.

Vanko looks at the tech Tony uses and builds himself a similar outfit equipped with electric whips that can slice through cars. It makes for a cool-looking destruction scene on the Grand Prix racetrack. The problem, as in the first film, is that director Jon Favreau seems devoted to the cool-looking to the exclusion of everything else. Tony, depressed because the reactor in his chest that keeps his heart beating is also poisoning his blood, throws himself a birthday bash and gets embarrassingly drunk. His buddy James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) decides that the only way to get through to Tony in his inebriated state is to suit up himself and fight him, in an elaborately pointless (though cool-looking) brawl. It’s as if scripter Justin Theroux had suddenly sat up at his keyboard with a start and said “Whoa! Too much talk! We need an action beat here!”

For me, the movie became about Vanko, an understandably embittered genius, and his cohort Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), a moneybags who hates Tony and bankrolls Vanko’s work on an army of Iron Men. I wouldn’t mind a whole film devoted to Rockwell’s slippery, rabbitty line readings (he also does a hilarious little dance on his way to a podium on his night of triumph) and Rourke’s suave menace dipped in a sauce of vodka and body odor. They’re certainly more fun than the good guys. Downey has one nice moment, in his suit but helmetless, sitting inside a giant donut; it looks like someone glued a scruffy head onto a wind-up toy. For the most part, Downey is a wind-up toy here, in or out of the suit; he falls too easily into his current savvier-than-you default mode.

Oh, yes, Scarlett Johansson is in there somewhere, as an agent working undercover in Stark Industries’ legal department; Johansson couldn’t seem less interested in the film, and the quick sequence wherein she gets to dispatch countless guards is upstaged by the director himself, playing Tony’s loyal assistant Happy Hogan, who has all he can do to subdue just one guard. Happy’s sincere joy at his victory is what’s missing from the rest of Iron Man 2.

Everyone’s stuck in cool-looking scenes that read at zero emotionally, and poor Vanko never gets his full due — or his pet cockatoo from his apartment in Russia, come to think of it. Hammer ends up fobbing another bird off on Vanko, and Vanko eventually warms to the replacement, but I kept wondering, What happened to the real bird?

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=19928&reviewer=416
originally posted: 05/07/10 19:22:37
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User Comments

2/20/17 morris campbell dull dissapointing sequel 1 stars
3/28/16 Aj wales Underated but not a gem though. Ok. 3 stars
10/01/14 Horror Lover An oversaturated mess. 2 stars
9/02/14 Jeff Worst Marvel movie 2 stars
4/06/13 Charles Tatum Vastly entertaining, don't understand the hate! 4 stars
11/18/12 Sean Harrison Probably the weakest of the Marvel cinematic universe. 3 stars
10/18/11 Magic A movie that tries to bite off more than it can chew. RDJ saves this movie, barely. 3 stars
5/25/11 Glenn Laurence Hardy Junior i thought it was worth a look....... friend me on facebook! (my pic. is sonic) 4 stars
1/22/11 Jeff Wilder Fun overall. But overstuffed. 4 stars
12/21/10 Sean M Favreau and theroux bit off way more than they can chew. RDJ and Mick should've been epic. 3 stars
12/11/10 terri The movie should have focused more on the villains and not the Avenger crap. 2 stars
11/30/10 Simon Verhoeven This critic has no clue whatsoever about the process of writing and filmmaking. Great movie 5 stars
10/04/10 action movie fan tony stark is great but this movie seem like a viedo game-the action particularly 3 stars
8/06/10 naewar Not the first one, but still a great movie. 4 stars
6/21/10 Ken Kastenhuber AIS decent sequel, not enogh substance, but decent popcorn fare. 4 stars
6/08/10 Eric Olsen First was substantially better, more action, more exploration. 3 stars
6/07/10 Jack Frost David Cornelius -- paralysis by analysis. Watch it before it leaves the big screen. 5 stars
5/28/10 Koitus Very disappointed; loved IM1. Only 1 decent-length action scene?!? Wait for the DVD... 3 stars
5/20/10 Man Out 6 Bucks Downey just riding the crest of a wave. Most non-Angelinos don't get it. 4 stars
5/16/10 mr.mike Feels more like Iron Man 5 , stale and lacking action. 2 stars
5/12/10 damalc nothing special; not nearly enough action for a superhero movie 3 stars
5/11/10 KingNeutron Some of the CGI was sloppy, but overall a quite enjoyable summer action movie. 4 stars
5/10/10 g. maybe not quite as good as the first, but still a good time. 4 stars
5/09/10 Abs it's a meh movie...lacked the consistent humor that made IM1 great 3 stars
5/09/10 Flounder An ENORMOUS disappointment. Dull, vacuous and pointless. I'm shocked. 2 stars
5/08/10 Dan Great for what it was meant to be-an installment in an overarching Avengers storyline 5 stars
5/08/10 JC Pierce I liked it 3 stars
5/08/10 "Big Brother" visually stunning (as expected) but ultimately flat & empty; Cheadle lacked T.H.'s charisma 2 stars
5/07/10 Darkstar Awesome! Much better than the first one. Stay till after the credits for a surprise! 5 stars
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  07-May-2010 (PG-13)
  DVD: 28-Sep-2010


  DVD: 28-Sep-2010

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