Friday, April 10, 2015

Iron Man 2 Review

Right off the bat in this review I am going to stir the shit, and I apologize for this, but I really mean what I am about to say. Ready? Okay, here it goes...

Iron Man 2 is the Jar Jar Binks of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I know, the whole bitch about Jar Jar thing is so damn played out and I agree. You can't turn a corner in a discussion regarding Star Wars: Episode VII online without someone making a "Maybe Abrams will bring Jar Jar back! LOL!" joke being made, and I need to be perfectly clear here, that isn't what I am trying to do. I am not laughing out loud as I write this, and that is precisely my point. Iron Man 2 cranks up the silly factor to 11 and is practically begging the audience to chuckle so hard it makes us slap our knee, but there is a problem. It isn't funny. At all.

It is a bit unfair to equate this entire film to an annoying, pointless, terrible character from another franchise because not everything in Iron Man 2 is misguided. When it actually attempts to portray a serious narrative, it succeeds and I am locked in during these moments, but unfortunately it spends so much time trying to be wacky and "fun" that it mostly fails as a complete movie. The reason I couldn't help but think of good ol' Jar Jar during this revisit was because I ask myself the same question here as I did back when The Phantom Menace was released 16 years ago: Why?

Why so silly? Why so over-the-top? I completely understand and appreciate that the source material these films are based on are comic books featuring men in costumes fighting super villains, so expecting total realism is obviously not in the cards. Why did it have to go that far in the other direction though?

Robert Downey Jr. is just as charming and perfectly suited to play the role of Tony Stark as ever, but that is another prime example of why the screenplay fails in Iron Man 2. Even his wit and clever banter is often times falling on my deaf ears because I had to tune out the terrible villain performance from Sam Rockwell the scene prior. I love Sam Rockwell and when I hear his name, I immediately think of his masterful turn in the science fiction film Moon. I will choose to pretend this nonsense isn't even actually on his résumé. On the other hand, a welcome bright piece of the Iron Man 2 puzzle is the introduction of Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson). Her role in this film is refreshing and interesting, a nice break from the cringe inducing comedic dialogue that is otherwise so prevalent here, and we now know just how important to the entire universe of movies her character proves to be. 

Iron Man 2 has always been my least favorite effort from the MCU and that has not changed a bit. I have no hatred in my heart for anything relating to this franchise as I have had some fun with even the lesser efforts like this, but the tone of this film is something I have never been able to understand.



  1. You are bang on the money here. Despite being a huge fan of Marvel Studios and the MCU, Iron Man 2 just doesn't work as a film, mostly due to the incredibly number of sub plots that it tries to cram in around a main plot that was convoluted enough to begin with.

    That being said, I do think that the opening and closing of Iron Man 2 are actually pretty good - it's the lengthy middle section that gets bogged down in itself that really makes Iron Man 2 the worst film made by Marvel Studios.

    1. Thanks Daniel, and yeah, I didn't cover it in my review but you are spot on with the sub plots issue. It is too much and it tries too hard to be a uproarious comedy and it fails for me.

      I appreciate it, glad we agree here!

  2. Come on, the scene where Tony gets drunk, DJs, and pisses in his own armor is the highpoint of the MCU.

    1. haha yep...exactly my point Nathan...exactly my point

  3. The villain is the biggest douche in the history of cinema....and while I think there is importance in this film (as opposed to people who say this should just be destroyed) I found enjoyment out of it and with it's flaws. I'm also surprised that whenever someone talks about black widow, no one ever mentions that she first appeared in this movie.

    for me I'd raise you just a tad with a 2.5/5

    1. Glad you are with me on the villain Cody, so terrible here. That's what really destroys the whole experience for me, I need to at least find SOME appreciation in the villain.

      It is a shame that Black Widow couldn't have been introduced in a more memorable film overall.