Thursday, 25 April 2013

Iron Man 2 Review

With Iron Man 3 coming out this Thursday (25th April 2013) I felt that it's about time I got round to doing my review for Iron Man 2, as I originally planed on reviewing all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe prior to Iron Man 3, but so far have only done a review for Iron Man, so I at least need to do one for Iron Man 2.

Plot

SPOILER FREE

After revealing himself as Iron Man, Tony Stark has been confronted by the US Government to hand over his technology which doesn't suit well with him. Also a new foe in Whiplash (Vanko) appears, and Tony's health isn't too good.

Review


This was a brilliant film, and although not quite as good as the first Iron Man film it's still a very good film, and the perfect set-up for the remaining of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although the first film was the one that set everything up, this was the film that bridged the way for Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger, as well as eventually The Avengers, as with including S.H.I.E.L.D. in a grander level, as well as the references it made for a nice introduction. In a way this is, as well as the character development it what hindered the film, as although it was brilliant, and needed, it also slowed it down in parts, not allowing for as much spectacle as the first film had. I do however also however feel that this film is even better with each play through, as knowing what to expect it means that there isn't any expectation, which allows me to enjoy it much more. Also Jon Favreau directed this film perfectly, making it very dramatic, and emotional, and although it wasn't quite as amazing as the previous Favreau still did a brilliant job.

Most of the main cast returned, with Robert Downey Jr. returning as Iron Man himself, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Samuel L. Jackson as head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury, Paul Bettany as the voice of JARVIS, Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, and director Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan. All these actors did a fabulous job in the first film so I was ecstatic to see them return in this one, and especially Robert Downey Jr., returning as Iron Man, as he was simply perfect for the role. I also liked that the rest of these returning cast had a bigger role this time, as besides Downey Jr., and maybe Paltrow none of them had a huge role in the previous film, so to see there characters have more room for development was brilliant, which I was happy about.

There was however also new cast members, as we had Scarlett Johansson as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Black Widow, Mickey Rourke as Whiplash, Sam Rockwel as Justin Hammer, and Don Cheadle replacing Terrence Howard as James "Rhodey" Rhodes. Besides Cheadle coming in as the new Rhodey all the other actors are playing new characters, and I was happy to see them make an appearance. I'll talk more on Whiplash in a bit, but seeing the introduction of Black Widow was amazing, and surprisingly Johansson did a phenomenal job, as if you asked me prior to seeing this if I felt she's be suited for the part I'd have said no, but she clearly was, as she owned the role in this film, and would continue to do so in The Avengers. Also the change of Cheadle as Rhodey was also brilliant, as I never really liked Howard in the role, and although Cheadle himself doesn't quite own the role like Downey Jr. does with Iron Man, or Johansson with Black Widow, he still does a much better job than Howard did, and I'd happily see him continue to reprise this role (like he will be in Iron Man 3).
Suitcase Armour

Iron Man showed off a few sets of armour in the first film, and he continues to do so in this one. My personal favourite was the suitcase armour, as it was simply genius. It's known that Tony's kept the armour in a suitcase in the past, but to actually have the suitcase as the armour was brilliant, and very clever. The other armour was also brilliant, and I also loved when he showcased the suit with the triangular chest piece. Now I know that isn't really much, but I much preferred the triangular one over the circular one in the comics, so to see it introduced in this film was nice.

There was also a scene in the film where Tony drives a Formula One style race car around the Monaco race circuit. Now I won't go into details about the scene itself, as it had some suspenseful moments, but being a huge Formula One fan I felt that I had to voice my opinions on seeing a race around my favourite track being featured in this film. The events that would transpire during this was also brilliant, and although like I said it was suspenseful, it was also very entertaining, and exciting, as well as being very dramatic.

War Machine
Now I mentioned that there was a new actor playing Rhodey, but that wasn't the only new thing about him, as during this film he'd become War Machine, the character that all his fans will know him by. It was hinted in the last film that Rhodey would most likely be making the transition to War Machine in this film, but to actually see it was amazing. The thing I liked most in the film was the fight scene between War Machine (before he's kitted with all his extra weapons), and Iron Man, as it was fantastic, and in a way reminded me of the fighting robot toys. Besides that I liked the way War Machine was introduced, as it was slightly controversial, but very impactful, and dramatic, and really helped the film.

This film also featured one of the most well known top in Iron Man's history, and that's his drinking. With the knowledge that he's dying unless something drastic arises, Tony decides to live his life to the max, hosting a party in his mansion, and even wearing the Iron Man armour during it. I really loved this scene, as despite having a Demon In A Bottle theme to it, Downey Jr. portrayed this side of Tony perfectly. Downey Jr. himself isn't a stranger to addiction, having beat a drug addiction, so this must have hit home to a certain extent. Besides that he also showed ton's of emotion during this scene, as well as the ones that surrounded it, as you could see the fear of death in him, as well as the will to want to enjoy life to it's fullest. I did however also find some points in this funny, and others very moving, and deep, as at one point he appears to act like a monster, and in the manor that the Hulk would act in rather than Iron Man.

Whiplash
As I said earlier the new villain in this film was Whiplash. Now prior to this film I knew next to nothing about Whiplash, as although the first film had made me a fan of Iron Man as a character, I was only really interested in the classics like Demon in a Bottle, as well as recent stories like Extremis, and with Whiplash not appearing in either of them I never had any need to read about him. Although I knew nothing about Whiplash, this appeared to be a newer version anyway, so it would have allowed for more changes, but besides that as a villain Rourke did an amazing job, and he really made Whiplash seem both intelligent, and menacing. I also liked the desire that was shown in the character, as he showed real passion, and emotion throughout the film, wanting revenge of Tony Stark. There was however one minor thing that I didn't like and that was there wasn't enough action that involved Whiplash, as although he was in a fight with Iron Man near the start, which was good, the one later in the film was slightly disappointing.

The big fight in this film would be between Iron Man, and War Machine, against Hammer's drone's. Now this fight itself was brilliant, and very suspenseful. The main thing that was interesting in it however was that War Machine was against Iron Man for part of it, but I won't go into details as to avoid as many spoilers as possible. The brilliant thing with having Iron Man against many drone's in that cause they've no humans inside he can use lethal force, which allows him to rip them apart, and be much more physical. I was however disappointed in what followed as after fighting the drone't Iron Man, and War Machine would face a upgraded Whiplash. Now the fight itself wasn't bad, just too short, as with Iron Man, and War Machine to face drone's for about 15 minutes I'd have expected a huge fight against Whiplash, but it only lasted about 3-5 minutes (if that), and although the drone's fight was brilliant, I'd have rather the Whiplash one have been the longer of the two.

Mjolnir
Like the first Iron Man film this film would feature an post-credits scene. Now if it was a new film I wouldn't mention it as to avoid spoiling it, but as everyone's bound to know what happened, there's not really any harm in talking about it. Basically Agent Coulson would find the hammer, Mjolnir in a large crater in New Mexico, hinting at the Thor film. At the time I found this to be amazing, and it really had me excited for the then upcoming Thor film, and although now that Thor's out it doesn't really have as big of an affect, it does remind me of how I felt first time seeing it.

Final Verdict


Although not quite as good as the first Iron Man film, this was still an amazing film. It was also the perfect introduction for new characters, as well as containing brilliant hints to future ones, and although not as spectacular as the first film, it's still a very good film, and I still enjoy watching it, and would highly recommend it.

Rating: 4/5