One of the most anticipated movies of the year has blasted through it’s opening weekend, garnering more than $130 million.  Not a bad encore for Tony Stark in the Shellhead suit by any means.  While fan reaction has been decidedly positive, a few ninny-farts (welcome to 1939) have been negative about the film.  Me? I fall well into the positive camp on Iron Man 2, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t find five faults.  Without further ado…

10 Things I Liked

10.  Sam Rockwell’s Dance

When Justin Hammer gets his moment to shine at the Stark Expo, he does this little jig across the stage that is absolute perfection.

9.  Black Widow & The Kicking of Ass

I wasn’t a huge fan of Scarlett Johansson when she wasn’t wearing the Black Widow outfit (seemed a little monotone), but when she was suited up and kicking ass through the Hammer installation, that was awesome.

8.  The Iron Dancers

A bunch of hot ladies in slutty Iron Man costumes?  Yes please.  That’s pure Stark excess right there, and I loved it.

7.  The Laughs

Iron Man was a fun movie and despite a somewhat heavier storyline, the sequel managed to provide plenty of laughs from all angles – from Rhodes to Hammer to Potts, everyone got a laugh in at least once.

6.  The Avengers

Seeing War Machine, Iron Man, and Black Widow all on screen, coupled with the SHIELD discovery of Thor’s hammer, went a long way in proving to me that an Avengers movie will work.  I’ve long had doubts.  Now my only doubt about that film is Joss Whedon – admittedly that’s a big one.

5. Jon Favreau

He scores laughs as Happy Hogan but, more importantly, handles action and a lot of story threads very well.  I’m a bit dumbfounded that Marvel isn’t throwing the Avengers film at him – I think he could pull it off and he has a solid track record.

4.  War Machine

A faithful adaptation to the comic look coupled with an awesome action sequence full of robot destruction and flying motor oil – hell yeah.  The promise of the first film (Next time) was fulfilled here.  I hope we get more War Machine in the future – spin-off, anyone?

3.  Climactic Fight Scene

One valid criticism of the first film was the final battle against Iron Monger that wrapped up a little too quickly for my tastes.  Iron Man 2 improves on this by having a fairly lengthy battle sequence of Iron Man verse the drones, which was fun and explosive.

2.  Sam Rockwell

I don’t think Rockwell would have been a better Tony Stark than RDJ, but his Justin Hammer is perfection.  He fully embodies the warped mirror image of Stark in creating a creepy, fun, yet dangerous character.  Sign him up for some sequels.

1.  Robert Downey Jr.

I don’t think there is an actor on the planet who could play a better Tony Stark.  He handles action, laughs, and cockiness without blinking.   He is Iron Man. Nothing more to say.

5 Things I Didn’t Like

5.  More Action, Spread Out

In its two hour and fifteen minute run time, there is a decent amount of action, but there are only three real instances of action and two of them are pretty short.  The only lengthy action is the finale, but even that could have been longer.  All I’m saying is more bang bang boom boom, please.

4. Nick Fury

I don’t like Sam Jackson playing Sam Jackson playing Nick Fury.  I’m a fan of the original continuity Nick Fury, a bad-ass hard-smoking old school ass kicker.

3.  Too many scenes?

I’m not sure what it was about the flick, but it seemed a bit choppy.  There were a ton of scenes and there was little transition from one to the other.  The story kept trucking because it had to.  There was a lot they wanted to accomplish in this movie, much of it involving future Marvel properties.  For a third installment, hopefully that weight will be lifted and the story can be Iron Man centric.

2.  More Iron Man

I love RDJ as Tony Stark and could watch him all day, but there is one thing I’d rather watch – Iron Man kicking the shit out of things.  So in my opinion, we need more time in the suit.

1. The Whiplash Fight

While the preceding action is fairly strong, the actual fight between Whiplash, Iron Man, and War Machine is way too short.  This is a problem in Iron Man and in some of the other comic movies – the final battle between bosses is over in under a minute.  We need some serious rocking and rolling city-street destroying action.  You cast a big name and created a big villain – use him more.

For me, Iron Man 2 was a fun way to kick off summer.  I definitely enjoyed it and eagerly await a third installment – though it’s probably three years or more away.  Sigh.  Not a perfect experience and perhaps not as good as the first film, but it accomplishes a lot in establishing the Marvel Universe on film.

What did you think of Iron Man 2?


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