Film Reviews


By • May 10th, 2010 •

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A major disappointment. I hated arrogant, bratty, foot-stomping man-baby Tony Stark and prissy Pepper Potts. Too much brattle and no story.

I’m sick of Robert Downey, Jr.’s narcissistic prancing and arch-arrogance that is way overboard in IM2. Isn’t Tony Stark too old to be misbehaving and dancing around on a self-glorification “I Love Me” stage in an ugly suit?

And what about destroying millions and millions of dollars of his stuff and not giving a good goddamn? He’s a frivolous bore and a show-off.

Tony Stark has OCD? He will not let anyone touch him. So I guess intimacy with Pepper is exclusively phone sex with racy industry banter.

Ugly suits and Sam Rockwell’s boorish over-acting. Since there is no story to discuss, let’s focus on TS’s fey suits, Rockwell’s hysterical performance, Gwyneth Paltrow and Scarlett Johansson’s “stick up the butt” acting, and blowhard Garry Shandling (as Senator Stern).

Only Mickey Rourke (as Ivan Vanko) took this job because he thought it would be a serious acting gig. He is the best thing in IM2. He doesn’t overplay it, but was it necessary for the filmmakers to tattoo War and Peace on his body?

For no good reason, writer Justin Theroux has given director Jon Favreau a much bigger role. Let’s hope Stark’s limo driver Happy Hogan isn’t angling for a spin-off. Maybe Theroux is looking for the writing gig for IM3.

Must we see Stan Lee everywhere in commercials and doing a “Hitchcock” in the movie? It is so sad to me that a man of his age (88) and wealth should be such a fame-whore.

Theroux’s screenplay is dreary with too much military wordsmithing and a non-story screenplay. Who wrote Justin Hammer’s (Sam Rockwell) “I call it the ‘ex-wife'” speech? Certainly not Theroux – it just does not fit in the redundant and hopeless dialogue of all the characters. Someone must have goosed-up the screenplay.

Because big movie stars refuse to be hidden away behind a mask and a silly get-up, we have Tony Stark announcing he is Iron Man. So now in IRON MAN 2 he is all upfront about it and he states that he has “privatized peace”. He is the world’s showboating savior. The military wants his suit to be able to kill lots of enemy combatants without getting their soldiers hurt. Stark yells “No! It’s mine and you can’t have it! You’re not the boss of me!”
Tony Stark is sick and unhappy. His father never told him he loved him! And he wasn’t breast-fed so he’s hungry for attention and big ticket items as nipple substitution. That’s my psychological theory of Tony Stark – I could go on and on. What does the invulnerable suit represent in his life? Why all the hardcore metal? What is Stark compensating for?

Stark thinks he is dying. So he is giving away his art collection and installing Pepper as Stark Enterprises CEO.

Pepper might be Stark’s nanny and newly-minted CEO, but she is not the object of his lust – young, new assistant Natalie (Scarlett Johansson) arrives to challenge the tepid, unsexy boss-secretary office romance. But, Natalie has a meager flirtation with Stark. No sparks fly for Stark!

I was led to believe Johansson would be a sexy addition to IM2, but both Paltrow and Johansson are awkwardly directed. Favreau does not know how to work with actresses. Theroux does not have any solid idea what to do with them either.

Wouldn’t it have been interesting if Pepper’s sexual awakening happens when she eyes Ivan with his electric whips? Ah, the threat to Stark would have been dynamic, after all, his mommy-substitute is interested in another man-child. Stark clearly has abandonment issues.

Why do sequels always involve exotic locations? Not only do the stars get big paydays, they get an exotic location-vacation for three months, but it does nothing to enhance the movie or story.

So Stark’s rival for the ultra-killing machine is wealthy Justin Hammer. Hammer is not a genius but a buffoon. So how did he become an adversary to Stark in the highly competitive world of military war wizardry?

Lt. Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) walks through the movie getting his paycheck until he steals one of Stark’s suits and flies off. They battle Vanko in a silly metal-bashing CGI extravaganza.

All I can say is, thank God IM2 wasn’t in 3D.

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