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Off My Mind: The Iron Man 2 Review

Find out what G-Man thought of the movie.


Let me start out by saying that I liked Iron Man when I was a kid. I had watched the old 60s cartoons on a channel that ran old shows. I thought he was pretty cool and we shared the first same name. The first Iron Man movie was a breath of fresh air in terms of comic book movies. When it came to the sequel, I had high expectations even though I didn't want to have them. I didn't want to be let down. Before watching an early screening, I started hearing some mixed comments on it.

The Iron Man movies differ from some of the other current comic book movies. They don't go the dark/brooding route that other movies shoot for. Although, this one does begins with a slightly darker tone. We get introduced to Whiplash's character. The music and mood really set things up. We all know it's going to be a fun movie with Robert Downey Jr and the rest of the cast so this was a nice set up. We get a good introduction and find out what's been going on since the first movie without feeling like it's all forced upon us. The pacing of the movie really worked for me. It's a two hour movie and the majority of it moves along without the feeling that things are dragging.

We have a big cast, how do they rate? Robert Downey Jr nails it again as Tony Stark. You've probably seen the Senate hearing scene in the trailer. We see just how arrogant, smart and witty Tony Stark can be. Gweneth Paltrow does a nice job as Pepper Potts. There's no need to be concerned over Don Cheadle's performance as War Machine. Jon Favreau gets more screen time as Happy Hogan and it's all enjoyable. Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury didn't really feel like any acting was involved, just Sam being Sam but with an eye patch. Sam Rockwell does a great job as Justin Hammer, playing both a bumbling yet sometimes scary villain. Mickey Rourke oozes his presence as Whiplash and says a lot without having to speak much. Some parts to Whiplash's character might leave you with questions but you just have to overlook them while watching. I was really surprised over Scarlett Johansson's performance as Black Widow. I had some tiny doubts when she was first cast but when we see her in action, there's no question over the casting. As you can see, there's a big cast. It would've been nice to get a little more screen time with some of the characters but that's the sacrifice of having so many cool characters in an action movie.
== TEASER ==
The story of the movie works. I like that the origin is out of the way so we can see more action between the characters. I mentioned that the movie moves along at a good pace but my problem was towards the end. You've seen the big armor fight scene in the trailer and while it was cool, there were some things that didn't work for me. Seeing Iron Man fight other armored foes is cool but it felt like there should have been more.

You can expect little Easter Eggs and nods to the past. We get bits of the Avengers Initiative and more information on Howard Stark. Sitting in the theater, the audience actually cheered over some of the bits that were revealed.

My rating for the movie is a 4.5 out of 5. I'm not saying it's a perfect comic book movie but it was highly entertaining. It had a lot to deliver and it did. We get action, humor, big visuals and effects, pretty much everything you would want in an action movie. I simply had fun. I'm ready to watch it again. (And make sure you stay until after the credits).
36 Comments
Posted by Green Flash

Completely agree.  Each actor nailed their role, but some could've used more screen time.  Tony-Pepper did it for me and made the movie much funnier and fun to watch.  WOOO!

Edited by .Mistress Redhead.

Got to disagree with you on Scarlett and Rourke but otherwise your review nails it! it was excellent fun and really that is all it put itself out there to be :) 
 
great review and thanks Gman!!

Posted by warlock360

Rhodey simply was my fav in the movie i dunno why LOL (Of course Mr. I'm keeping my Eye on you aswell LOL)
 

Posted by bingbangboom

The part when Iron Man uses his lasers... everyone actually clapped. Was so weird but awesome.

Posted by Final Arrow

I loved the film the back and forth between War Machine and Iron Man in that one battle was awesome, great review G-man

Edited by MysterioMaximus

 I'm sure I'll be flamed more than Human Torch, but I don't care. My two cents:

I was kind of disappointed in Iron Man 2. I didn’t think it was bad, the action was outstanding...but I just didn’t feel the heart of the original. It felt very mindless and superficial, whereas to me the first had a lot of underlying ethical themes. It wasn't about the fight scenes; it was about why he was fighting. It delved into the psychology and moral dilemmas of being a weapons manufacturer, that crisis of conscience. This time around I felt more like it was a spectacle just to be a superficially cheap eye-candy event. It felt far more camp cliché blockbuster-ish and manufactured. But my biggest issue lied in the dialogue. The humor in this lacked much of the wit seen in the former; instead it's replaced with kid-friendly goofball comedy and horrible one-liners. I wouldn't say the original is devoid of that, but the seriousness of the predecessor just isn't present here. In fact, in my opinion, it's seriously dumbed down.

So much of the film felt like a filler issue in a comic book. While Whiplash was probably my favorite new role, he himself never felt especially threatening and was ultimately dispatched pretty quickly. Where were the police at the race? One bullet to Ivan's very exposed head and that's game over. Roll credits! That was a huge plot hole in my opinion. You mean to tell me that a guy with limited reach, little mobility, and a completely exposed body could take being repeatedly hit by a car and not instantly taken out by a single Iron Man blast...really? I know this is a comic book, subtitled suspension of belief, but I find an Iron Man suit that comes out of a freaking suitcase more realistic than that! I couldn’t buy that at all…suspension of belief became eye-roll. In fact, I just couldn't buy Whiplash being a physical threat to Tony whatsoever. And is there really any denying he was a bizarre choice for a film?
 
 It almost feels like an overindulgent Iron Man story, made less for the title character and more just as a glorified setup for the Avengers. It doesn’t feel required viewing to me in any way. It's like that issue in a comic that has the failed nothing-but-gimmick one-timer villain that no one remembers later on down the road. You know, the ones that become nothing but an obscure trivia question used to impress friends or that satire joke character that only you and your pals ever talk about aloud. "Remember the Rocket Racer? What about the Kangaroo?" I feel they basically decided to take something like that and run with it. I just keep thinking "This over Mandarin?" If this was a comic book, I'm convinced people would deem it forgettable, but because it's a big budget motion picture, it'll get praise from some. Seeing what Favreau can do, I can’t help but feel he somewhat lowered himself to Hollywood Michael Bay levels. The first film felt so tailor made for the comic audience in particular, I think part of that being its critical success, but this felt very..."Lets aim it at children," especially when it came to the extremely overused brand of juvenile comedy and the shameless marketing plug kid in the toy Iron Man helmet - now available at Wal-Mart for only $35.99! ...I gagged a little, cute though he was. I thought this franchise would be above putting a real-world product placement tactic in the film itself. That entire scene was just a multimillion dollar brainwash commercial.
 
The film isn’t bad enough to say I feel betrayed, it’s rather good at accomplishing certain things, but I’d certainly say it’s disappointing enough to say claims of it failing to be a worthy sequel are fair. But hey...that's me! I honestly don't hate the film, but I've just got more beefs with it than a butcher. Maybe the original set my bar way too high, I'm in freaking love with it, but I just found this very shallow and campy, especially when compared to said original. Over all, I'd give it a solid 3. I would never say it's bloody awful, but it's not ...well...much of anything in my opinion. Just another shallow blockbuster.  

Minor comic book nerd gripes: I really wanted Black Widow to have a Russian accent. I’d much rather have classic Nick Fury over Ultimate. I really wish Whiplash’s final suit (which is destroyed so anticlimactically) was crimson in tribute to his other amalgam inspiration. Nothing that really hurt the film for me, the comedy did enough of that, but in an ideal world...

Posted by NightFang

Maybe i'll watch this movie after all.

Posted by mimschkin

I wasn't disappointed per se, because I wasn't too keen on the first movie, but this film was a mess. Way too many characters, with many of them being all over the place, a semi-interesting origin for Whiplash that wasn't really interesting enough to keep me entertained, random ridiculous events that make no sense, and don't even get me started on the bickering (actually I went into considerable detail regarding the bickering in my own review I posted here on Comic Vine). Big thumbs down from me, shame really.

Posted by mattydeNero

Maybe I'm crazy, but I got a "JAMES BOND"-ish wibe from the film.  Not from like a spy aspect, but more storywise.  IRON MAN is one of those characters that could have a film every 2 to 3 years and just throw some sort of baddie w/ an agenda against Stark everytime and it probably won't get old.   
 
The cast was supreme.  Great acting, with a great screenplay.  And the action was a cut above.  As far as the overall story, I thought that Faverau would throw a curveball at us with IVAN VANKO.  Despite that character's path not meeting my personal expectations, Rourke was friggin' awesome as "Whiplash". 
 
It's going to suck that we probably won't see another Iron Man film for some time, but we got our set up for the future of Marvel films, and that's really all they need to keep doing to lead us towards the AVENGERS film.
Posted by Yaujtapool

This movie is brilliant and imo leagues above the first ironman which was also awesome.

Posted by Bloodstonefreak

Agree 100% G-Man!  Downey Jr. and Rourke were amazing in their roles!  Little bits here and there that could have been changed, but overall a great film.  I've already seen it twice, once on Wednesday because Audi gave an advanced screening in my area due to the "product placement" and once last night at midnight just for $h!ts and giggles.  I'm actually ready to see it again!  Favreau knows how to make a comic book film!

Posted by goldenkey

The movie was what it was suppossed to be.  Fun with funny moments.  Great Action with great visuals.  Great acting and of course getting a little personal with the character when he talks about how he felt like his father didn't give him the old "ATTA BOY".  With Tony looking at what he was doing by making weapons in the first movie as just being wrong and doing the a whole 180 swing, I wish they got into it a little more between Whiplash and Tony after the converstation they have in Monaco.  Whiplash never let Tony know why it was personal.  Why no matter how hard he tries to do good now what about the people that were victoms because of Stark Enterprises before.   I do agree with having Whiplash as the villian instead of the Manderin even more now because of all the tech in the movie.  It was a good movie because it's a sequel and sequels are hard to do well.  Even tho we have a few classics like Dark Kinght, God Father 2, and Empire Strikes Back, 99% of seguels are still inferior.  The only let down was that it wasn't better then the first, but that was expected as much as being better was expected so it balances out.   It's worth seeing.  It is what you expect it to be.
Posted by TylerLux

I loved the movie, but I felt there was just something missing. I hate to say that, but all and all I loved it.

Posted by Nyogtha

I have to say I found this one better than the first Iron Man, which I took over Dark Knight. Great movie, great cast, can't wait to see more in the Avengers. Plus the end scene after the credits. Chills! I saw the first movie opening night too and my girlfriend, me and 3 people stayed out of a packed theater and saw the end scene. This time. Two or three people left.

Edited by Jordanstine

I. L.O.V.E.D. this movie, and I'm not a big Iron Man guy.  
 
It's just fun... just so much F.U.N. 
 
I just wished that Olivia Munn was someone else... Anyway, silly people who like to try and compare this film to (surprise surprise) Dark Knight is premature and good 'ol silly, because they're practically different films in contrast.  It's like comparing Corpse Bride to The Invincibles; two great CG movies with different tones.
 
I can't wait to see both Thor and Captain America to set up for the Avengers.  

 


Posted by sora_thekey

i was surprised on how (opposed to what everybody thought) Scarlett Johannson nailed her mysterious Black Widow role!
 
But here's my review: http://bit.ly/aXujh4

Moderator
Posted by sora_thekey

I was surprised on how (opposed to what everybody thought) Scarlet Johannson nailed her mysterious Black Widow role.
 
Here's my review: http://bit.ly/aXujh4

Moderator
Posted by Jordanstine
@sora_thekey said:
"i was surprised on how (opposed to what everybody thought) Scarlett Johannson nailed her mysterious Black Widow role!
 
But here's my review: http://bit.ly/aXujh4 "

I liked your geek and non-geek review.   Good job.
 
Being a geek is always better :)
Posted by doordoor123

yeah... i dont have the same opinion. The writing wasnt good. But i could understand why it wasnt. There was too many characters that had a lot going on.

Posted by kennybaese

There were just some fantastic geek moments in the movie and the little nods they put in for the Avengers films were rad too.  
 
Also, my favorite scene:  

 
I loved the movie. I had lower expectations because I saw, very clearly, it's potential to be, well, bad. Also, the first time Rhodes steps into the suit didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. How goes he know how to use it, and where'd he get the power source. It would've been cool to have just a two second scene showing him picking up a spare generator or something in the lab and then having some kind of line about wishing Tony had finished showing him how to use the suit... Or something. 
Posted by Kid_Zombie
@bingbangboom said:
" The part when Iron Man uses his lasers... everyone actually clapped. Was so weird but awesome. "
same as in my theater ha ha a lot of people clapped for anything avengers related, and everyone cheered for the iron man 2 logo and the secret ending had the most cheers ha ha.
 
I agree with the review 100%. I enjoyed it. a lot of fun action and i like how they touched on certain story elements (demon in the bottle ect.)
The only gripe i had was in the end, when they were fighting the robots and Whiplash. Seemed kinda confusing. It was hard to point out who was who, other then iron man cuz hes a different color. Thats really it. I know This movie will be like the first one and the more i watch it the more I will like it.
 Going again tonight! ha ha
Posted by Grim

... does anyone know if that was Thor they blew up in the prison?

Posted by DH69

does whiplash turn into crimson dynamo by the end of it? cause who's the final fight against, it cant just be those drones.

Edited by MysterioMaximus
@DH69 said:

"does whiplash turn into crimson dynamo by the end of it? cause who's the final fight against, it cant just be those drones. "


EEEEH! Sort of...minus the crimson. I actually thought his armor at the end looked a lot more like one of the comic versions of Titanium Man.
Posted by G-Man
@Grim: I think it was confirmed that when Tony is walking down the hallway to see Whiplash, the dude in another cell was Thor. What he was doing in Monaco is anyone's guess. Especially if....
Staff
Posted by DH69
@MysterioMaximus said:
"@DH69 said:

"does whiplash turn into crimson dynamo by the end of it? cause who's the final fight against, it cant just be those drones. "

EEEEH! Sort of...minus the crimson. I actually thought his armor at the end looked a lot more like one of the comic versions of Titanium Man. "

probably shoulda added a spoiler warning to that, but thanx for the info
Posted by ArtisticNeedham

I loved it, I said in another area of this site that it was like a glimpse into the life of Tony Stark.  That its felt more than a movie, like this is what Tony Stark's world is like now.  I liked it too, maybe not as much as the first, but I thought it was good.  4/5 for me, or 8/10 or something like that.

Posted by Joe_E_Nigma

my favorite part is when he turned on the reactor and said, "AAAAH, that tastes like cocoanut!"  
 
and i liked how it was dedicated to DJ AM

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt

I've said it before, I shall say it again; this movie is AMAZING...ly average. The references were nice, and the acting was great. Johansson and Rourke were both exemplary. But the characterisation was just bad.
 Tony is not a good person. That's the picture I got. He's an egomaniacal douche. He saves people because it gives him something to do, not because he actually wants to, and only as long as it doesn't interfere with his day-to-day existence. Not once do we see Tony dart away from something he's doing to actively try and help someone. Nope, the danger has to fall in his lap, or someone else can handle it. How are we, as the audience, supposed to cheer for someone like that? That's not humanising a character, that's making him a giant shmuck. In addition, Justin Hammer really wasn't a bad guy. He freed one incarcerated individual so he could build weapons in order to protect the U.S. He's arrested at the end, because he was duped. Yeh, that seems fair. At the race in Monaco, we see Hammer try to befriend Stark, and Stark makes him look like a complete twit in front of the Press. Uncool. Hammer was a far more altruistic character in this film than Tony, imo.
 
All in all, an average outing for Iron Man, where he was upstaged by the Black Widow and Whiplash.

Edited by Jedted

 
I just saw it a couple hours ago and i thought it was great!  Kinda wish there was a little more action but there was a pretty good build up to the final climax.  I actually think i like this story better than the first one.

 
I feel like noting the very brief Stan Lee cameo which, as mentioned in the "Unscripted" review, is a little more special then other cameos because it's so quick and easy to miss.  I always get giddy whenever i see an epic Stan Lee cameo but since it's so obvious that feeling doesn't last too long. 
 
The post-credits teaser was pretty EPIC aswell and it makes me excited to see the next movie.  Here's a hint for those who haven't seen it yet:

Posted by Jedted
@Joe E. Nigma said:
"my favorite part is when he turned on the reactor and said, "AAAAH, that tastes like cocoanut!"."

 That was my favorite part(one of many really).  Robert Downey Jr. is really on it through out the movie and it's one-liners like that make it so memorable! 
 
I'm not sure why but the scene where Fury meets Tony at the donut shop and and says, "Could you come down off the giant donut please!" that had me LOL'ing in the theater. :) 
   
Posted by Blindside002

I absolutely loved this movie, the only thing I had to complain about was the Black Widow was the lack of naming certain characters and Black Widow not having a Russian accent at the very least in certain times when she was actually Black Widow. Hell I would have even settled for maybe a phrase or two in Russian just to show she is, not many people in the theater got that she was Russian other than those who knew who she was.

Posted by ArtisticNeedham

Tony Stark,

Posted by Superevil225

I thought Black Widow was a little sucky. But over all it was good.

Edited by Green ankh

I tought it was total fun. I wasn't to sure about Black Widow but she turned out fin. Not sure if she could carry a film by herself. 
 
I loved the "everyone asks how i go to the bathroom in the suit." Line
Posted by darkcloakx

i loved the it . iron man 2 was awesome 4.5/5