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NOT: Iron Man 2

poster_ironman-2Comparing the second serving of the Iron Man franchise to its original would be a big mistake.  The special effects are better than before, the Iron Man suit is shinier than ever, and we have a new villain who can kick some ass.  But it’s a failed attempt as it has none of the charm, surprise, or fun elements of the first film.  It’s downright boring.  Both films have the same actors and the same director so you might be curious as to how this could have happened.  It’s the screenplay I tell you, the awful screenplay, coupled with some bad directorial choices.

Iron Man 2 picks up six months after the end of the first film.  Our hero’s ego has reached behemoth levels where he proclaims him and himself only as the key to world peace.  This peachy view is somewhat scarred as the US government starts to treat him as a potential threat to national safety and a vengeful scientist builds the same technology to bring Iron Man down to earth.  All this while, Tony Stark also needs to deal with the consequences of his mechanical ‘heart.’  It all sounds good on paper, right?  You have the fundamental flaw of the main character challenged by an arch enemy while he is trying to secure his destiny, which ultimately forces him to reconcile his own definition and identity.

Unfortunately, besides the special effects, nothing leaves a lasting impression.  The acting is second rate where obviously Favreau omitted doing multiple takes for some scenes sacrificing his chance to get the best performance out of each actor.  This makes the film feel hurried and unpolished.  The dialogue doesn’t follow well and feels spotty.  Tony Stark’s character is meant to be a bit short when it comes to dialogue, but that doesn’t mean every other character needs to be that way.

At several moments in the film, I just stopped listening as I wasn’t missing much anyways.  But let me get back to the point, as these are minor grievances considering the root cause, which stems from a bad screenplay.

Any film that is based on a comic book already has a certain leeway for taking short cuts in the story, and it’s generally OK. We don’t expect every comic book film to have the depth of Nolan’s Batman, but it’s downright sad to see too many holes in Iron Man 2.  Who is Samuel L. Jackson in the film and what’s with the eye patch?  Why does Petter Potts accept to become CEO of Stark Industries? There are too many holes to mention here…

What’s worse is that the film completely ignores these holes and tries to sandwich scene after scene of what we’ve come to expect from comic book films.  Hero is at the top of his game; gets challanged; loses his initial incentive along with a personal loss or trouble; hero goes down the wrong path; his new enemy reminds him of who he is; he comes back with a pow.  Great.

But the pow never happens in this film.  It has a flat pulse that never seems to pick up and lies dead on the floor.  The events are so uninteresting that even the characters forget about them a few seconds after they happen.  Explosions?  Big whoop.  Let’s kiss.

Do yourself a favor.  Save your money; watch it on a plane where you’re stuck and need time to kill.

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