SPOILER ALERT: (this might spoil the movie for you if you haven’t seen it)
Despite opening in the same summer as “The Dark Night”, “Iron Man” was a surprised mega hit at the box office. It made such an impression that Marvel executive Kevin Feige planned to produce all future Marvel movies in the mold of “Iron Man”.
Not without criticism, the first Iron Man was accused of not having a true central villain that provides for a climactic finish. But because the movie took us through the transformation of Tony Stark, from a billionaire playboy trapped in his own corporate world greed to a compassionate individual with a different world view after captivity, we were content with that and just loved seeing him fight in the Iron Man suit.
In all, “Iron Man” was a fun movie that gave us enough glimpse of Tony Stark’s personality and world for the public to enjoy.
In “Iron Man 2”, which takes place six months after he revealed he was Iron Man and entrenched himself as a superhero that has “privatized world peace”, we get a chance to see more of Stark’s embattled personality; both from personal and public perception. The core theme is Starks coping with the idea that the same technology that gave him life is also slowly poisoning him.
With that said, I actually liked the first film better. The sequel seemed almost repetitive and the personal emphasis on Tony Starks made the movie a little slow. It seemed as if 1/3 of the movie was dedicated to showing us something was being built. Must they waste so much of the movie’s time on that?
Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko was great. His screen presence was very strong. I find myself yearning to see more of him, as whenever he was on screen, the movie became much more interesting and has less of a redundant feel.
The action sequences were repetitive. We’ve seen it before in the first film, Iron Man flies around and fights another man in an Iron suit. Except in “Iron Man 2”, the final action sequences mostly centered around remote controlled War Machine type androids; with Ivan Vanko in a souped up suit at the end. I mean really, of all the villains Iron Man has faced in the comics, all they can come up with is another guy creating a similar suit to battle him?
The action and ending sequences were anticlimactic. Just like the first movie, “Iron Man 2” needed the presence of a powerful villain. Assumingly, this was supposed to be addressed with Ivan Vanko and Justin Hammer as the opposing villains. I don’t think they were villainous enough.
The “The Dark Night” made it worked with the Joker, because Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker was so powerful, we forget that the Joker is just a mere human. With all the vile deeds he has done, we can’t wait to see Batman take him down. “The Dark Knight” was also quite different from “Batman Begins”, which gave us more than enough surprises to keep us entertained.
With Ivan Vanko, however, we can sort of understand his justification for attacking Iron Man, and that sympathy made for a less dramatic conclusion. He wasn’t ruthlessly evil like the Joker, nor as psychotic, where the evils of his crimes far exceeded our sympathy for what had happened to him in the past.
“Iron Man 2” will entertain and rake in the dollars. But I feel like they were showing me the same movie as the first, just with a little twist and a slightly deeper understanding of Tony Starks.