MasterChugs Theater: ‘Iron Man 2’

For those with Netflix (and if you don’t have it, then shame on you, and shame on me for my completely unsolicited plug), Iron Man 2 will soon be available to watch streaming. This is something to keep in mind, as there are worst ways to kill time. But should you put at the top of your queue, or should you just meander around to it? Hit the jump button to find out.

Robert Downey’s Tony Stark, the Howard Hughes-like creator of Iron Man’s software and hardware and its embodiment when he dons the flying iron suit, is suffering from megalomania and a blood-toxicity condition. These seem to be leading Stark into severe mental instability.

Other plot lines revolve around a congressional hearing and a nasty senator, a rival entrepreneur, a dishy new assistant as a rival to his Girl Friday, a demented Russian inventor, psychological issues involving Stark’s late father, a sidekick and the deterioration of Stark’s corporation.

What is at stake here? The fate of the world? The emergence of a new superpower? No, it all seems to pivot around who will win a new Defense contract.

Not the most epic of a grab for the audience. That’s part of where the problems with the movie are. Iron Man 2 seems to have taken some wrong cues from its predecessor, drowning any potential sophistication in a busy, unfocused clatter of cross-talk punctuated by occasional fender-bender royales. Often playing like it has been jury-rigged from bits and pieces of a longer, smarter movie, it seems chiefly intended as a placeholder for its next dozen or so sequels. But with everyone’s eyes on extending the franchise, they’ve overlooked the possibilities right in front of them. A terrific villain is a terrible thing to waste, namely Mickey Rourke, who like most of the supporting players, is given much too little to do with his gifts.

Despite its shortcomings, Iron Man 2 is one good time. It may not have the most polished delivery in terms of story, but for the most part it attains its many narrative goals. It has fun action set-pieces, an intriguing central dilemma for its main protagonist, and a pair of compelling villains. The original film had a novelty to it that simply can’t be replicated, but as far as comic book movie sequels go Iron Man 2 is a cut above most

2 thoughts on “MasterChugs Theater: ‘Iron Man 2’”

Comments are closed.