Will Preston

In an alternative dimension where arms conventions are rock concerts!

by on May.13, 2010, under Films, Review

Iron Man 2

The link between superheroes and questionably colourful costumes is still unexplained

A quick message to those of you out there who did the marketing for Iron Man 2’s AC/DC soundtrack on CD: Two AC/DC songs is not a CD’s worth. That is pretty much my only gripe with the film. I’ll need a while to calm down from that intense rant if you will just bear with me.

Comic book films today are usually divided into two groups: The stylish and dark approach which either raises issues of social commentary or focuses a lot on character development, or the big blockbuster Hollywood meat-headed explosion-in-a-can that is more guaranteed to get bums on seats than a chair fitted with an arse magnet. Iron Man falls into the latter, as all marvel comic films do. But it does this well.

When we last left Tony Stark (basically Bruce Wayne but without martial arts training or crippling ship on his shoulder for justice) he had admitted publicly about his alter ego of Iron Man (basically C-3PO with a chav car paint job and an extensive arsenal rather than the ability to speak various languages and dialects). This leads to him being treated like a rock star, rather than a CEO of an major arms provider. Batman would have done the same if it weren’t for that moral code of his.

Meanwhile, in Russia, Mickey Rourke’s Ivan Vanko watches his father die (who used to work with Tony’s father, but things didn’t get to rosy and blah blah blah cue revenge plot) whilst slurping on a big bottle of vodka, providing the viewer with a cultural representation on par with Mickey Rooney’s appearance in Breakfast At Tiffany’s. It is then revealed he has access to the same technology as Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit, thus a comic book villain is created. A kinky comic book villain wearing leather straps across a bare chest whilst dancing with electro whips. On paper it reads like the lemonade fuelled ramblings of a 12 year old, but it comes off well.

What really surprised me about the film was the strong cast, something I haven’t seen in a Marvel film since X Men 2. Robert Downey Jr. eats the role alive and shits gold, Sam Rockwell’s dorky rival CEO role is a joy to watch, Mickey Rourke refrains from talking in favour of staring like a convict, and Scarlett Johansen…well…she’s pretty. Even Samuel L pops up playing another Marvel, although he could just walk onto set and threaten people and no one would tell the difference.

The film moves at a great pace and manages to juggle several story lines without overloading the brain, something that’s not really required to watch this film. Sometimes it gets a bit too silly for its own good resulting in a cheap one liner worming its way into the script. Some made me laugh, but the film didn’t need to try. I was happy looking at explosions clapping like a retarded seal.

For a brainless film, I came out of that cinema a little wiser about the world. I learned that: –

1. Superheroes don’t need a secret identity, just good time management skills.

2. Mickey Rourke can do an entire film without talking

3, Arms conventions and rock concerts have a lot in common

OK, that last one doesn’t really a pply to real life.

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