"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice


From A.O. Scott’s review of Iron Man 2:

“Iron Man 2,” the first superhero sequel of the summer, fulfills the basic requirements of the genre, which can be summed up as more of the same, with emphasis on more. Having introduced its physically and intellectually gifted, emotionally tormented protagonist in both his regular and alter egos, a comic book franchise will typically set out, in the second installment, in search of new villains, bigger suits, brighter gadgets and tendrils of plot that can blossom in subsequent sequels.

But sometimes — for instance in the recent Spider-Man, X-Men and Batman cycles — the second time is a charm, as filmmakers and actors use the reasonable certainty of financial success to take chances and explore odd corners of their archetypal, juvenile stories. “Iron Man 2,” directed by Jon Favreau from a screenplay by Justin Theroux, doesn’t achieve the emotional complexity of “Spider-Man 2” or the operatic grandeur of “The Dark Knight,” but it does try something a little bit new and perhaps, given the solemnity that has overtaken so much comic-book-based filmed entertainment, a little bit risky. It’s funny.

Not funny. Anything but that. Nooooooooooooo.

Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email %PRINT_TEXT


1 Jon DeRosa   ~  May 7, 2010 10:19 am

Depends, right? First one had some funny moments, and who needs another super hero movie with a brooding overly serious protagonist who is conflicted about the use of his/her powers?

If they play the whole things for laughs, though, it would be a mistake. I expect it to be adequate to entertaining, but nothing special.

2 Paul   ~  May 7, 2010 10:21 am

I don't know what it is, but why do so many of these movies lose restraint? Spiderman 3 was awful. X-Men 3 was awful. They could ride a gravy train for ten years over five movies if they simply were restrained their story telling. Instead they try to cram too much into a two hour space and they lose the whole thing. I thought both of those third installments could have been two movies if planned properly. The amazing thing too is restraint would cut the budgets and they'd still get the same box office. Take Spiderman 3 for instance. You split could easily split Sandman and Spawn into their own movies and the Harry Osborne line would have been stretched. Make it an old fashioned serial and the crowds will keep coming back. But once you've done the three enemies, plus engagement, stories how can you ever possibly top that? Shooting Spiderman into space?

That's where the new Batmans have gotten it so right. And the best part, I hope, will be seeing Bale age in the role like Batman does in the comics. Nothing would make me happier than seeing Batman at age 50. But as soon as they decide to introduce Robin the series is lost. Thankfully the Nolans seem to realize this.

Jon Favreau? Not so much. I have no doubt he was getting pressure to include the Avengers elements, but a good director says "Fine, Nick Fury in this movie. Black Widow in the next one, and War Machine after that." But to cram them all in? They had at least another another two or three movies in Iron-Man himself and with Downey Jr. He could easily play the part for another 10-15 years. That's sort of the point of the suit. Now? He'll limp into another sequel and they'll blow the whole thing up for the ensemble Avengers flick. That's the problem with Hollywood. Pigs eating their own bacon.

3 Crazy8Rick   ~  May 7, 2010 11:50 am

"Pigs eating their own bacon???" I luv it. I agree with Paul, the third time never seems to be the charm. Remember Godfather 3 (gag a maggot)

Once the genie gets out of the bottle it's hard to recapture the lightning and stuff it back in. X-men 3 literally made me sick!

The Batman sequel, The Dark Knight, has set the bar very high for comic book super heroes. My only fear is that now, because of the Dark Knight, film makers will begin to make all the characters grow so dark, that we lose the fun of the comics that we enjoyed in the first place. Yeah, a little pathos in this genre is fine, but man I have enough drama in my own life... I want a little escapism that I can enjoy and have fun with too. God forbid all our hero's of yesteryear become the WATCHMEN!!!

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver