Marvelous Movie Reviews: Iron Man 2 (2010)

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“The suit and I are one.”
Tony Stark

Release: 30 April 2010
Rating: 12
Length: 2Hr 4min
About: With the world now aware that he is Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from all sides to share his technology with the military. He is reluctant to divulge the secrets of his armored suit, fearing the information will fall into the wrong hands. With Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) by his side, Tony must forge new alliances and confront a powerful new enemy.

The Good

  • The biggest highlight for me is the casting; both Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell are amazing as this installment’s bag guys. I’ll admit, I still struggled to hear everything Rourke was saying but I didn’t mind once the subtitles were on.
  • Tony is even more Howard Hughes than ever and I love the entrance to the Expo. Its a brilliant way of showing his approach to his superhero life.
  • The humour in the court hearing is rather pitch perfect. It’s on the right side of tongue in cheek; from the comment that nods to the casting change of Rhodey to the responses given to Senator Trump Stern.
  • I don’t think I picked up on this in the first outing, but I love the Red Dwarf-like robots Tony has in his basement.
  • We get more Happy and Black Widow’s introduction is rather subtle for newbies, allowing them to be on side with Stark, while remaining perfect for fans in the know.
  • The CGI of the wrecked car at the Monaco Grand Prix is still as breath taking as it was on the big screen. It’s hard not to wonder what went wrong with the graphics department down the line.
  • As Tony becomes reckless, it allows Rhodey to have more to do. There’s a few scenes between Rob DJ and Don Cheadle that are rather beautiful, sincere and something I feel is missing from some of the later movies.
  • Have to give a shout out to Queen for the vocals to the fight sequence between a drunk Tony and Rhodey. THIS was a better Civil War than, well, Civil War.
  • “I don’t want to join your super secret boy band.” – I love the relationship between Stark and Fury. It’s like an angry uncle and a rebellious nephew. It’s something the film could have done with more of.
  • Okay, I briefly mentioned Sam Rockwell at the beginning but of all the anti-heroes, Justin Hammer is quite possibly my favourite. Perhaps its because his motivation is pure stupidity and a drive for power that he should never have. He’s the guy you meet wherever you work, shop or play. He’s the guy who thinks he means well, has charm but he wouldn’t think twice about throwing his nanna under the bus. He’s a big dick; a brilliant, snivelling, brown nosing dick. And who better to handle this character than Sam Rockwell?!

The Bad

  • What is with Mickey Rourke’s Corey Feldman skunk stripe?! Don’t get me wrong, Rourke has my admiration for The Wrestler and I’m sure it’s more to do with the costume department, but I want to chop it off.
  • The opening exposition wasn’t as clear as with Hulk and, as a result, I missed Ivan’s beef against Stark. It was over an hour in before I made sense of his one-man war path.
  • Paltrow’s Pepper Potts is a little too loud and shouty in this outing. Her freaking out in the car really doesn’t fit with what was otherwise a flawless scene.
  • Coulson was a bit pointless in this. It felt too forced “Hi, I’m coming to tell you I can’t stay.”…. okay. I get the feeling it was to prepare the way for the sting, but he wasn’t required in the film proper for that to happen. That said, I do love Gregg Clark so I shouldn’t really complain.
  • Happy and Black Widow! We so need more of those two together. It was the best part of the god damn movie.

The Ugly

  • I feel as if there’s a bit of a continuity error when it comes to Stark’s involvement in the Avengers Initiative. He was very much involved within the sting of Hulk, but this film seems to ignore that.
  • Its still the same ending; bigger, meaner version of the hero. Only this time they pressed the copy button. It’s already feeling stagnant when it comes to the bad guys.
  • This could be where the problems with Black Widow start. Both Happy and Tony fawn over her; even Potts mentions how it was a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Final Thoughts

My opinion has improved some what since the first, and last, time I watched this. To be fair, I was so bored that I left my boyfriend-at-the-time in the screen and went for a walk. Twice. What I will say though is that I wasn’t the hard core Marvel CINEMATIC Universe fan until Joss Whedon gave me Assemble.
It still has its faults, but I must say I actually enjoyed it much more… even if I did have to watch it in two sections.

Next up, as the sting revealed, is Thor.

Love Han x

Christmas Film Advent- Rare Exports A Christmas Story (2010)

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Watch your mouth! It’s Christmastime, so let’s act like it

Length: 1 hr 25

Rating: 15

About: A young boy named Pietari (Onni Tommila) and his friend Juuso (Ilmari Järvenpää) think a secret mountain drilling project near their home in northern Finland has uncovered the tomb of Santa Claus. However, this a monstrous, evil Santa, much unlike the cheery St. Nick of legend. When Pietari’s father (Jorma Tommila) captures a feral old man (Peeter Jakobi) in his wolf trap, the man may hold the key to why reindeer are being slaughtered and children are disappearing.

First Thoughts

Rare Exports first came on my radar when it appeared on YouTube as a self contained short. It was something rather different. The training of feral Santa’s was unsettling in a weirdly good way. It perhaps was one of my first explorations into Christmas horror and the film itself became a Christmas Eve watch for me and my brother once our dad had gone to bed. Which year is was, I’ll leave to my brother to inform me.

I don’t remember the inclusion of what I would come to call Krampus (Joulupukki in Rare Exports) in the short and I’m definitely certain this was my introduction to the anti Santa.

The Naughty List

  • It’s length is a doubled edged sword. While a short film, it’s pacing is rather slow compared to the film short that preceded it. You feel every minute of celluloid. Some minutes even feel doubled. Watching it this time, I was able to appreciate how this creates atmosphere and comments upon a different lifestyle than the one I’m used to living, but when I watched it the first time; it felt like Rosemary’s Baby all over again.
  • It won’t feel very Christmassy to some when you consider that the profession of the main family is to kill Rudolph for its meat. The film could risk dampening your Christmas spirit, depending on your outlook. Me? I’d eat Rudolph for Christmas dinner if he tasted good.

The Nice List

  • It’s a short film at 82 minutes and if I was well versed in the original language it would feel even shorter than it already does.
  • Subtitles aren’t for everyone. Even I sometimes veto a film on original language alone, the only thing I hate more being a poor dub. Original language films get my attention better when I’m in a cinema and free of all distractions. That said, I would never want to see this film given a Hollywood treatment; it’s more about the culture and mythology than anything else.
  • The kid (Onni Tommila) holds his own in the film and it’s quite refreshing to have a young lead in this type of film.
  • I know this is stupid thing to pick up on, but I loved seeing Pietari using nails in a candle as an alarm clock. It’s such a vivid image that immediately came to mind before I started my rewatch.

Final Thoughts

It’s not one for the whole family and certainly one that would make very few people’s regular festive viewing. That said, with the lifestyle Swedish and Finnish becoming popular within the UK, this should be on everyone’s list to ensure they’re of an understanding that life isn’t all about hygge hipster bullshit that’s now bordering on a stereotype.