Friday, May 7, 2010

Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2 isn't bad, and it's not exactly great. It's just "decent."

When last we left our armored hero, he had gotten over his insane ego and become a more responsible person. In the span between the last film and this one, he's somehow become even more narcissistic than he ever was before.

That's essentially the crux of the entire movie: Tony Stark's ego. While there are genuine reasons for his self-destructive behavior, it still seems a bit much to swallow, and it makes Tony harder to enjoy as a character.

In the last movie, a combination of cleverly-written dialogue and well-acted improv banter between the actors kept up a certain charm. This time around, the dialogue's charm is wholly dependent upon the actor improv, and it constantly stumbles.

The plot is also rather weak. It lacks the simplicity and power of the first movie's plot, and feels like it's running in circles.

One particularly bizarre element is the introduction of two characters, Natasha Romanov (AKA Black Widow) and Nick Fury, who only show up in order to better set up their future appearances in The Avengers. Nick Fury makes a moderate amount of sense here, given that he was set up in the post-credits sequence of Iron Man, and SHIELD had played a supporting role in that film as well.

Romanov, however, is a strange twist. Scarlett Johannson plays Black Widow considerably different than her comics counterpart, lacking the distinctive Russian accent and personality. She feels more like "Scarlett Johannson in a black suit" rather than the actual Black Widow character.

Of course, for all the movie's faults, it's still decent fun. The special effects are great, the action (what little there is) is good, and the story is just decent enough to keep the audience's interest.

Iron Man 2 isn't a great film, but it's not bad either.