Thursday, 27 January 2011

I am Iron Man!

Iron Man was on telly the other week, and then what should pop through our letterbox from LoveFilm but Iron Man 2! So I thought that I'd review them together; two birds, one stone and all that. I'm guessing that most people are aware of the story so I will quickly blast through the plot.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) of Stark Industries (arms suppliers) is the son of the company founder, robotics genius, and all round suave guy. While demonstrating the latest weaponry in Afghanistan he is kidnapped by terrorists, during which he is wounded in the chest. To prevent shrapnel from burying into his heart and killing him a device is planted in his chest. Tony uses this to power a suit of armour to affect his escape. Back home, Tony uses his robotic skills to upgrade the chest piece and the suit of armour, adding fire-power and much computer wizardry. He then uses the suit to fight evil, starting with the corrupt head of Stark Industries: Obadiah (Jeff Bridges).

When I first heard of this film I assumed it was a version of the novel by Ted Hughes I read as a kid. When I found out this wasn't the case I was first disappointed, and then, having seen all the hype about the film, very wary, and stayed away. Hype does that to me, I didn't see Moulin Rouge for years for the same reason. When I finally did see Iron Man, I was very pleasantly surprised. Robert Downey Jr is perfect for this role, smooth and arrogant without being smarmy and annoying. Jeff Bridges is great as usual, and great support from Gwyneth Paltrow as well.

                                                         Was that my White Russian?

While watching the beginning of the second film, actually I might say up to about 45 min or something, I thought it was a bit flat. I thought that this could be because for a lot of these hero-style films, the first film is usually more interesting as the main character discovers their super-powers. Mmmm. I was about to back up that statement with examples, but could only come up with Spider-man really. X-2 better than X-men, Superman 2, Hellboy II!

Anyway, I thought the first 45 min were a bit aimless, until Sam L Jackson showed up and told Tony to stop arse-ing about. At that point the film developed some plot and became a whole lot more enjoyable, though I was confused with why they replaced Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle as Rhodey. Jon Favreau has done a great job with these two films, including a massive cameo for himself (actually I think it goes beyond a cameo).

Best bits:

Mickey Rourke slicing Grand Prix cars up in Monaco with his electric tentacle things.

Tony creating a Small Hadron Collider in his apartment to create a new element!

Any section of film with AC/DC playing in the background.