The summer blockbuster season officially starts the first weekend of May, and this summer we got a bit of a nostalgic trip back to 2008, when the first Iron Man blew everyone away on that very weekend.
This year, Iron Man 2 rolled in with even higher anticipation because people had been left with sort of absurdly high expectations. The first one was just so darn good and the second, after all, had all the same people on board (except for our poor friend Terrence Howard, but… oh well) — same director, same actors and everything.
Even the critics seemed to like it quite a bit. Not as much as the first, but still quite a lot. And guess what? It was awesome. You forget, after a while, what it’s like to have a blast-and-a-half in the comfortable confines of a theater bucket seat, but man, did that film remind me. It was everything an Iron Man movie should be — exciting, hilarious, and generally awesome. I left the theater feeling like I’d gotten exactly what I hoped for: more of what I loved so much the first time around. Plus Scarlett Johansson. (Ahem.) ALSO Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, and Don Cheadle (sorry, Terrence) — all with efficient, clever dialogue.
I actually left declaring that the second might have been better than the first. Those were the words escaping my smiling face, and I kept saying it for days.
And then I saw it again, as I’d been planning since about half an hour into it the first time through. I’m glad I waited to review it, because my opinion changed just slightly. Problem is, I got a little bored. Still a terribly fun movie, still worth every cent of both the first and second ticket, but I’m no longer so sure it has the staying power of the first one.
It’s hard to say. The trouble might be with the story, and how certain things aren’t revealed about certain characters until it’s a little too late to care very much. Or it might be that the writers brought our collective adoration of Stark’s character down a few too many notches. Who knows? I also had a couple of minor problems with the first one, but….
Also, who cares? They’re both phenomenally entertaining movies, and I say that you should absolutely go see the new Iron Man in as big a theater as you can find. The action and effects are basically unbeatable, and the ensemble cast was nothing if not roundly delightful. You won’t find better bad-guy banter than what happens between Rockwell’s Justin Hammer and Rourke’s Whiplash. And did I mention Scarlett? Yes, I did, sorry.
Unfortunately, my sharing these thoughts with you at this point is vaguely pitiful, now that it’s, um, June. Regardless, this film receives my official stamp of awesomeness. (Officially figurative, that is.)
My review is now concluded, and you can stop reading if you’d like. However, if you’re still going, will you tell me if I should start some sort of rating system? Like some number of something out of some number of something? Like stars or rhombuses or severed fingers? I’ve been a bit morally opposed, but I realize there could be value to the less patient readers of this humble publication. Also, I do very much like stars. Please leave me with your thoughts below.
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