Iron Man 2 has the same problems that every sequel has. How do you re-do what you did the first time? Plus give the audience a bigger and better experience? Plus try and make tie-ins to a third movie, because there has to be a third movie. You have to do a Trilogy. You can’t just do two. That makes no sense. How do you please the people who liked the first one and please people who never saw the first one and please people who hated the first one but want to see if the second one is better? The key question: How do you make everyone happy? The answer. You don’t. You just don’t. But you try and you fail in some places and you succeed in some places. So. Did Iron man 2 succeed? The answer. Yes and no. More yes than no. But this wasn’t a perfect movie. But it wasn’t Iron Man 2’s fault. You can blame the upcoming Thor movie and the upcoming Captain America movie for that. Why? Well, here is a conversation that probably happened between top Marvel movie execs and Jon Favreau, the director of Iron Man.
Marvel: Hey, man! Great job with Iron Man! Just Awesome!
Jon Favreau: Hey, thanks!
Marvel: So, like, here is a bunch of money for Iron Man 2.
Jon Favreau: Wow. Thank you so much for believing in me.
M: Yeah, no problem. Love the movie. But, in Iron Man 2, we need you to do us a favor.
M: You know how you had Nick Fury at the end of the movie?
JF: Yeah. A little shout out to the fans. No big deal.
M: Yeah. We need you to ramp that up. We want to make Thor and Captain America and then an Avengers movie, so we want you plant some seeds. Cool?
JF: I wanted to tell a story about Tony Starks’ father in Iron Man 2. Do some stuff with War Machine, have a cool villain maybe. I don’t see where all that SHIELD stuff would fit.
M: You’ll make it fit. Thanks. Like, why not have the Black Widow in the next one! Yes!
JF: Where would I put…
M: Yes! Can’t wait! We are counting on you!
Money ruins everything. It ruins people. It ruins movies. Iron Man 2 should have been about Tony Stark, his legacy, the Iron Man suit, the tech killing him, his drinking, his emotions with Pepper Potts, the Government wanting the Iron Man suit, pure greed and revenge, and how technology can twist and mold us in different ways, sometimes good and sometimes bad. To the director’s credit, he did it, for the most part. The best parts of the movie were about all that stuff. The worst parts? Any time Marvel shoe-horned all that SHEILD crap into the picture. It was not needed. At all. Marvel is trying to create a comprehensive and important universe for a movie franchise. Does anyone think this is stupid, considering that Sony owns the rights to Spider-man? It is like Marvel doesn’t even think about Spider-man in this equation. Anyway, Iron Man 2 has too much crap in it to properly function. It is sad, really, because the movie sings when Mickey Rourke’s character, “Whipleash”, pops on the screen. He was simply amazing, to be honest. He was a great villain with a great motivation and a proper menace. Scarlett Johansson sucks. Sam Rockwell is terrific as a villain and should make it his permanent M.O. Don Cheadle works well enough in his “Hey, we have a black guy in the movie!” roll, and Gwenth Paltrow is probably the only person who can go toe to toe with Robert Downey Jr. And, yes, Robert Downey Jr. is wonderful. We all know that. I don’t have to say it too much. This movie wouldn’t work at all without him.
My only other complaint is that there isn’t enough action in the film. The action scenes we do get are great, simple great, but I wanted more. That sums up my feeling the best. Even with all the “Stuff” this film throws at us, I was wanting more. More. More. More of Tony Stark dying and drinking too much. More of Pepper Potts being the big boss. More of Don Cheadle having to choose his country over his friendship. More of Ivan having real motivation to kill and more of Justin Hammer’s unbridled greed. I wanted more of the good stuff. What I wanted less was Marvel jamming the upcoming movies down my throat. Thor and Captain America should have to sink or swim on their own, and the Marvel big-wigs shouldn’t ruin a great movie just to create a story line that no one cares about yet. Hopefully this won’t be a problem in Iron Man 3. It probably will, but I can’t still hope.