Iron Man made me an Iron Man fan.
That’s no mean feat. I never liked the character as a kid. To me, he was a DC Hero, someone who was too perfect. He always had just the right thing in his possession to deal with the threat at hand. On this, he wasn’t nearly as fun as, say, the Hulk or Spider-man.
Oh, before someone sez the magic words, “Demon in a Bottle“, I know. I know I know I know. Tony Stark/Iron Man was far from perfect. I had exactly two Iron Man comics as a kid, and that’s where my impression came from. Bear in mind though, I also had only two Doctor Strange comics and I always liked him. It’s either the character or me, but the point remains I didn’t like him.
But the movie, he was excellent. Part of what made the film was Robert Downey Jr., who made Tony Stark a likable (if arrogant) character. Another part was that the story (albeit almost completely ad libbed) was quite compelling. There might have been some out-there moments, but come on. Super Hero comics are made of out-there moments. It’s their bread and butter.
All in all, Iron Man was a perfect film.
Iron Man 2 wasn’t. Not even close.
The problem with the sequel was it was too unfocused. The first movie was about the creation of Iron Man, the ramifications of the act, the reason behind what forced Tony Stark to become Iron Man. It had a great villain plotting against Tony (and one we watched at work), great action set pieces, the works.
The sequel is more about Tony dealing with being poisoned by being Iron Man. It had him acting out, being an ass, finding a new purpose, then… well, I won’t spoil things. There were two villains – good villains – but compared to the first film, they really didn’t seem to fit in with the main plot. They felt secondary, like they were there to give the punters their action scenes and that was it.
All of this sounds like I didn’t like Iron Man 2. I did and I didn’t. I mean, I was glad to see it in the theater, I didn’t walk out of it wishing I’d went to see another flick (Hello American Werewolf in Paris) It just wasn’t clicking with me.
Well, except for the action scenes. They were what Super Hero action should look like on the screen. I mean, the last battle alone was worth the price of admission.
I just wish the rest of the movie was as good.