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Movie Review Monday

Iron Man 2 (2010)

The first movie was fabulous. It was fun, funny, had a lot of explosions, and was a great introduction to a super hero. The second one, not so much. I think one of the things that made the first one such a great film was the separation between us and them; the clear distinction between the good guys and the bad guys. Plus, it was a revenge film. In Iron Man 2, the "bad" guys become death and the government. Well, duh! Who doesn't want to fight against these two entities? The first movie was a rehash of old story ideas, but it was done in a way that was exciting and entertaining. Like I said, there was a clear distinction between good and bad, and the audience knew exactly who they wanted to cheer for. When that distinction disappears or gets blurred in the second film, the audience doesn't really know who to cheer for anymore. Don't get me wrong, there is a bad guy, and we know he has to be defeated, but he isn't the main focus of the film. Iron Man's impending death takes up more screen time than the evil Russian.

Normally, I don't mind watching movies that portray the inner turmoil of a super hero. The new Batman films do a great job of showing how Bruce Wayne has to balance life, and Watchmen does a fabulous job of taking people with no super powers and making them super. The issue I have with the whole scenario is trying to make super heroes too much like us. They're not. Period. I don't care how many different ways you spin it: super heroes are not like normal humans and should not be portrayed that way. Bruce Wayne is not like the majority of us: he is rich. He stands above others in society because of his status. He is able to do what he does because he is written off as ecentric. Could you or I pull that off? Highly doubtful. Plus, we wouldn't have cool toys because we can't afford them. The heroes in Watchmen started out like us (some, like Rorshach, much worse than us), but then they moved beyond. They know they didn't start out special, but they made themselves that way and they use that to help others. They don't back down from a fight. Tony Stark's struggle with life and death in the film was OK for about 20 minutes, then I got sick of watching his self-absorbed, selfish, cry-baby character whining about how he's going to die. Who lives forever? You're a hero, suck it up and do what you can with the short time you have left. No one wants to see you have a nervous breakdown and drown your sorrows in a bottle. We get that in the real world. Go blow something up. I know, I know, that's supposed to be his character. Fine. We covered that in the first film. Now that he's Iron Man, he's not allowed to have those feelings. Yes, I get it, that's the point: he's not allowed to have feelings but he still does, how does he cope? Like I said, he blows something up. God, that would've made for a much more exciting film!

The other characters in the film were just as annoying. I'm sorry, but Pepper Potts just needs to quit or they need to find someone else to play her. I wanted to punch her in the face! Talk about whiny! Then, the Colonel friend who steals the other Iron Man costume? Yeah, I get it: even if the government acts like they are your best friend, they will still screw you the first chance they get. Of course, he redeems himself at the end, but he has to. We can't function without the government. Haven't we seen this scenario since the 1960s? The only character I did like was Mickey Rourke. That man is the epitome of awesome. As the bad guy, he has no conscious and was willing to do whatever it took to get his revenge, and he couldn't be controlled. The whole Russian undertones were fabulous (Cold War anyone?), reinforcing the idea about friends and being careful who you trust because they may just turn around and kill you first chance they get (Americans are a very untrusting bunch. We are convinced everyone is out to get us!). I think he was defeated a little too easily, but what can you do? The rest of the film was disappointing, so why would I expect a spectacular death?

All in all, the film was way too long. I could've done with a lot more explosions and a lot less human interest. What did you think about the film?