Iron Man 2: Iron Men

Iron Man Too

I think it’s pretty universally agreed that comic book movies, in general, are bad.  I think it’s universally agreed that sequels, in general, are bad.  I think it’s also universally agreed that some of those comic book movies – namely Spider-Man 2 and The Dark Knight – are terrific movies in any standard.  And yet, ironically enough, they’re comic book movies and sequels.  So how’s that work?

Both Spider-Man 2 and The Dark Knight are almost remakes of their original movies; that is, if they had had that bigger budget, if they had had that backing of studios, if they had had all the knowledge already attained by making their first feature, then these are the movies that Spider-Man and Batman Begins would’ve been.  The original had one bad guy (essentially), one good guy, one love interest, one writer/director (essentially), and one goal: to make this character identifiable, loveable, and interesting enough to watch for two solid hours.

The reason this didn’t pan out for Iron Man 2 is because Marvel & Co. fell into the same trap that all sequels fall into: bigger = better (see Spider-Man 3 or Batman and Robin for spectacular examples of this folly).  I’m not saying Iron Man 2 is a bad movie – it’s definitely worth seeing (especially compared to the other movies out right now) – but it’s not what it could’ve been.

Typical Iron Man cover: "For the first time, Iron Man has to match wits with someone EXACTLY like him!"

I’ve never been a huge fan of the Iron Man comics.  I always thought they got second-rate artists and first-rate writers who didn’t quite know what to do with him (how many different villains can you have to a character who all do exactly the same thing: wear a metal suit).  I have, however, been a fan of certain Iron Man stories here and there that focus on characterization.  Compared to other super heroes, Iron Man has a lot of room for exploration: he’s got daddy issues, impulse control problems, a bad ticker, a brain the size of John Holmes’ junk, and all the money in the world to explore those things to any end a writer could conceive.  That’s what made the first movie so good.  The lack of that is what makes this second one kind of a letdown.

This movie could’ve been spectacular.  There could’ve been the “I’m dying so I’ll do whatever I want” thing, but there could’ve also been a deeper probing into Stark’s and Potts’ relationship, some sort of friction with Black Widow, more friction with Rhodes and War Machine, more friction with Hammer… basically, if we saw these fine actors do what they do best, we’d have a kick-ass remembered-for-all-time movie (like Spider-Man 2 or The Dark Knight) instead we got a lot of stuff blowing up and a short teaser for the gaygaygay Thor movie.

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4 Responses

  1. I think if the writers do it correctly, Thor could really be a good movie.

    • ARE YOU INSANE?! How can that POSSIBLY be a good movie? You’d have to change virtually everything about the character and the storyline. “Thor” could be good if it was called “Road House 2: Electric Bugaloo”.

  2. Here is what I am imagining:
    Thor has two distinct personalities: the writers treat both personalities as separate stories that affect each other. Both will have romance and action, but the romance and action of one personality will affect the romance and action of the other.
    I.E.: Thor’s girlfriend will get jealous of Blake’s girlfriend.

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