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Iron Man 2 - A Review by Andy F

Someone call Dr. Strange, I think Marvel Studios has made a pact with the Devil, or at least Mephisto, because they have done it once again. Iron Man 2 is just unabashedly awesome. I am usually fairly critical of comic book movies, and this one really isn't any different. It had it's down points, but IM2's down points are above the high points of most movies that have been released this year. We will get into that later. As usual, I will do my best to keep this spoiler free, but be forewarned, this film is so chocked full of Rad (yes, with a capital R) that something is bound to slip out. I am also going to wax philosophical, so gird your loins.

For all you non-comic book fans out there, this movie isn't so much an action movie, as it is a comic book movie. What i mean by that is, yes it has it's fair share of action, and adventure, but it is a film full of character development and exposition. This is what a good comic book movie should be, it was the reason that the first one was successful, it was the reason that The Dark Knight was unbelievably amazing, and it is the reason that you should see this movie. There is a theme to this one, and it is legacy...well that isn't just the theme of this movie, but for fans, this current generation of Marvel Universe films. Let me explain.

This film's deck is just stacked with nods and easter eggs to the films that surround it. Actually I lothe to call them nods or easter eggs, as they are basically the history of the universe that you are thrust into. The best part of it all, we now have a history teacher in Howard Stark. The footage from the Stark Expo was fantastic, harkening to a time of "Science" and "Industry" and "Men Doing Things....With Tools!." It was just awesome to see that style used to promote the legacy of Stark, and The Marvel Universe. The movie also shows us the dark side that comes hand in had with power and history.

The acting is just amazing. It astounds me that somehow, thru direction (thank you Jon), and writing (thanks Justin and Stan), and acting; that you can take 60 odd years of comic book story telling and art, and make it seem like you were just writing a draft for Robert Downey Jr. to act those lines, and play that part. Yes that is overstatement, and by no means should it down play Lee, Stern, Fraction, or anyone else that has made Iron Man a viable, best selling character for decades. That being said, for two hours, that was all i could think, that this was not only Downey's born role, but the story was written for him to portray. Everyone did an excellent job, and the "Cheadle Swap" turns out for the best after all.

It isn't lacking for action either. With all the history and legacy, this movie still kicks ass; a lot of ass. From the opening sequence, there wasn't a point in the film, that I wasn't thinking to myself....I want one! (yes this applies to Scarlett Johansson as well) For all the exposition, $#ite still blows up pretty much as constantly as could make sense in the story. War Machine is just awesome (and is played to comic book standards by Cheadle). The fights are bigger and better than ever. What impressed me the most is the intrinsic things, the 3d modeling, the interfacing with Jarvis, that just pulls you in and makes things totally believable.

There was much ado about the easter eggs in this movie, and yeah they were there, but as i said before, I don't think easter eggs are the right word. It's a history lesson that we are talking about here. It's not a big surprise that Stark (Howard or Tony) to have or be working on the things that he is. He is the biggest brain in the room, he has all the toys. I am not going to give away any of these things, but they are well placed, and not just nods to the nerds out there. They are important teaching moments for the history that surrounds these movies. Look for a great many articles to come on, exploring this history and these connections. This review has gone long, let alone what I could do with the movie history of the Marvel Universe, let me tell you that it would be worth credit hours.

The only downside for me was the Vanko character. I love Mickey Rourke, he is a fantastic actor, and i mean that. I just can't buy him as a Stark caliber physicist. I totally buy him as a charismatic criminal, and as a smart guy in general, but that level of genius is hard to replicate. Like i said earlier though, other film beg for this one's problems. Rourke does a fine job here, it is just really hard to shine in this role next to Downey. The cast is awesome. The writing and direction is fantastic. It's hard to find fault here.

I am going to have to give Iron Man 2 a score of 9/10 Stark Expo's. The only faults I could find are some small pacing issues, and the afore mentioned Vanko situation. Please do yourself a favor, and go see this movie soon. It is too good to miss, and it is a great history lesson; starting to delve into the history of the Marvel Film universe, as well as looking to the future.

9/10 Stark Expo's

As always, this article could contain histrionics and spelling/grammatical errors, unless you want to be my free editor...suck it. - AF

(Editor's Note: I am your editor Andy and I do work for free.  I should start collecting though because I rock. -Rick)



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