Saturday, May 8, 2010

Random Thoughts 11 (Iron Man 2 Edition- Spoilers)

-This week a first happened...I saw two, yes...TWO, movies based on a comic book property.

-The first was the several weeks old Kick Ass.

Now, I'm not a Mark Millar fan. In fact, I'm quite the opposite. I had resisted and resisted reading the collected trade of the movie's primary source material for weeks. Yet, being the comic geek I am, felt a nagging need to see what everyone has raved about for the last year and a half. Almost all of Millar's work in comics fails to appeal to me (the exception being Marvel 1985 previously mentioned in my Thoughts).

I had fully intended to read the story before watching the movie on Blu-Ray or DVD. But, I went to see the movie on the recommendation from my father. Now, my father (as much as we love each other) has never gotten my fascination with the superhero genre and comics. So, for him to like this type of movie and suggest it as "worthwhile" is astounding.

I did enjoy the movie very much. It was just plain mindless fun, though. Here's where my main problem with Millar's writing comes into play. He has cool ideas that just devolve into mindless violence and or chaos. Till about a quarter through the movie I thought it would be an inspiring (although with a dark twist) story of a young man who was set on following his dream, as crazy as it was ( a very relatable theme). It turned into a standard shoot 'em up popcorn movie. Fun, yes, but forgettable. And that's what gets me. The potential is there for so much more, but the lowest common denominator wins out in the end.

Other thoughts:
...The inspired use of the Red Mist to strengthen the relationship of the Mafia boss and his son didn't really resonate as much as it should have because of the boss' generic personality (I don't even recall his name).
...Hit Girl was not as disturbing as the hype made her out to be.
...Nick Cage was pretty subdued, I even liked his "Adam West/William Shatner" hero voice.
...The movie confuses vigilante with superhero with Big Daddy and Hit Girl.

Final Verdict: A definite Matinee that is put up to Full Price on sheer fun alone.

-Now on to the second comic movie this week...Iron Man 2

I had heard that this sequel basically improved upon the things that made the first movie so good, but also impounded upon the faults of it too. I'm glad to report that's not true.

In fact, there is very little that I can find fault with in the movie. As a fan that has a pretty deep knowledge of the forty seven year history that Iron Man has, I found it much easier to let go of that history than in past movies about Marvel heroes (probably due to the first Iron Man). Plotwise, it's a much better written movie although there is less of an emotional connection to Tony Stark. The acting is of the same quality as the first. The replacement of Terrance Howard with Don Cheadle really isn't as big a deal as i thought it would be. Mickey Rourke plays a fairly typical guy out for revenge, but with gusto. Poor Scarlet Johansen does as much as she can with very little including her one action scene. The real waste here is Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer. The scheming manipulative industrialist of the comics comes off as a comical and ineffective. The best thing is that the climatic battle is actually logical this time.

Things I noticed:
...Howard Stark as a good guy. Speaking of which...anyone notice the resemblance of Howard Stark's presentation of the '74 Stark Expo to Walt Disney's presentation of WDW/EPCOT in 1966?
...the footage of the aftermath of the Hulk's rampage at the college on the screens as Tony peruses the SHIELD files (at least, that's what it looked like). attempt to copy Cap's shield.
...Black Widow uses her Widow's Sting/Bite, sorta.
...Thor's Hammer didn't make the crater.

Final Verdict: Definitely FULL PRICE!

Watch for another RT with some other news and reviews...

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