Tuesday, August 27, 2013

'Iron Man 2' Review -- Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 1

(Photo Source: Marvel)
This is the third week of my blog series where I review every Phase 1 film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe--this is all part of my countdown to the premiere of ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in September. After reviewing The Incredible Hulk last week, it's time to revisit Tony Stark in Iron Man 2.

Iron Man 2
(Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase 1 -- Avengers Assembled)

After watching the first Iron Man and now coming into the sequel, I'm pretty sure I had heard at some point that 2 is not as good as 1. I came in with that mindset so that I hopefully wouldn't be too disappointed if I found that to be true. But I have to say, I really enjoyed it. I'm having a hard time deciding if I would put it on equal footing with Iron Man or if one is better than the other, but to put it simply, I had fun watching it.

Though at one point, Tony Stark ratchets up how annoying he is (even in the first, he had that arrogance and ego-ness, but never on this level), so I was worried that I'd be sitting through most of this movie seeing Stark turn into Peter Parker from Spider-Man 3. Thankfully, that didn't happen, and he calmed down shortly and returned back to his normal arrogant self. And when he's at the level that's normal for him, I'm fascinated by it and can't wait to see what he does or says next.

There are some great casting choices here, including Scarlett Johansson (whose character we find out is part of S.H.I.E.L.D.); before starting to watch this franchise, I had heard that she has a bigger presence in The Avengers--so knowing she would take on an expanding role later on makes me pay attention to her more and to see what kind of a role the character is taking on and what sort of information we're getting from her.

Mickey Rourke is great as the villain; I have to say, the electricity he can spew out is really cool. There's one scene on the race track when he's causing havoc, and Stark comes in to save the day. I absolutely love it when he Stark has the suitcase with the Iron Man suit inside--I'm thinking, hey, it's like Iron Man in a Box, but with a suitcase. Even with something as unimportant as this is in the grand scheme of things, it still shows that the filmmakers are taking full use of further advancements in technology and special effects to provide an even more impressive experience for moviegoers.

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We also see Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. And of course Agent Coulson, who I've mentioned before. Whenever he's in a scene in any of these movies, I pay attention to what's going on because I already know what happens to him in The Avengers.

I also want to mention something I've noticed. The villains in both movies are essentially Iron Man-like; they're not that original as villains because they're in gear similar to Stark's; this is probably my biggest beef with these two movies, so I'm hoping Iron Man 3 will change it up a little on this front.

At the end, I believe there is something regarding an Avengers Initiative folder, which says something to the effect of Stark is not being recommended for the Avengers--am I recalling that right? If so, that's interesting, and something to take note of.

And as always, there's an after-credits scene. (I love that each of these movies has one because it broadens each film and each superhero out into the wider context and shows there's more to the universe than just that one superhero.) Agent Coulson is out in the desert and gets out of his car and sees a big crater in the ground--in the middle is Thor's hammer! He says, "Sir, we've found it." I'll admit, I got excited after seeing the hammer. Here's the deal: I haven't really been all that excited to watch Thor or Captain America. I don't know why, but after seeing the hammer in the middle of the crater, I now can't wait to see Thor. I really don't know what it is about that one shot we see here, but onwards, I say!

As we venture forth toward The Avengers, I still need to be introduced to two more superheroes, so next week it's time for Thor!

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 1 Reviews:

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