Iron Man 2

A few thoughts on Iron Man 2.

I liked it.

How odd to see a decent romantic comedy mixed into a superhero movie. Most recent romantic comedies have been terrible. Forgetting Sarah Marshall wasn’t too bad, but the last one I can remember as being solidly good was Fifty First Dates.

The movies was much more like a comic book than most, with a few scenes of subplots tossed in every so often. In comic books it works because you get more of the story every month. Can they really make that pay off in other movies which are at best a year later? Or is it mainly aimed at people who read the adaptations?

Don Cheadle and Scarlet Johansson did good jobs with minor characters, which shows the importance of getting good actors. Samuel L. Jackson was amusing as always. Mickey Rourke was excellent.

The final scene, after the credits, sets up for Thor, which according to IMDB is going to be a movie next year. Thor is everybody’s favorite Norse god, but he’s a much weaker character than Iron Man. He has no character weaknesses, except for a tendency toward bravado which becomes rapidly uninteresting. His difficulties are all structural: take away his hammer and he turns back to human. All the best Thor comic book stories are very long, very cosmic, and concentrate mainly on the characters around him. The very best one, the multi-year epic by Walter Simonson, starts off by finding a character who is an even better Thor than Thor himself, and has a whole issue in which Thor does not appear at all. None of this suggests a good movie to me. IMDB does list Kenneth Branagh as director; he’s made some great movies (my favorite is Much Ado About Nothing) and some very weak ones (Frankenstein).

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