I really liked the first Ironman movie. It exceeded my expectations, which admittedly were somewhat low. Considering the greatness of the first movie there was no way my expectations would again be low so when I went to see Ironman 2 last night I expected greatness.
I got goodness instead.
The film isn't bad, but it isn't great either, unlike its predecessor. Ironman 2 has some problems, only some of which I'll get into because I don't want this review to turn into a rant about the things I didn't like about the movie, and because I want to keep this spoiler free.
My major complaint about the movie is that it is terribly unfocused. The first film had a central plot and kept to it the whole time, there were no more characters than one needed to tell the story and the Avengers crossover was kept to a small scene after the credits. In contrast Ironman 2 just has too many things going on, has far more characters than it needs, and beats you over the head with SHIELD, almost as though the producers said, "Hey let's take 20 minutes of Ironman 2 to act like a commercial for the Avengers movie." Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to the Avengers movie, and I liked the little teaser in the first film, but this was excessive.
Note: For those of you going to see it, Ironman 2 has a small scene after the credits so make sure you stick around.
Another thing that kind of bothers me about this film is that the plot for the enemy is inherently the same as the first film; Tony Starks technology gets used against him. Look I'm not asking for the Mandarin here, but if Ironman 3 has the same general premise then I'm not sure I'll be able to sit through another 2 hours. I really hope when they make a third film that they are a little more creative with the plot and don't just go back to the same well.
Though all I've done is complain so far, as I said above, this is a good movie. Robert Downey Jr. is again flawless and hilarious as Tony Stark. One of my friends actually suggested the movie be called 'Tony Stark' instead of Ironman because everything interesting that happens in the movie is Stark out of the suit. While I'm not sure I agree with that Stark is once again a hilarious narcissist on a campaign of flawless self promotion, as he should be. The special effects again are excellent, the suits all look great, and the music was well chosen. Overall I give the film a B/B-, a downgrade from the A/A- I gave the first film but still a solid outting.