Every now and again, I find myself wanting to kill half an hour in front of the TV and watch a movie that has already started on a commercial channel, which will end hours later because it is being interrupted every seven minutes by adverts. I have been known to sit and watch, even though I have a copy of the film in my DVD collection, because I keep meaning to switch off at the next ad break and never do.
The other weekend, though, I decided to commit in time to get off the couch, find the DVD and play it from the start, knowing I would still beat the TV version to the end. The movie was Iron Man 2.
I may be misremembering, but I thought I recalled Iron Man 2 getting a bit of a kicking from the critics when it was reviewed. Maybe because Iron Man was such fun and skipped along, and this just seemed to have more baggage, or maybe I remembered it wrong and everyone loved it, in which case why did Jon Favreau make the allegorical Chef?
Anyway, whatever anyone thought at the time, whenever I do get to re watch it, I always find myself enjoying it a lot more than I was expecting to. Mickey Rouke is super grimey, Sam Rockwell is super slimey and Robert Downey Jr is always fun to watch.
Rouke plays a character bent on destroying the man he blames for his father’s demise: Tony Stark, and sets about doing it using the very technology that he helped to develop. That same technology, meanwhile, is the one thing that the US government wants to get its hands on. When Rouke is recruited by a rogue weapons salesman (Rockwell) to develop systems after Stark refuses to hand over the plans, and you have Stark putting in place a desperate succession plan as his own body starts to fail, then fun and games ensure.
It is quite a long film, and there are definitely bits that could have been tighter – in one instance, Rouke walks away from an explosion, stopping only to kill a man with his bare hands. For the TV edit, that I had seen before I switched over to DVD, the murder had been cut out and the scene had worked just as well. We already knew he was evil, one extra murder was not going to change that. Still the movie has heart and humour and the obligatory show down at the end, which for my money (and I only saw it once years ago) did not seem to drag on half as long as the end of Iron Man 3.
So if you like your superheroes somewhat flawed, and think making science sexy is a good thing, than revisiting Iron Man 2 might not be such a bad thing.