Most of us by now have seen how Tony Stark became Iron Man-at least Hollywood’s version of the origin-we have also seen Iron Man square off against the only other man in the world capable of creating the same technology as him (Iron Man 2). In Iron Man 3 we get to see a “stripped down” version of Iron Man.
In other words, we get to see the “man behind the mask” as Tony Stark comes to terms with the fact that Iron Man is a super hero and the responsibilities that come with that. We see a Tony Stark who is unsure of his abilities and overwhelmed by his need to protect Pepper Potts after the events of The Avengers.
Enter The Mandarin: A new foe hell bent on teaching The United States a number of lessons through ruthless terrorist acts meant to undermine the capabilities of the American government.
Happy is injured while investigating a suspicious character that he spotted at Stark Enterprises . Tony learns that The Mandarin was somehow responsible for wounding his friend and threatens the terrorist. The Mandarin answers the challenge with explosive violence, separating Pepper from Tony.
While trying to find the woman he loves, Tony investigates The Mandarin and discovers some startling facts concerning individuals from his own past before he became Iron Man, or even created the arc reactor. Ultimately, Tony Stark learns that the traits and abilities he has are what make it possible for him to be Iron Man.
Easily one of this years most anticipated movies, The Avengers has already broken box-office records by earning over $200 million in just the first weekend. It really is not so surprising when you think about it. The film has Thor, The Hulk, Iron Man and Captain America. All four are characters from the last few years of summer box office hits. The most recent being Thor, Captain America and Iron Man 2. Add in highly advanced secret government organization–S.H.E.I.L.D–and a power hungry demigod set on ruling the world, it all amounts to an epic superhero movie.
Summarily, Asgardian Loki (Tom Hiddelston) is in search of the Tesseract also known as the cosmic cube, which has the power to open a bridge between worlds. He intends to use this power to bring an army from another planet in hopes to subjugate the people of Earth. The Tesseract is the same cube that The Red Skull used to power Hydra’s weapon in Captain America. As an act of desperation, Nick Fury decides to put “The Avengers initiative” back into action and recruits Bruce Banner (The Hulk), Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Steve Rogers (Captain America) to join S.H.E.I.L.D agent Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) in an effort to recover the Tesseract from Loki. Thor and Agent Clint Barton (Hawkeye) join of their own volition. Once the team is put together, they find that Loki’s plans are not the only threat the heroes must deal with. Each of the heroes are loners in their own respect and used to doing things in a certain way without having to consult with anyone else, thus they must learn to work together if they are to have any hope of bringing down a fanatical Loki and his insurmountable horde of alien assailants. Oh the incredible things that happen when the heroes finally work as a team! Pack a wallop indeed! Perhaps that is an understatement, but the action is certainly epic.
However, the epic nature of the film is not solely due to the unification of seven of Marvel’s greatest heroes, but the unwavering portrayal of the characters by Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo; Jeremy Renner, Scarlet Johannson and Samuel L. Jackson who fill their shoes and the skilled collaboration of action, humor and drama within the story. It is in the dedication of Director Joss Whedon and the crew behind him to bring the fans a film they will love. They certainly succeeded. The Avengers is entertaining in every way. It has been a while since this movie goer has heard the entire audience cheer and laugh together. With certainty that will be the experience of any who goes to see this film.
When I first saw the trailers for Iron Man 2 I was pretty thrilled to see that Mickey Rourke would be the villain and was slightly disappointed that Terence Stamp would not be reprising his role as Lt Col Rhodes. Before you correct me, a Lt Col is called “colonel” because it’s just easier to say. Every soldier knows that the silver maple leaf indicates the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. At least, in the Air Force and Army it does. I say slightly disappointed, because I think that Don Cheadle is a great actor.
What really does get to me about Iron Man 2 is the mixed reviews. I personally feel that the sequel is better than the first, while some weren’t so impressed. I won’t name names because they are entitled to their opinion and own personal experience.
So, without further delay I’ll tell you why I think it is so great.
First and foremost, the effects are spectacular. I am still in awe with the holographic computer interface that Tony Stark uses in his lab/garage. Really, I hope that’s what computers are like in the near future. Imagine telling your Grandchildren; “We used to have these things called a mouse and a keyboard.” and they look at you completely clueless for a reference. Another thing about the effects that impressed me is showing Tony and Dusty with their face plates up while in the armor if I hadn’t already known about the effect I would not have been able to tell. Trust me, I have an eye for visual effects though I’m no expert at making them. That’s ILM’s job.
Secondly, the chemistry between Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr was fantastic. I was really expecting to see Pepper and Tony to have an all out fight. I’m glad they didn’t though because that would have added a bit more drama than was necessary. More precisely, the whole cast worked extremely well together. A testament to Jon Favreau’s directing ability.
Third, the characters themselves. From returning characters Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Happy the chauffeur, and James “Rhodey” Rhodes who in and of themselves bring a plethora of entertainment; to Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), Natasha Romanoff/Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johannsen),Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) and Senator Stern (Gary Shandling) we get a very well-rounded cast who only help in creating the world of Iron Man. Let’s not forget Jarvis, Tony Stark’s well-mannered computer AI voiced by Paul Betanny who really adds to the awe I have with Tony Stark’s computer. In this installment, there are so many characters; including Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) that we can choose to either love or hate. Who else wanted to slap Senator Stern upside the head? I did. Sorry Gary, but you did your job and made a unlikeable character unlikable. Likewise, everyone else played their parts with equal skill and dedication. I want to see the movie a third time just so I can once again watch Scarlett Johannsen beat the tar out of…I think its seven security guards in the time it takes Happy to defeat one.
Other than the fact that the film is very entertaining with a splendid mix of humor, action and drama, Iron Man 2 gives us a better idea of who Tony Stark is; how he deals with his own mortality, the responsibilities of being a lover, a hero and heir to a legacy. The story also provides an almost teasing amount of information about S.H.E.I.L.D. Just enough to get wondering about this organization.
After all is said and done, Iron Man 2 does what it should. It entertains and wets our appetites for another sequel and does it superbly with style. To borrow from AC/DC whose music is in the movie, Iron Man 2 does unapologetic-ally “Shoot to Thrill”.