12 May 2010

IRON MAN 2 (Dir. Jon Favreau, 2010, US) - Yawn...

Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark ponders how they are going to convince audiences to come back for a third film. Err, I guess, through the $100 million marketing campaign, that's how!

It’s as if all of those involved in this ridiculously over hyped and over zealous high concept banality swallowed the entire supply of Hollywood stupid pills at once. ‘I have privatised world peace!’ exclaims Tony Stark (Downey Jr. in yet another excruciatingly self obsessed vanity performance) as he prepares to stupefy us with his jingoistic gesticulating. Similarly like Iron Man, at the core of this film is nothing but another empty money making franchise which by over egging its regressive cold war context wishes to enact serious ideological engagement. Mickey Rourke hardly gets a few lines, Sam Rockwell looks as though he is in the wrong movie whilst Don Cheadle is plainly miscast as Tony Stark’s subservient black side kick. Why on earth would Cheadle take such a demeaning role? Here’s an explanation – pay day! I’m not quite sure of the politics that were played out in regards to the failure to convince Terence Howard to reprise his role but I suspect it might have had something to do with bankability. What’s worse is the level of contempt with which the spectator is treated – for nearly two hours nothing significant happens except Peppa Potts! (Gwyneth Paltrow in an Oscar winning performance) pitiful attempts to make the much vilified figure of the CEO palatable and even angelic. Samuel L Jackson shows up much later as Samuel L Jackson whilst he is credited with the name of Nick Fury. Actually, his trademark grimacing and leering reminded me just how awful Jon Voight actually is in the overstated Anaconda film. I’m not sure if Favreau’s directing qualifies as anything significant, supporting Truffaut’s claim that an auteur is one who can transform mediocre material into something altogether more substantial. I’m afraid this entry in the Iron Man franchise leaves a trail of debris that slays the spectator into a state of angry displeasure and pure rage.


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