The Hippo


Dec 5, 2019








Dork vs. Dork: Iron Man 2
The best known example of allotropy in a superhero


Hey, Robert Downey Jr.! I know you were on screen with the immatchable Rodney Dangerfield and think that his charm and wit may have rubbed off on you, but sadly that is not so. The twitch and mumble of an “ex”-junkie can sleaze you through a lot of jobs, St. Elmo, but I’m sorry to say that your tank ran dry in the third act of Iron Man. Now it would be fair to blame this on semi-pro director Favreau or the bloated corpulence of Marvel mythology mandated to backhoe into this sequel, but you are not blameless. No amount of poor man’s Jumanji hold-over CGI or clip-on plastic dart-launching repulsor toys can distract from your shambling incoherence as an actor.

Listen up, movie-morlocks, Iron Man 2 is an hour-and-a-half-long commercial for the forthcoming Avengers (directed, if you can call it that, by idiot savant Joss Whedon, in which I’m certain the Black Widow or the Wasp finds their innerstrength and uses their magic ovaries to defeat Ultron), which is going to be an off-the-rails abomination set to rival Indiana’s Great Circus Train Wreck of 1918 (look it up, it’s worth a read). Iron Man 2 is just a series of nonsense explosions sprinkled with the dough-faced blahs of Johannsen, the flibberdigibbit plastic surgery theatrics of Rourke and the lesser man’s (is that even possible?!?) Downey Jr. in Sam Rockwell. Sam Jackson yells at a giant donut!
Plus points for Garry Shandling, minus points for shoehorning nerd drool mop Olivia Munn into a meaningless role. Also, double minus points for the presence of Gwenyth Paltrow, who spells her words British style despite being born and raised in LA.

DAN Responds
First, you can pretend to hide your enthusiasm for an Avengers movie behind your foppish brow all you want, but you’re not fooling anyone.  Second, Sam Jackson yelling at a donut is something I want to see (and you should too!). Third, way to pull a Kirk Cameron and rip on Robert Downey Jr. for being an ex-junkie – boo hoo, movie stars take drugs! Maybe he’ll cast you in the Sherlock Holmes sequel. Cry all you want about Marvel’s movie machine. Maybe when DC has more to offer than Smallville and Watchmen, somebody will start to care.

And, we’re back! Finally, the summer blockbuster season will start with something that resembles a blockbuster. Kick-Ass did no ass-kicking, and Clash of the Titans was less than titanic. So, Iron Man 2, whadya got? How about Happy Hogan, Tony Stark’s personal assistant/Freak? Jon Favreau, who also directs the movie, is perfectly cast.
Then there’s Natasha Romanoff, or should I say Black Freakin’ Widow. Know anything about Nick Fury or Daredevil? Yeah, you get it. Even played by Scarlett Johansson (or maybe because she’s played by Scarlett Johansson) it’s amazing it took Marvel so long to get to this character.
Then there’s Justin Theroux, who also wrote Tropic Thunder. ’Nuf said.
And finally, as though I even have to mention it, there’s Micky Rourke, looking like he walked straight out of the Mad Max desert shooting electricity out of his finger-whips as Whiplash. It’s like his character in The Wrestler just walked onto the Iron Man 2 set and started blowing things up. Good career move.
You’ll soon get used to the nay-sayers; there’s already a lot of yammering going on out there about too many characters or the movie trying to pack too much story into such a small space. And, yes, Gywneth Paltrow is still Pepper Potts, but maybe she’ll just be turned into the cyborg soon and become more interesting.
Iron Man 2 is free of the oppressive weight of the origin story, and that’ll make it sing. Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark and it looks like the second movie will also begin to explore the darker side of Stark — his alcoholism, for example. Almost as important is the increased role of Samuel Jackson’s Nick Fury and the beginning of the build-up that will eventually become The Avengers. Look for an after-credits scene to cement this arc.
Don’t be fooled by its sequel status. Iron Man 2 will start the summer right.

GLENN Responds
Dan, Dan, Dan, you poor deluded soul. I realize that it has been a long winter since last we debated, but this flimsy list of Iron Man 2 accolades is weak, even by your notoriously comprimised standards. You do realize you began your defense by calling out Favreau’s cameo as Happy Hogan. Have you notified your opinion’s next of kin? ’Cause that argument is dead.

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