Overall, I enjoyed the movie and thought it was good, just not quite as good as the first, and still enjoyable even without being done in 3D. For the record, I think 3D is a fad/gimmick that the movie studios and theaters are using to separate us from more of our money when we go to the movies. I don’t think it adds anything of value to the movies, and could really care less if a movie is in 3D. Enough said about that, now back to the movie. I thought Don Cheadle did okay in replacing Terrence Howard as Rhodey, but the role/character still just felt kind of flat. I can’t put my finger on it, but Rhodey’s role in both of the films just doesn’t do what I think his character should. I know, he’s a secondary character, and he’s supposedly good friends with Tony, yet I’ve never really felt that in either of the movies. I think a better choice for Rhodey might have been somebody like Cuba Gooding Jr., or maybe Jamie Foxx, both of whom are a little bulkier in size, and might have felt more realistic as War Machine.
I don’t know why, but the story just felt that everything was a bit rushed, the defeat of Ivan/Whiplash, both at the race track and at the finale, finding the new element/power source, etc. I think these events could’ve been drug out a little bit more and dramatized to show a weaker, more human side of Tony Stark that we would sympathize or feel empathy for, think Spiderman. Maybe they could’ve delved more into his Father, Howard and his relationship him. As it was played out, the only feeling I had was for a poor, spoiled little rich boy, that didn’t feel loved by Daddy. Awww, so what, boohoo, give me a break!
So, here’s where I thought it could’ve been improved upon.
Tony never really faces uncertainty, for very long, at least not as much as he did in the first movie. He always seems to figure things out, by himself, usually with plenty of time to spare. Where’s the drama? I understand, that’s part of the character of Tony Stark, he’s brilliant, but I think it could’ve been more dramatic if they had pushed the end of his life to the “edge”. Maybe the scene at the race track could’ve been more dramatic if Tony was closer to dying, delay Pepper and Hogan’s (his chauffeur) arrival a little longer. You’ve got a crowd of people looking on while Tony is getting a whooping, but then he’s able to end it pretty quickly when they arrive with the suitcase suit. Also, this should’ve been kept top secret by the producer, they should’ve never revealed it in the trailers nor in the movie up until the point where he’s almost unconscious or near dead.
Or, maybe they could’ve stretched out the story line of him trying to figure out the solution for a new power source. Make it so he’s desperate and then make Nick Fury even more instrumental in saving his life by waiting until he was on his last (plutonium ?) power chip, deftly ill and the blood toxicity was higher than 95%. Add on the drama by allowing Pepper to find him near dead again, as in the first movie, and telling of her love for him, and how he couldn’t die, that she needs him, the world needs him (again, think Spiderman), then Nick Fury doing only what Samuel L. Jackson does best by giving him a real “pep talk”, getting in his face and going mad ballistic on him about solving this problem. Which leads me to another issue I had; Samuel L. Jackson’s character was far too subdued for him, it needs more punch, more flare, more anger, I mean why bother putting him in a movie role if you’re not going to use him to his full acting ability, let’s see that famous yelling rage that he’s become famous for in movies like Pulp Fiction, The Negotiator, Snakes on a Plane, and many others.
Another option would be to give the government more authority in the Senate hearing when they fail to get him to turn over the Iron Man suit. It could have been a lot more dramatic if the government placed Stark Industries on suspension for all contracts, assuming they still had any, and then Hammer was able to take their contracts. Or, they could have at least threatened this, which would’ve put Pepper in a position of having to choose what was best for the company in her new role over her loyalty/love for Tony as well as Rhodey and the U.S. government.
As for the finale, the way it played out it was almost as if Tony didn’t really need Rhodey to help with fighting off the droids, however, he did need him to help fight Whiplash. So, why not tie Rhodey up with a fight of his own, delaying his arrival at the fight with Whiplash so his help was more crucial in saving Tony, thus making him further realize how much he needed his help.
There were other points where I thought they could’ve gone deeper, but it would have made for a much longer movie that might not have been as enjoyable as it was. Again, I still enjoyed and will be adding it to my DVD Blu-Ray collection, just felt a bit cheated in parts and wanted to see more character development.
How about you? I would love to hear what you thought about the movie?