— by TOM ELCE —
If every new snippet of information released for forthcoming movies such as “Where the Wild Things Are” and “The Tree of Life” has filled me with hope, every new tidbit of information about the post-production stage “Iron Man 2” leaves me notably unimpressed.
Fan adoration and huge box office returns (near $600 million global) appear to have inspired the project above everything else.
And even with the primary names (director Jon Favreau, stars Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow) from last year’s “Iron Man” set to make returns, nothing I hear and see on the project fills me with great enthusiasm.
Which brings us to the new production snap shown below (courtesy of Entertainment Weekly) that shows Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man sat, sunglasses firmly in place, in all-but-full costume. It’s a picture that, as well as failing to pop, boasts words from Downey Jr. himself:
“I was convinced that the sequel had to be about Tony Stark’s inner journey. After an origin story, some people think that the best part of the character’s world has already been blown and doused. I thought: No, that can’t be it. There’s so much left unresolved.”
All well and good, save that what we know already about this popcorn-flick follow-up doesn’t seem too groundbreaking a concept in and of itself. There’s the obligatory romantic subplot involving Stark’s assistant Pepper Potts (Paltrow) and a new man that, naturally, leads Stark — suffering the ramifications of having his true identity out in the open — toward alcoholism. Positives to be taken from the use of this idea around the superhero vs. villain central story is that Favreau promises a diversion from the comics’ Demon in a Bottle storyline.
Hopefully, I’m just being overly-negative and “Iron Man 2” ultimately does live up to the general expectations, but as someone who didn’t find “Iron Man” to be a revelation (as an action movie it’s fine, but not a patch on last year’s golden summer release “The Dark Knight” nor Ang Lee’s underrated, meditative “Hulk) and who detects a tacked-on slant towards the movie — namely, the involvement of post-“Wrestler” Mickey Rourke as villain Whiplash — it’s hard to muster up excitement for the uninspiring glimpses we’ve gotten so far.
Speaking more positively, the cast looks to be a promising bunch. In a cast that finds Downey Jr. and Paltrow reprising their roles, there’s also contribution from the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Sam Rockwell and Don Cheadle to suggest some kind of Hollywood acting masterclass. As for whether these guys and girls get the strong story they’d benefit from, we’ll just have to wait and see.
“Iron Man 2” is currently scheduled for release May 7, 2010.
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