Monday, 10 May 2010

Iron Man 2: Fifth-Biggest Opening Weekend

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Iron Man 2What do you get when you combine the angry son of a Russian defective, a very ripped Robert Downey, Jr., and an unending suspension of disbelief? Very likely the blockbuster hit of the summer: Iron Man 2.

Iron Man 2 is set six months after the end of the first film. Billionaire Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) has revealed his identity to the world and successfully negotiated a peace among the world’s super powers. But despite the newly acquired tranquility, the U.S. military, along with private entrepreneurs, continues to implore Stark to share the secrets of his Iron Man uniform. Stark refuses, enjoying his position as the sole party responsible for bringing about world peace.
 
Unfortunately, while Stark is gloating over his unparalleled ability to achieve world peace, Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) seeks revenge on Stark and his family for a business relationship that went sour between Stark’s father, Howard, and Vanko’s father several decades ago. Vanko spent the past six months secretly formulating Stark’s downfall to publicly discredit Iron Man and reveal his physical weaknesses.
 
As if an international nemesis isn’t enough, when Stark is unwilling to part with the precious secrets of his Iron Man suit, he incurs the wrath of his chief corporate competitor, Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell).
 
When Hammer finds an unlikely ally in Vanko, Iron Man and the world face grave danger. Recognizing the dire situation in which he finds himself, Iron Man must forge valuable alliances to ensure the safety of the world, but not without a few major explosions along the way.
 
Iron Man 2 is an invigorating experience that will hold most people’s attention from beginning to end. While action films of this nature are typically not my cup of tea, I could not ignore the delighted sounds of captivated moviegoers resonate throughout the theater.
 
Likewise, the film boasts an impressive cast, including Don Cheadle as Lt. Col. James Rhodey Rhodes, Scarlett Johansson as Natalie Rushman, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.
 
However, what it claims in glitterati, it lacks in originality. Many of the characters are clichés, specifically Vanko, Hammer, and Rushman. For starters, I am always annoyed when the antagonist in the film is needlessly foreign because it necessitates a heavy accent that is often difficult to decipher. Next, Hammer is the personification of the heartless capitalist — a horse that has been beaten to death in far too many films. And the inclusion of Rushman as a sexy superhero, is an obvious ploy to attract the over-eager male audience, as if the constant explosions weren’t enough to accomplish that.
 
Despite its flaws, the film is redeemed by the presence of the loveable Robert Downey, Jr. He stands out amongst the Hollywood elite in more ways than one. He continues to impress his audiences with inspiring performances and versatility, most clear when observing his performances in The Soloist and Sherlock Holmes.  Most impressive, however, is Downey’s deviation from the typical Hollywood liberal. It only took a stint in prison for him to realize, “ You can’t go from a $2000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal.”   
 
One of the few recent big hits released in 2D, Iron Man 2 sold approximately $133 million in North America in its first weekend, ranking as the fifth biggest opening of all time. According to Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures, which marketed and distributed the movie, Iron Man 2 was completed before the current 3-D boom, which has increased more drastically since Avatar. Ironically, Iron Man 2 surpassed Avatar's opening weekend in Imax big-screen theaters by less than $1 million.
 
Iron Man 2 is not for all audiences, as it involves significant violence, foul language, and sexual innuendo. 
 

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