The Keeper, Dungeon Master and myself ventured out to the movies this afternoon. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, there was a nice breeze. We were hoping that since today was Mother’s Day, the movie had been out for a few days and it was the middle of the day on a Sunday, maybe we’d be able to find decent seats. From now on, I’ll have to remember to get to the theatre at least half an hour before showtime when attending a movie that has been out less than a week. But I digress, the point is we were not able to find terribly good seats. We were in the middle of the third row from the screen. Not so close that our necks hurt when we left, but close enough that I sometimes had trouble focusing on things.
Aside from our seating, Iron Man 2 was FANTASTIC. Definitely on par with the first one. Better, if you’re like The Keeper and strongly disliked casting for Rhodey in the last movie. Everything was spectacular. The special effects, the writing, the acting, the cinematography. It was all just fucking good. I was particularly fond of the casting, so lets go through character by character.
First, Tony Stark/Iron Man. Most definitely eye candy.
The casting hasn’t changed since the first movie, but I think it bears repeating that Robert Downey Jr is abso-fucking-lutely perfect for this role.
At first glance the character of Tony Stark is just the arrogant playboy. He’s a genius, yea, but he’s also a huge narcissist. From the first movie you know that he probably never would have come up with the Iron Man suit if his life hadn’t depended on it. But once he’d escaped the bad guys and he was, what he thought to be anyway, safe- you can tell by his facial expressions, his eyes that he’s changed even before his words start to give indications. That is why Robert Downey Jr is perfect. He can convey an enormous amount of information with a little bit of body language and a cock-eyed smile or furrowed brow.
Something I found interesting in this movie was the introduction of a rival weapons developer, Justin Hammer played by Sam Rockwell. Not really eye candy, but interesting.
The character is actually very similar to Stark, but whereas Stark comes off as light and casual in his arrogance this guy is slimy and wheedling. He’s actually a really good contrast to Stark and Rockwell does a great job. What really makes it for me is his voice. He just sounds sleazy and underhanded.
Back to the eye candy, at least for some, we have Lt. Col. James Rhodes. In the first Iron Man this character was played by Terrence Howard.
He did an ok job, but Don Cheadle is a damn sight better in the new movie.
Cheadle isn’t a big guy, but the way he plays the part of Lt. Col. Rhodes, you don’t even notice. Despite the fact that Terrence Howard has a bigger build, he was too soft looking to be a military man and his voice just exacerbated the problem. Cheadle looks the part, sounds serious and acts tough. It’s definitely believable when he goes toe to toe with Stark. Howard as Rhodey gave the impression that Stark was in charge. Cheadle plays Rhodey as a grade A badass who is most definitely Stark’s equal.
Then there’s the female eye candy, Natalie Rushman/Natasha Romanov played by Scarlett Johansson.
They don’t delve terribly far into this character in the latest Iron Man movie, but they do make sure two things are abundantly clear. She is a badass of enormous magnitude.
And she is sexy as hell.
The only other hard and fast information we get on Romanov is that she is a part of Shield. Which brings us to…
…Nick Fury. Pretty much all we know about him from the movies is that he’s with Shield, he makes decisions and gives orders and he has an eye patch. But, he’s played by Samual L. Jackson, which is pretty awesome.
Last, but most definitely not least, is a character and actor that rivals the Iron Man himself in the eye candy department- Ivan Vanko played by Mickey Rourke.
This has got to be the most spectacular casting decision for this movie. Rourke is outstanding. He’s the bad guy, but I LOVE him. The character says little, but Rourke’s body language is enough. He’s confident because has a realistic view of his abilities. He’s a genius just like Stark. But he also draws confidence from the fact that he has nothing to lose. He’s passionate and caring, but also deeply in pain. He doesn’t have to say a word to convey any of this, and he almost doesn’t.
Throughout the entire movie Rourke barely speaks at all. He gives short one or two word answers, all the while prowling through his scenes like a big cat. He’s gritty and dangerous and so, sooo sexy. A perfect foe for Downey Jr’s Stark.
And before I get any comments about it- I did not forget Pepper Potts. I intentionally left her off. I don’t like the character and although I’ve liked Paltrow in other things I do not like her in Iron Man.