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Yes, I saw Iron Man 2. No it was not midnight. Did I enjoy it?

First let me clarify my stance on the first movie. My stance on the first movie was that it was an enjoyable if unimpressive movie. Two things stood out in the movie, Robert Downey Jr stealing the show and doing away with any of that secret identity nonsense, which of course really effects the sequel, not the first movie. The rest of the movie contained a competent and effective origin story (but nothing to excite me) and a mediocre and formulaic conclusion. Mostly the Robert Downey Jr. effect was the thing that pushed this movie over the top. I think it also came out of nowhere for most people, which raised its popularity. So, the first movie: enjoyed. It was fun, but was not exceptional.

The sequel, now? I liked it more than the first. The first movie's story was not compelling to me because I knew the origin story and the way they did Iron Monger was in no way interesting. The second one was able to make it's own story and move these characters they had only set up in new ways. I was asked after the movie how accurate it was to the comics. Honestly, it isn't accurate in a lot of ways, but this is good. They are not binding themselves to fitting the comics, they are taking aspects of the comics and telling a story from it; making it their own. They drastically change a number of things, but the complaints I have against the movie are not of the "how-could-they-change-this-from-the-comics?!!" variety.

First off, I hope they do not bother with the Demon in the Bottle storyline now. I actually think they topped it conceptually. I have never read Demon in the Bottle, but just painting Tony as an alcoholic honestly is not as interesting as showing him as addicted to the fame and life of being Iron Man. His alcoholism is a part of his life, but that is not the personal issues he needs to deal with. I think some of what they get at here is much bigger and more interesting than just alcoholism. For its time Demon in the Bottle was revolutionary. But to the Tony Stark they have created for the movies fighting his alcoholism would be just fighting a symptom of his much larger problems.

Complaints against the movie:

-I thought most of the action was ho hum. This is not surprising. I am rarely impressed by action any more, and usually am just caught up in the foolishness and impracticality of a lot of it. I was hoping to see more evidence of Genndy Tartakovsky's influence on the storyboarding for the action scenes, and it may have even been there, but overall the action left me uninterested and just wanting them to go back to the out of action character moments.

-I thought the conclusion was somewhat flat in a few areas. This is not surprising. Endings are stinking hard. Especially for summer blockbuster comic book movies. Well, they are not hard. But good and remarkable ones are hard. I feel they made an easy and uncompelling ending.

-The War Machine story did not feel fully developed. It felt a little too forced in with the rest of the plot threads.

-Black Widow was not really necessary for the story of Iron Man 2. She served two purposes: expanding the Marvel movie world and adding a hot woman in black leather doing crazy (silly) fighting stunts in order to draw people in. If she was removed from the movie I don't think I would have cared one way or the other. The only good thing about her was getting to see Happy Hogan reactions.

-Seeing Robert Downey Jr successfully play a character that is bigger than life put the doubts in me that Thor and Captain America can follow suit with their respective actors. This is usually my biggest pitfall with comic book movies. The Thor plug in Iron Man along with the image they've shown of Thor in costume online likewise has me worried.

-The suitcase armor with the nod to the Silver Centurion armor... I felt like I was watching a transformation scene in an Anime, and thus annoyed that the villain would sit there to watch. Too corny for me.

-I am am starting to feel a bit of a strain in these movies as they try and plug hype for the Avengers. Iron Man 2 is self contained, but everything with Shield and Nick Fury has a bit of a thrown in for the purpose of hype feel rather than feeling inclusive to the story.

-Whiplash was great as long as he didn't have whips in hand, trying to kill Tony. Outside of those scenes I was drawn in to watching him.

-The Howard Stark stuff was good up until he says the corniest line of the movie. I will admit it hit me a little, but really it was too precisely and perfectly worded. Ya gotta dirty it up some more (not that kinda dirty). Way too hallmark.

-Oh yeah, the whole mystery that needs to be solved. It made for a good break in the movie to put people through different things, but the mystery solving felt a bit forced. I don't think it fell intuitively into the realm of the movie. It was way too National Treasure. Just done with better comedic timing and less toupees.

-I think some of the scenes at the beginning were overly long and disturbed the pacing of the movie as it was trying to get underway. They needed to get it stepping quicker (and I don't mean action).

This may convince you I did not like the movie. That is not true. You just get to see how my mind takes apart a comic book movie.

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