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supergp said on May 8th, 2010 at 1:55 pm

I liked it too. I was worried we’d wind up in a too-many-characters situation, but they managed to keep that from happening.

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Mister Arkham said on May 8th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Huh. How about that. I went to high school with Heidi Moneymaker.

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You find that it was like the CG gluing her face onto the stunt double couldn’t keep up sometimes?

oh and “I’ve got an eye on you”

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I actually liked this film a lot less in retrospect- it was fun as hell while I watched it, but afterwards I kept thinking of the many things that stopped it being great. I can’t help but think that there were so many ideas that /could/ have made a great film, but were just not given enough exploration. For example, Rourke’s character could have been /fantastic/ as a villain, had his past been actually explored, and not just used as an excuse for why he hates Stark.

Also can Iron Man please fight someone other than Bad Guy In Robot Suit in his next film? Please?

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highlyverbal said on May 8th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

“Also can Iron Man please fight someone other than Bad Guy In Robot Suit in his next film? Please?”

/agree

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“Can Iron Man please fight someone other than Bad Guy in Robot Suit?”
They weren’t guys, they were drones. And Mickey Rourke was so much more badass as guy-in-robot-suit than Jeff Bridges – I’m glad I got to see the idea better executed. (And I actually liked Scarlett Johansson too.)
The villains in general were a huge improvement over the last one (SAM ROCKWELL YAY), but I think they were pretty much the only improvement (I don’t count the Don Cheadle switch). Next time, more fast-talking dialogue from Stark. I missed that; I don’t think his lines made me laugh once this time.

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ps238principal said on May 8th, 2010 at 5:11 pm

How about Bad Guy Robot? Ultron, anyone?

And I wonder how The Mandarin would go down in film, both for the possible accusations of racism or xenophobia, but how to pull off a costume and powers for the guy that didn’t look completely goofy.

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I’m really not convinced that Rourke was more menacing in a robot suit than he was without it.

His initial… costume, if you like, I thought was supposed to be indicative of his character. He was clearly utterly unconcerned about how badly he could get hurt, as long as he survived long enough to absolutely wreck Stark. He actually looked menacing in his sort of exoskeleton, because this was a man who was going up against what amounted to a tank that could punch him and he didn’t even need a shirt.

And then he turns up later in a giant robot suit just like last film. And the fight lasted about twelve seconds.

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Yeah but a lot of good Iron Man villains are “bad guy in robot suit” or very analogous to that concept.

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This may be why nobody has ever heard of any of Iron Man’s villains.

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DistantFred said on May 8th, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Well, to be fair, a lot of Iron Man’s villains require a level of comic book-ness that movies aren’t really ever going to embrace.

I mean, yeah, sure they COULD have Grey Gargoyle be the villain in the next movie, but that makes no thematic sense, and would end up alienating the audience somewhat.

This is also why the Mandarin is so hard to work into a super hero movie- He’s a guy powered by magic space rings he found in a crashed spaceship, was originally created because China was communist and Tony Stark needed new reds to beat up, and has occasionally been green and/or half reptile. “Guys in Robot Suits” makes much more sense when you are sitting down and writing a movie.

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Well, Ra’s Al Ghul went from …well, Ra’s Al Ghul to someone actually sort of credible in the Nolan ‘verse. A little radical reinterpretation doesn’t always hurt.

As long as it’s done well. Which is, of course, hardly a given. I see why Dude In Robot Suit cropped up again, but it’s just a little safe.

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Problem with battling non-armored villains is that Iron Man has so few. The remaining archnemesis/big bad – Mandarin – is too politically incorrect to bring to the movie screen. Your only option is to bring in a Marvel Universe-level villain, one that might belong to another hero’s rogue gallery but who would work well against Stark/Iron Man.

The best possible option? Iron Man vs. Hulk. It is workable: Stark would be driven by the challenge to create a weapon powerful enough to stop the Hulk, and the Hulk is a chaotic force of nature who won’t ever fall in battle. It’d be the Unstoppable Force against the Unmovable Object in glorious 3D CGI.

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solid snake said on May 8th, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Only issuse with the movie is how much of a joke anything HAMMER does is. Yes I understand he’s inferior to Tony, but the government would not give out defense contracts to a company who’s product is so flawed. Also MJOLNIR!!!!

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Beacon said on May 8th, 2010 at 7:33 pm

I’m still not sure how to feel about the choice in movie villains.

I’d never even heard of Stane before the first movie but he made for a pretty decent adversary even though guys like Hammer have more recognition as the evil business-man archetype.

They spent so much time setting up the Mandarin in the first movie that I was blindsided by the announcement of two completely different villains. The actual choices were even more baffling. Comic Whiplash is a joke (this is coming from someone that often passionately defends Stilt-Man’s value as a character) and Hammer now has a “been there, done that” quality to him. However, having seen the movie I can’t help that think that these characters were Whiplash and Hammer in name only. Movie Whiplash had a lot of potential that really should have been better explored and Hammer was so laughably incompetent that I had a hard time believing it took so long to take him down.

Still, despite these – and a few other flaws – I found both movies to be enjoyable. Of course I’m also the kind of hardcore nerd that they wrote the Captain America’s shield bait-and-switch scene for.

PS: I’m really hoping that the third movie finally sees Pepper telling Tony off and ending up with Happy. The hero doesn’t always have to get the girl … especially when he’s such a jerk.

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Well said on “to the point of groaners.” Only Samuel L. could pull off a line like, “the riddle of your heart.” And even then, just barely.

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Munkiman said on May 8th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

I just realized that the scene from all the trailers where Pepper kisses the helmet wasn’t in the movie.

It was a fun movie, didn’t flow as well as the first but still very good and had some surprises in it. War Machine was awesome. Whiplash was extremely cool although I didn’t like his death. Hammer was hilarious.

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@munkiman: It’s kind of cute that you think Whiplash is dead. :)

Think about it. There’s a bomb counting down, the hero flies away leaving the villain to eat it off-screen, no corpse recovered. We all know the rules; Whiplash is EVEN NOW reconstituting a secret lab full of stolen Hammer tech and his own brand of crazy. No question.

Aside; am I the only one who feels kind of bad for poor Terrence Howard? I constantly see reviews describing his replacement by Don Cheadle as an ‘upgrade.’ Regardless of that being true or not (it is) that must be hard for any actor to hear constantly.

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ps238principal said on May 9th, 2010 at 12:52 am

@Munkiman: Every time I see a scene in a trailer that doesn’t appear in the film, I realize the trailer is also an ad for the extended “collectors edition” DvD.

I hate Hollywood for that.

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@Murc: That’s true. I giggled inside every time somebody went “I can’t believe Two-Face is dead already!” after seeing Dark Knight. You never see his body in the coffin, just his unconscious form on the ground outside that building. He’s totally coming back.

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Mary Warner said on May 9th, 2010 at 1:16 am

Well, to be fair, trailors are usually released long before the editing of the actual film is complete. Often, they’re done before the shooting has even finished.
And to Murc– Don’t you think this is WAY too soon to be talking about the fate of the villain in this movie? A lot of people, myself included, haven’t even had a chance to see it yet. At least have the decency to wait a couple of months before you start giving important details away.

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NCallahan said on May 9th, 2010 at 1:21 am

I went all vibrating fanboy at several moments, so I can’t really criticize the film as a whole thing. But the “new element” plotline made the soul shrivel like a cold dead thing. Sure, comic book staple, why the hell not, but don’t give me all that build-up and then anticlimax the hell out of it. That’s just not fair.

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Aside; am I the only one who feels kind of bad for poor Terrence Howard? I constantly see reviews describing his replacement by Don Cheadle as an ‘upgrade.’ Regardless of that being true or not (it is) that must be hard for any actor to hear constantly.

Honestly, I thought Cheadle lacked the chemistry that Howard had with Downey. In the first movie, they had a fully-formed friendship. Here, it was barely believable that these two guys were best friends.

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@ john Hefner:

Definitely agree with Cheadle and Downey having no chemistry.

I enjoyed the movie but……

-I thought Black Widow out of place. Scarlett did a well enough job with the little she had, but Black Widow felt completely unnecessary for Iron Man 2. But in the context of it all leading to the Avengers movie, it bothers me less.

-The Whiplash battle. Far too short and anti-climatic.

-Hell, Whiplash as a whole felt underutilized. They could’ve done way more with the the parallels between him and Tony.

-The finding a cure thing felt like it took too long but I think that’s really due to the whole “Tony DYING” thing not being played up as much as it should’ve been.

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Doc Green said on May 9th, 2010 at 4:08 am

“Only issuse with the movie is how much of a joke anything HAMMER does is. Yes I understand he’s inferior to Tony, but the government would not give out defense contracts to a company who’s product is so flawed.”

Sweet naivety. You’ve never heard of SDI? The Lockheed Starfighter? What about the M16? It took – what? 40 years? – to make the M16 serviceable.

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Ambrael said on May 9th, 2010 at 8:09 am

Terrance Howard really should have got something in writing. Guess he forgot about Billy Dee Williams.

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solid snake said on May 9th, 2010 at 8:42 am

@ Doc Green, Godd points, however most military equipment is of a high quality product not something absurdly broken like anything made by Hammer in the movie. I just felt that they were using a sledgehammer to make a point about how awesome Tony is compared to everyone else. Also the M-16 still does not work right.

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Who else besides me was staring intently at the map-screen in the last five minutes of the movie? I think we’ve got a potential line-up for the Avengers movie.

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Munkiman said on May 9th, 2010 at 10:22 am

@EWHPTIV What map screen? How did I miss this?

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@Mary Warner: I suppose so, but given that details about the movie (including character deaths) were flying fast and furious upthread of me, including the post I responded to, and nobody seemed to be complaining, I sort of assumed that this wasn’t meant to be a spoiler-free thread. My apologies.

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malakim2099 said on May 9th, 2010 at 11:41 am

I think the Mandarin can work for IM3 as the leader of the “Ten Rings” pretty easy. I mean, you have guys flying around in armor suits, robot combat drones, lasers and repulsor beams… as well as other things suitable for the Avengers. Just have the Mandarin not dress up as… well, as he does, and give him the ten rings as part of some sort of alien suit/weapons system.

Also, FIN FANG FOOM could be there!

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@malakim2099: I think the whole reason they included the “Ten Rings” was as a way of making the Mandarin more palatable to non-comic fans, just like how they changed Ra’s al Ghul’s immortality in Batman Begins. So if the Mandarin shows up at all, I’m betting he’ll just be Terrorist Group Leader Guy, not Magic Spaceship Rings Guy.

@munkiman: Towards the end, when Stark’s sitting in SHIELD HQ–which is apparently a warehouse in Queens or something? what?–and he’s surrounded by all those monitors, one of them is showing a world map with several small markers in various locations, which correlate pretty well with what we know of Marvel’s upcoming movie schedule and likely Avengers choices. California (Iron Man), Greenland (Captain America-sicle), middle of the Atlantic Ocean (Namor), somewhere near the Horn of Africa (Black Panther), New Mexico and Norway (Thor), and NYC, which I’m betting means either Spider-man or Dr. Strange.

Also, one of the other monitors is showing the news report from The Incredible Hulk about the battle on the Culver University campus, which I thought was a nice touch.

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“Towards the end, when Stark’s sitting in SHIELD HQ–which is apparently a warehouse in Queens or something? what?”

I just assumed that was sort of a temporary thing set up for a meeting with Stark, rather than a permanent facility.

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I liked it. Entertaining, not as good as the first installment. Cool little nods to fanboys such as the people who frequent this site. Quick observations about why the movie was simply good, not great.

– The change from Howard to Cheadle was noticeable and not in a good way. Chemistry, as noted above, was a big reason.
– Scarlett being shoe-horned into typical mysterious pretty girl for 7/8 of the movie and ass-kicker for the last 1/8.
– Tony’s dying, now he’s fine, thanks to his Dad who left behind a giant model of a future city that was really a model for a brand new element that coincidentally was an element that could safely power a device invented 30 yrs in the future. Really?
– Hey let’s take the villain who notoriously almost ruined Stark in the comic books, hire an A+ actor to play the role, and then make him incompetent.

That is all

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Tony’s father invented a version of the arc reactor back in the day, actually, which is why Whiplash is also able to use it/work on it – his father was part of the process too. Tony just miniaturized it.

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I got to see the movie last night.

The two biggest problems were A) Cheadle’s inability to connect with Downey, and B) the lightweight manner in which Black Widow gets introduced into the ‘Verse.

While Cheadle’s good as a serious actor – and his scene of donning War Machine to smack some sobriety into Tony Stark worked in that regard – there wasn’t the amiability that Howard had in the first film. I could buy Cheadle as War Machine: I couldn’t buy him as a college buddy of Tony Stark.

The problem with Black Widow was less Johansson’s fault than the storyline’s. She shows up in a few scenes as the notary and then as the assistant gofer. That’s about it: there’s no additional scenes of her A) noticing Stark’s worsening physical condition or B) any snarky back-and-forth with Pepper (they share the screen by themselves for about, what, 30 seconds?) And then she pops up in the Black Widow outfit (which she looks goooooood in), suddenly sides with Pepper during Tony’s probationary period under SHIELD’s thumb, and then shows expansive computing and hacking skills that hadn’t shown up earlier (that she was an ass-kicker was set up with her meet-cute intro, and with fans’ knowledge of who Black Widow is in the comics). There’s also this build-up to a potential smackdown between her and Roarke’s Whiplash villain, which goes… out the window before she can get into the room. Tsk.

Where the first Iron Man was reasonably flawless with few gaping plot or logic holes, the second one gives me the impression that a good 20 minutes was left for the DVD’s longer-director’s release. They should have had 1) a scene or two of Rhodey trying on the War Machine suit to demonstrate he’ll have a good idea how it works later on; 2) a scene or three of Black Widow under her cover ID sneaking about, using some hacking skills; and 3) a scene or three of Black Widow and Pepper exchanging a few terse words about being Tony’s assistant before breaking out a huge catfight throwdown that leads to some awesome girl-on-girl in a shower. …what?

Anywho. This was a good comic book movie. Tons better than the two uneven offerings we got last summer. But not as good as it could have been.

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Fred Davis said on May 9th, 2010 at 5:45 pm

The mandarin doen’t have to be associated with sinophobic stuff or china at all this time! You’ve got a duck, a fish, a shark AND an orange for him to draw his powers from, so a writer is spoiled for choice on reimagining him for a movie.

Though isn’t Stark’s real archnemesis ultimately himself? The alcholism plot, the mutant pig flu he got that made him act like a complete idiot during civil war – stark is all about the internal battle between being a hero and being a selfish and unprincipled bastard who has the ability to complete abuse his position and power and lacks an uncle moment that would make it impossible for him not abuse it.

all of which is merely externalised via him fighting communists with a robot suit.

Construct a plot around the notion of him potentially losing some of his privelage/power and the temptation to then resort to deeply unethical and wrong means (including the bottle) to get himself back to where he was, make it all inevitably lead to him having a huge ass battle in his robot suit against the people who offer him unethical means to return himself to his glory et viola: You have your Ironman 3 plot.

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NCallahan said on May 9th, 2010 at 8:03 pm

@PaulW:

So I’m not the only one who thought, “Sweet! Black Widow vs. Whiplash….. dangit.”

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@Fred Davis:

I never thought of it like that. Iron Man is his own nemesis.

I quite like that, actually.

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NCallahan said on May 10th, 2010 at 12:52 am

I just remembered — I was speaking to a friend of mine after the movie and I’m quite confident that there will be a third movie and it will retell Demon In A Bottle. And she was quite confused, because she thought I was being terribly unfair to Tony to so casually and jokingly refer to him as a massive alcoholic and fascist dickbag.

Seeing Iron Man with non-comic-fans is weird.

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So everyone trying to work out how they’re going to do the Mandarin… Did you not notice that he was in the first movie? Or did you think the terrorist with the technology obsession, the giant rings, and the Genghis Kahn quoting who is of the same ethnicity as America’s current boogeymen but has unique motivations was someone else?

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But hey, Mjolnir…

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Whiplash has always been a C-list villain at best, barely better than a mook, really.

Don’t think of Rourke’s character this time around as that loser, think of him as an oddly poorly utilised* Hollywood version of the Crimson Dynamo.

A Russian scientist called ‘Vanko’ who uses electricity and has a grudge against Stark? He makes a much better Dynamo than Whip(Black)lash, to say the least.

Also, Crimson Dynamo has a track record of coming back from the dead to again be a challenge for Tony, Whiplash can’t even manage that with other Hammer flunkies.
(*) At least in the theatrical release, I’m hoping there’s a much better ‘director’s cut’ version waiting to be released.

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I think the Mandarin is very easy to execute without being overly racist. He’s simply a warlord/black-marketeer/terrorist from unspecified Asian rim country. He leverages his network to uncover the legendary magical ten rings of the ancient Mandarin. Release against Harry Potter if possible and advertise as magic versus technology. Throw in a Tomb Raider knockoff set. Hack in subplot about Tony vs alcoholism (but only in an unsatisfying way to comic book fans, as blockbuster movie with serious alcoholic hero won’t test well with average joe movie goer). Hint at the rings being powered by ancient Aztec/Shangra-La arc reactors with unexplored hints at alien influence (fill set dressing with hints of Celestials or other Marvel alien races to cause nerdgasms).

Ebert says: Hey, they got a little Indiana Jones in my Iron Man. I don’t like that, but I’m still giving it thumbs up as an action movie!

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LinzerTorte said on May 10th, 2010 at 5:31 pm

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NCallahan said on May 10th, 2010 at 12:52 am

I just remembered — I was speaking to a friend of mine after the movie and I’m quite confident that there will be a third movie and it will retell Demon In A Bottle. And she was quite confused, because she thought I was being terribly unfair to Tony to so casually and jokingly refer to him as a massive alcoholic and fascist dickbag.

Longtime lurker, first-time poster popping in to say that I’m pretty sure that this movie WAS Demon in a Bottle, or a close as Marvel and Jon Favreau want the movie franchise to get.

The one scene where he was super-drunk, all the out-of-control behavior, the increasing amounts of “chlorophyll” he was consuming to stay functional–those all read as alcoholism allusions to me, without anyone actually coming out and saying it.

Considering how well these movies have established Tony Stark as a lovable douchebag, they would be squandering a lot of goodwill to write an entire movie about him turning into a full-scale alcoholic.

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MailOrderClone said on May 11th, 2010 at 6:21 am

Heidi Moneymaker needs to show up as herself in the next James Bond film. That’s too awesome a name not to include in that franchise.

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Candlejack said on May 11th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

By the time MGM finds a buyer so the next Bond movie can proceed, she’ll probably be too old to be a Bond girl.

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fsherman said on May 13th, 2010 at 3:12 pm

The Mandarin could totally work. Make him a businessman in the new capitalist/communist China, a symbol of China’s “can-do” industrial might the way Tony was often portrayed back in the Silver Age. The rings are high-tech weapons he’s developed himself. And when Stark’s business in China starts cutting into Mandy’s profits, he takes action.
I believe David Michelinie tried Mandarin As Businessman during his run on the strip, but fans weren’t happy (“They’d sooner have the robes and the castle.”). A pity–a reworking then might have saved all the multiple reinterpretations we’ve had since.

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