If it's crap ... We'll tell you
WHEN WILL MARVEL LEARN, SERIOUSLY...?
Since the release of “The Dark Knight,” (I know, I know, but I do have a point to this.) the overall paradigm on how these films are made have changed forever; not in tonal terms, but it changed on how filmmakers should approach major comic book brands to capture the essence on what the source material have been able to achieve. For those who are into comic books, Iron Man was considered to be a B-list character in the Marvel Universe; but after the release of the film over two years ago, the character was surprisingly propelled into A-list status, which is right up there with Hulk and Spider-Man.
Now, the real reason that I took so damn long in writing out this review was that the film’s content took a while to process, almost manifesting itself as this pseudo brain-fart.
When seeing this film for the first time, I had this genuine sense of excitement, the kind of excitement that makes cold shivers run down a person’s spine. I did, however, felt that excitement slowly deteriorating. But after that first screening, I lied to myself that this picture was on of the bad ass pictures of the year, if not the best. In searching for my feelings, I had to go in a second time to confirm on what I just saw.
This had the potential of becoming one of the great sequels, instead this became a two hour teaser to the forthcoming “Avengers” spin off, and that really pissed me off. No, scratch that, the thing that pissed me off the most was the mediocre screenwriting. I’m pretty sure that most of the story elements, though not taking a credit in this film, were Farevau’s idea of making a sequel. Noted from an interview that he had with Creative Screenwriting Magazine, Farevau and Theroux had this conceit that this particular sequel should have what they admired from other sequels like “Empire,” or “Godfather.” Why? What those sequels had in common was that they felt organic in the way the story was told; whether it would be an intellectualization of the theme of the previous entry, posing a question of a moral debate, or what have you. In short, what makes a sequel special is that it manifests its own story on its own terms, breaking the rules of the previous entry by making new ones.
The idea was there, I recognized it almost immediately when they tried to adapt material from the “Demon in the Bottle” entry in the series. Sadly to say, the execution was this wacky hybrid of duplicating the magic of what made the first one special and labeling it a summer blockbuster, which resulted in this stale and weak peace of shit.
“Relax dude, it’s only a comic book movie.” Granted, it is a comic book movie, but I didn’t fork over ten bucks to see a silly cartoon. It felt, to me that Farveau was playing it safe, instead of taking risks that complement and accentuate Stark’s long journey to redemption, which was supposed to THE natural progression in the story to begin with. Instead, we’re given an almost carbon copy of the plot of “Batman Returns,” I’m actually serious about that.
As a component to the weak screenplay were the weak characters, which served no purpose to the story whatsoever, only to serve the singular purpose of dilly dallying on screen. What was the purpose of Justin Hammer anyway? The only purpose that he served was to pose as this Max Shriek character, ala “Batman Returns.” Was there a James Bond sensibility in creating the character of Whiplash, ala Blofeld? Note to sell: whenever there is an animal on the shoulder on one of our antagonists, it doesn’t add any more inches to his dick, enough said. Out of all characters in this movie, the most disposable was Black Widow, who served the singular purpose of looking hot and kicking ass; not that I have problem with it, its just that it has to go hand in hand with the storyline, which didn’t.
Blofeld vs. Whiplash: You Decide!!!!!!!!!
The most puzzling move, in the direction and in the screenplay, was how our protagonist Tony Stark chose to be portrayed. In the grand scheme of things, I think that Theroux and Farevau jumped the gun as to how the character should progress, more like taking out the cake before it’s even done baking. Like I said before, this movie was supposed to be a progression in Stark’s redemption. In the first movie, Stark came out of captivity, humbled and determined to rid the world of weapons made by his company. In this film, he becomes the product of his own hubris without ever showing that humility that he previously displayed; and on top of that, Stark commits these actions that have no real consequences, only serving the purpose to be silly and stupid!
At this point in the franchise, it feels like a McMovie to me, only to serve as a form of deplorable entertainment that has no staying power at all, only to serve the interests of the men in suits at the behest of its stockholders. Its films like “Transformers” that make this movie ironically like an antique, when all it does is to serve no real purpose, believe me, if Michael Bay hits high notes, it’s on the action, but not often. Not to sound like a snob and all, but I was actually bored with most of the action set pieces, especially at the end when Stark and Rhodes fought back-to-back against those Hammer Drones. So bored, in fact, I would rather play a few rounds at the Rock’em, Sock’em Robots toy.
Its not that I’m being cynical at the fact that I didn’t like this movie, it’s just the story kind of disregards its own fan base for the sake of selling happy meals and stooping down to the lowest common denominator. For those who really liked this film, please search your feelings to tell you otherwise, because all this film really is what was said about earlier, a McMovie that does a total disservice to its audience. I don’t expect that every comic book adaptation be like “The Dark Knight,” I just expect that a filmmaker should use his/her acquired skills and have the courage to approach such material and capture its very essence, just as the comics once did.
the question released a can of shaq fu on your ass