Tag Archive: Jon Favreau


Review: Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2Iron Man 2

Studio: Paramount Pictures
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson
Rating: Rating System!Rating System!Rating System!/ 5 purses

Iron Man 2 throws you right back where the action left off in Iron Man. Tony Stark has just revealed to the world that he… is… Iron Man, and the media frenzy has begun. Accolades, adulation flow like wine, but one man is not celebrating. He is dying in a squalid apartment in Moscow watching the drama unfold on TV. His only companion is his son – Ivan Vanko. As his father, bitter and vindictive to the end,  breathes his last, Ivan gets to work on an arc reactor similar to the one Stark built in Afghanistan using forty year old plans developed by his father and Howard Stark.

Six months later, Tony, as Iron Man, has opened Stark Expo with a self-indulgent display that is cringe worthy. Given his level of hubris in the first movie, you are aching for someone to give him a smackdown. It only gets worse at the Senate arms committee where he embarrasses the government and humiliates his corporate rival, Justin Hammer.

It’s only after the Senate committee meeting that we realize that Tony *is* getting a smackdown of biblical proportions – the arc reactor that is keeping the shrapnel from destroying his heart, is slowly poisoning him. He’s dying and the only thing he cares about is his legacy as the protector of world peace, and he will do anything to keep that glory all to himself, even alienate his best friends Rhody and Pepper.

The scene changes at this point from California to Monaco for the Grand Prix, where Tony finally encounters Ivan Vanko as Whiplash. From this point on, the film chugs along slowly, setting Vanko up as Justin Hammer’s go-to guy for destroying Tony, the degeneration of Tony’s personal relationships and the loss of one of his Iron Man prototypes to the US Military. It doesn’t pick up again until Hammer’s presentation at Stark Expo, which sparks the final action packed third of the movie.

Sam Rockwell as Justin HammerI enjoyed Iron Man 2. It has its problems, mostly with the melodrama involving Tony and his father which drags the movie down during the middle of the film. It also criminally short changes several characters: Pepper Potts, SHIELD’s insider Natasha Romanoff aka The Black Widow, but worst of all Ivan Vanko and Justin Hammer. Mickey Rourke could have made a great villain, but he’s given so little to work with in terms of back story and motivation. The scene that he shares with Tony is lifeless. Rourke is so bogged down in his accent, that he isn’t able to generate any passion for his cause. He is neither menacing or sympathetic. As for poor Sam Rockwell, he does a great job playing a buffoon. I can see shades of Guy Fleegman from Galaxy Quest in Justin but in Tony Stark’s chief rival, that is a bad thing. Hammer has all of Tony’s arrogance but none of his charm or intelligence. He’s that nerd from high school who had the clothes, had the car, had all the trappings of popularity, but was such an imbecile that his financial standing didn’t matter – he would never be accepted, he could never get the girl. At no point in the movie do you actually believe that Justin Hammer is ever a real threat to Tony Stark, either personally or professionally.

Pepper and Natasha are also one note characters. Pepper is reduced from Tony’s patient, witty, competent foil to being nothing more than a screaming shrew. She is never able to make a point, or go toe to toe with Tony as she once did. She is completely impotent. As for Black Widow, she could have not made it into the movie and I don’t think you would ever notice. The role that she played in terms of the story could have been better served by Pepper, rounding out her character and role as Tony’s most capable associate without the movie losing anything except skin tight leather.

Scarlett Johansson as Black WidowNone of these players ever really challenge Tony in the end, for better or for worse. It’s disappointing if you’re thinking in terms of this movie and this movie only, but it has interesting potential if you look at it in terms of the greater story arc. At the end of Iron Man 2, Tony Stark has yet to be successfully challenged by anyone. His greatest enemy is yet to come. His greatest enemy, ultimately, is himself. And that premise sets up for a  for a truly delicious sequel. I just hope Jon Favreau and his team of writers are up for the task.

Visually, the movie is stunning, although there was one effect during Scarlett Johansson’s fight scene near the end that bothered me. There seemed to be some sort of double exposure on her movements that was distracting and honestly hurt my eyes. I know it wasn’t just me because DH mentioned it as well. I’m not sure if it was the print of the film, or some sort of special effect, so I’ll be interested to hear if anyone else saw the same thing.

Iron Man and War MachineAll and all, Iron Man 2 was a fun film. It didn’t quite live up to my expectations, I was hoping to see an expanded role for Pepper Potts, as well as more interaction between Nick Fury and Tony Stark. Sam Jackson and Robert Downey Jr. sparkle when they’re on screen together. The film maintained its humor throughout – no one quips like Robert Downey Jr. Happily, Don Cheadle walked into the role of James Rhodes and nailed it. He was with Downey beat for beat and I actually preferred his characterization of Rhodes to Terrence Howard’s who struck me as whiny and self involved. It will be interesting to see where Tony and James’ relationship goes from here. I do think it’s a fine set-up for both The Avengers movie and the next Iron Man sequel.

For those who are wondering, Iron Man 2 is definitely worth seeing in the IMAX format. The scene where Iron Man and War Machine are being chased through the Stark Expo grounds is amazing and definitely worth the extra coin.

BTW, stick around after the credits for a teaser of epic proportions.

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He’s no longer cast as expendable crewman No. 6.

Sam Rockwell has been cast as saloon owner Doc, in Jon Favreau’s next movie, Cowboys vs. Aliens.

When Favreau learned of Rockwell’s interest in the film, he and writing partners Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof, reworked the script and expanded the role just to bring him on board. They even went so far as to modify the appearance of the character to suit him.

Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde and Harrison Ford also star.

Cowboys vs. Aliens is produced by Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer with Scott Mitchell Rosenberg for Dreamworks. It will bow into theaters on July 29, 2011.

Sam Rockwell’s latest movie is also directed by Jon Favreau. It’s a little film called Iron Man 2. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

Via: Reuters

Paramount has released two new Iron Man IMAX posters:

Iron Man - IMAXWhiplash - IMAXNice shot of the briefcase armour, but the posters ares still ‘been there, seen that’ for me.

You can also check out a new clip at MSN. I love it when Gwyneth Paltrow is being catty.

Via: CHUD

Jon Favreau - TweetGood news for the production of Cowboys and Aliens, Jon Favreau has managed to snag Harrison Ford for an as yet announced role. Favreau announced the news yesterday via his twitter account.  (sorry Jon, going to ignore that last request)

At any rate, Ford will be starring along side Daniel Craig, who took over from Robert Downey Jr., and Olivia Wilde as Zeke Jackson and Verity respectively.  The question is, will he be battling the alien invasion of late 1800’s Arizona along side of them, or will he be leading the charge as an invader.

Harrison Ford - Cowboys & AliensPersonally, I’m hoping he goes for an alien role. While playing a cowboy would be an obvious choice,  Ford rarely plays the baddie in a film (What Lies Beneath is the only film that comes to mind), it will be nice to see him switch it up a bit. And he’s got the kind of clout that would allow him to make that choice.

That being said, he hasn’t done a western since 1979’s The Frisco Kid with Gene Wilder, so he might be aching to put on a pair of chaps and strap on a six shooter.  We shall see.

Regardless of what role he plays, if he’s working with Favreau, we’re bound to get a great performance.

I haven’t read Cowboys & Aliens yet, but I found it online, so I’ll be giving it a gander and posting my speculation as to what role I would like to see Ford play.

The promotion campaign for Iron Man 2 is ramping up to the May 7th opening date.  And so far, I’m undewhelmed.

The first piece is the launch of the Stark Expo 2010: Better Living Through Technology viral site.  Viral campaigns are tricky to get right.  You have to provide enough supportive content for whatever it is that you’re promoting, but not overwhelm the product – in this case, a movie.  In other words, you have to whet your audience’s appetite for the main event.  The best example I can think of is the District 9 viral campaign – MNU’s official website, the anti-MNU blog and the MNU recruiting site. All these websites gave you a taste for the lives of the characters inhabiting the film, the world they live in and allow the  user to experience a piece of that world first hand.

Stark Expo 2010 does none of those things.  You get a countdown clock to the movie release, a couple of promotion videos (okay, the retro video is kinda cute), some design concepts of the buildings and a layout of the facility with sponsorship logos.  And why do I get the feeling we’ll be bombarded with product placements for Burger King, Dr. Pepper and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups throughout the movie? I really, really hope they do more with the site than this – maybe Ivan Vanco can hack it or something.  There are a lot of possibilities, most likely we’ll see a website from Hammer Industries soon.

Next, we have new posters:

The “Will He Pull Up in Time” Version The “Crap! We Forgot Mickey Rourke! Version

Iron Man poster - version 2.0

Iron Man poster - version 2.1

Floating heads? Over the shoulder, come hither looks? Feathered edges?  What is this? 1995? UUUUGGGGGG!!!!

Then there is this little treasure: Which looks a lot like this treat, from last summer:
Iron Man 2: Black Widow G.I. Joe

Jon Favreau, you deserve better. Your movie deserves better marketing than this BS. C’mon Paramount, this is an major movie event, your designers should be pulling out their A games.

And before anyone asks, yes, I can frakking do better.