I loved Iron Man. Loooooved it. Naturally I saw Iron Man 2 as soon it opened back in 2010. Unfortunately, the chief impression I carried away from the theater was of disappointment. Because the sequel didn’t live up to my expectations, the weight of my anticipation collapsed in on itself and became a disappointment that was shallow but wide. Not an intense disappointment (for I wouldn’t have characterized it as a bad movie per se), but it still rendered in me a profound indifference that managed to cloud my memory of the movie to the point that I could barely recall the plot. And note, I typically have a scary-sharp memory for movies.*
The result is that IM2 has languished in my Netflix Instant queue for ages without me ever actually going back for a second viewing. But Iron Man 3 is right around the corner (yay!), so some homework was in order. Of course, IM2 has been removed from Netflix’s offerings just when everyone wants to watch it. If you’re interested, it is available for rent through Amazon Instant Video and VUDU, but I just broke down and watched it on FX at my boyfriend’s house.** Edited for content. Boo. Hiss.
Anyway, I’m happy to report that I was more accepting this time around. There are still things that bother me. As awesome as Don Cheadle is in just about everything ever, I still miss Terrence Howard’s Rhodey because his interpretation felt warmer and because I just generally disapprove of unnecessary actor replacement. Also, there’s this one brief exchange between Pepper Potts and Black Widow during the birthday party scene that’s completely inexplicable*** within the context of the movie as a whole, and it smacks of a dangling thread from a plot line that got edited out. But most of my other complaints about the movie not making sense actually are either explained in throwaway dialogue that’s easy to miss or I’m able to fan-wank them away with less effort than I previously thought.
Usually with franchises I have a strict “I’ll keep going so long as they haven’t made a bad one yet” policy. But even if IM2 hadn’t improved on the second try, I still would’ve been freakishly excited for IM3 because:
- I enjoyed The Avengers so much more than I thought I would.
- It reunites Robert Downey Jr. with director/writer Shane Black from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a movie I love beyond all reason.
- I never learn.
* Seriously. I have been known to precisely quote dialogue from films I saw one time a decade ago. I honestly don’t know where I store all that data. And I wish I could substitute this ability for improved math skills.
** I don’t have “actual” television in my apartment. This is not some kind of elitist statement I’m making. I just can’t afford the cable bill.
*** Although if anyone cares to explain it, feel free to enlighten me in the comments.