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Attack of the Drones
Went with Ina on Friday to see Iron Man 2 . Yes, well. it was a decent way to spend an evening and I enjoyed it, but there was nothing new, even 'new' in the way of "this was new thirty years ago in the comic and new here to the screen".

One of the problems is that a lot of Iron Man's villains are intensely political or intensely cold war. Hence the film's introduction of the Black Widow during her - later - period as a SHIELD agent (though a Soviet agent would, indeed, be out of modern context.) Without all the complex background (the Widow's use of the unwitting Hawkeye, who was one of the group of reformed villains who formed the second main Avengers lineup, his love for her, her ambivalent feelings and so on) the Widow, a thoroughly interesting person, becomes a cipher. The same is true of the introduction of War Machine, whose behaviour seems wholly driven by the needs of the plot at any particular point. Whiplash, never a particularly interesting villain, is left to dominate with a Bond-villain performance, plus an incompetent and very silly arms manufacturer to finance him.

This seems to be an avoid the Mandarin at all costs ploy. I admit that one would be difficult but, please, bigger and bigger armoured suits/robots do not make for interest. The Monaco fight was very well done, but the attack of the drones... no. Nice firework display and great soundtrack but went on far too long.

And, talking of the Black Widow, her fight scenes seem to attempt the camera technique used in Batman Begins where it was one of the weaker points in an otherwise excellent movie, and which was abandoned for the sequel. Wise move. This, not so much.

Gwynneth Paltrow was much better as Pepper, seeming to enjoy herself far more and growing into the role of one of Marvel's strong-non-super-love-interests. And Happy got more to do. There was a distinct lack of comic servos and I still don't understand the Romanoff/Fury contention that they wanted Iron Man as an Avenger but not Tony Stark.


As before, Downey's performance dominated, but it is beginning to descend into caricature. Never to be forgetting, Mr Downey, that there is seriousness at the heart of the character. It showed in the last movie, but not in this one.

Needs better scriptwriting.

But I loved the call-outs to Captain America - using what remained for his shield to prop up the home-made cyclotron indeed! - and to Thor. I'm still not sure that even Kenneth Branagh can make something of the latter in the current Hollywood markets.

Really should be two and a half stars. Maybe three because of the excellent Monaco sequence and Downey's performance. Or maybe not.

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Not until now. Nor do I entirely agree with it. Comic book science is not the science of the real world - never has been, never will be.

I do agree about the way the alcoholism of the first movie (which is not part of the character in the comics at that point, but that wasn't a problem as they were cherry-picking anyway) morphs into a real need to drink an antidote and a bit of an angsty binge. Bad move, but this may be the studio bosses getting their nickers in a twist and insisting on something a little more child and teenager friendly.

I though Don Cheadle awful, frankly. The weakest point of the cast.

Oh, and the Pepper of the comic books did quit. Several times. She also married Happy, which I never bought. However...

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