Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man 2”

So, Monday night, I had been back in Pensacola for all of 8 hours and got an invite to go see “Iron Man 2” with some friends. I loved the first one (even more than I did “The Dark Night”), and I had high hopes for the second one.

If I could sum the movie up in one word, that word would be “forgettable.”

I’m sorry. It just was simply forgettable.

I guess the first one was so awesome because everything about it was fresh: The plot, the humor, Robert Downey, Jr., everything. There was something about the “Iron Man” that just did it for me.

But I’ll try to make this simple. Here’s what let me down, presented in bullet form.

  • Plot-It really did have potential. I liked the whole “Tony Stark privatizing world peace” thing, but I just thought that the way they played on that was a little stupid. Plus, I didn’t really think the Russian villain’s threat didn’t really qualify for a threat on world peace. The peace of Flushing Meadows, New York? Yes. Of the world? No.
  • Mickey Rourke-Let’s face it. We’re all thinking it. It’s time to get it off our chests…Mickey Rourke is a fad. He’s the UGG boot of the acting right now. Granted, he made a strong comeback by donning tights and essentially playing himself as a washed up fighter, but the whole villain thing just kind of stifled the actual talent that that guy has. It wasn’t so much him I didn’t like in the film; I just felt that his character was seriously under-developed and verging on silly the entire time.
  • Scarlett Johansson-If they wanted to simply show a voluptuous body in tight clothes, they could have used any no-name on the set. But casting Scarlett Johansson in a role that teetered between actually seeming important and being a total distraction was just stupid altogether. It seemed like she was just another name to add at the bottom of the poster. That’s essentially the role that she served.
  • Don Cheadle-Good actor. Decent job. But, Terrance Howard was way better.

Was I entertained? Yes. Does that make it a good film? No.

I give it a “C.”

Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island”

I saw this one with some friends last week, and I liked it a lot. I guess you could call me a Scorsese fan, even though I haven’t seen the two earliest films he’s best known for. But, I loved “Gangs of New York” and “The Departed,” so I figured “Shutter Island” would live up to those.

All in all, the movie really did wow me. Going in, I expected it to be a psychological thriller, one that relied not so much on gore and guts, but on the ability of the audience to construct terror in their own minds. The theme centers around lunacy and the scary line between fiction and reality.

A U.S. Marshall named Teddy Daniels (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) is investigating the disappearance of a mental patient on the isolated facility of Shutter Island. As the plot unfolds, however, the focus shifts from the details of the investigation to the history of Daniels himself: what haunts him and fuels his passion to find the missing woman. Dream sequences, fantasies, and flashbacks are interwoven into the story, and the viewer feels a displacement until the very end.

I won’t give away the ending, but I think anyone who watches it will start to develop a rough understanding of the twist as the movie begins to close. How Scorsese pulls the twist off, however, is unique and unforeseen. In other words, it’s good.

DiCaprio is amazing as usual. He just has a way of really becoming the characters he plays.

Mark Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley are awesome in it as well.

Overall, the movie came off as a modern-day “The Shining” type of thriller…maybe not as horrifying, but definitely as mysterious.

If you like films that give you a constant flow of chills and leave you high-fiving your friends for “getting it” at the end, you’ll like the film.

I give it an “A-“.

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