Modern Comic Book Movies - An Evaluation - Part 2.
Grant sets out on a lengthy odyssey into the world of modern comic book movies, giving us his unique perspective on all the tight wearing, caped crusaders to grace the silver screen recently.
This is part 2
The first thing that strikes you about this movie is that Robert Downey Jr completely owns the role. They wrote a character and he nailed it right from the start. Now I know my reaction is somewhat helped by having no experience with the character so I was open to any interpretation but you still have to make me believe in the character and make him likable and RDJ does just that. He's brilliant.
At this moment in time this is my favourite Marvel character origin story movie. I've only seen Cap and Thor once and have yet to see Ant Man but its going to take something very special to top this.
Faverau does a great job directing, getting solid performances out of all the cast and also doing a great job with the action set pieces.
The Incredible Hulk
This is very much a movie of two halves for me, with the first being great and the second not so much. All the stuff in Brazil is great culminating in the first appearance of the Hulk. The relationship between Bruce and Betty I really like. Both Edward Norton and Liv Tyler giving good performances. You get a sense of history between them even though we only see bits of it in the title sequence and flashbacks.
The battle on the college campus is also great but from there on it starts to tail off a bit. The scientist who has been trying to help Bruce Banner turns out to be a bit annoying and the final fight with the fully transformed Abomination ends playing out like something from a bad cartoon. It all just ends on a bit of a bum note. I also think Tim Roth is miscast. There is a scene in which him and General Ross are walking down a corridor in their Army suits. William Hurt has a strong military posture whereas Roth just schlubs along like an average joe. He kinda works as a physically smaller guy like Edward Norton but his performance just doesn't work for me.
Iron Man 2
A second viewing offers a chance to view the movie for what it is, rather than what you expected, so the best thing about doing an all inclusive rewatch like this that your almost forced to go back and look at movies that you originally disliked and had no intention of returning to, only then to completely change your opinion on them, as is the case here.
I really disliked this first time round. Tony Stark/Robert Downey Jr seemed overly smug and just grated on me, whereas in this viewing I realised that's kind of the point of the whole movie. Now he's revealed himself to the public as Iron Man he's on a massive ego trip but unfortunately the suit can't help him with the fact his own arc reactor is killing him. After being read the riot act by both Pepper and Rodes after going off the rails somewhat, it's ultimately a hidden message from his late father that makes Tony realise it's his own abilities as a scientist and not his public image as a superhero that's the most important. I completely threw this to one side previously and just focused on the annoying character traits but it really worked for me this time around. Also the tone of the film is very light hearted and I didn't like that before. Now I realise that it also makes Sam Rockwell's performance as Justin Hammer so much more enjoyable as I found it extremely annoying first time around.
It's not without its faults. Mickey Rourke's is very short changed and the speed in which Rodie gets a handle on the suit is a bit of problem. I'm still not keen with other people in the other Iron Man suits, something that rears its head in Iron Man 3 also, but I'm really surprised how much I enjoyed this and that my opinion has completely changed.
There's not really much to say about this movie. It's not fantastic and its not garbage either. I enjoyed it, as I did the first time. It looks great, the effects are good, it's shot competently enough, there are no bad performances. Chris Hemsworth is incredibly charming and likeable as Thor and Tom Hiddleston is good at being an unlikeable, slimy little worm. It does feel like the movie that does the most place setting for The Avengers with regards to setup and character but its still enjoyable enough.