This week's bookish movie is -- what else? -- a acomic book adaptation: "Iron Man 2." It follows other small-panel-to-big-screen works such as "Kick-Ass" and "The Losers." I'm not a regular reader of the Marvel's Iron Man strip, but I did like the first movie, which had a nice mix of comedy and action. (I wasn't alone; the movie took in more than a half-billion dollars.) So I'll probably give the second one a shot, too. Here are exceprts of reviews from the new release:
Los Angeles Times -- Given the non-organic way "Iron Man 2's" plot came into the world — hatched by the producers in a series of meetings before a screenwriter was brought on — it's surprising that the film has any pluses at all. What makes the difference, at least for a while, is the sense of humor of screenwriter Justin Theroux ...
New York Times -- It's not that the action sequences are badly executed; they just aren't very interesting. The suits and explosions and C.G.I. flight simulations may have cost a lot of money, but more imagination has been invested in the film's sleek and shiny look and, above all, in its jittery, loquacious and eccentric population of geniuses, frauds, playboys and bad guys.
Roger Ebert -- The superhero genre doesn't necessarily require good acting, but when it's there (as in "Iron Man" and "The Dark Knight"), that takes it up a level.
Washington Post -- A terrific villain is a terrible thing to waste -- namely Mickey Rourke, who like most of the supporting players in "Iron Man 2" is given much too little to do with his gifts.
Entertainment Weekly -- Are returning director Jon Favreau and the Marvel Studios producing team buckling under pressure to give the people more of what they think the people want, and make it bigger, too? That's the only reason I can think of for the time and money devoted to loud, long, escalating battle scenes ... that stall long stretches of the story and threaten to stomp out the quotient of fun.
Associated Press -- And Robert Downey Jr., so irresistibly verbal and quick on his feet in the first film (and in pretty much every film he's ever made), seems to be on autopilot. Sure, he's got a way with a one-liner, and his comic timing is indisputable, but he's done this song-and-dance routine before and seems rather bored with it.