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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Should we be worried about ‘Iron Man II’?

Oh dear. MTV’s Splash Page is unhappy about how 2010’s Iron Man II is shaping up, because:

While… “The Wrestler” star [Mickey Rourke] will play an amalgam of Crimson Dynamo and Whiplash rather than one or the other (as had previously been pondered), there is one big question that remains: was the decision to combine several characters into a new character a wise move?

By blending two established characters in the Marvel Comics universe (or more, given the similarities to Wolverine villain Omega Red in the look Rourke is sporting for the character, as well as his weapons’ resemblance to those of another Marvel villain, Constrictor) and creating an entirely new, mash-up character, “Iron Man 2” director Jon Favreau is treading where few filmmakers have gone before — and even fewer have traveled successfully.

But I’m worried because the image of Rourke is downright terrifying:

Ahhh!

The other recently released image, of Downey, is more reassuring:

Just because it’s Downey, though.

So: Should we be worried about ‘Iron Man II’?

Discuss.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)



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  • JoshDM

    Not so much. Consider their fear is based in the combination of two Iron Man villains. Before this movie could you even name ONE Iron Man villain?

    No?

    Right.

    Before the Keaton Batman movie, could you name at least one Batman villain?

    Yes?

    Point made. Iron Man villains aren’t known. It should be fine. Also, many of Iron Man’s villains are fairly generic guys in suits or with mechanical attachments, so it simply makes sense to combine them.

    Speaking of, I read a lot of comics, but if I had to name two Iron Man villains, I’d instantly say “The Mandarin” (a Fu Manchu guy who wears magical rings and each ring does something different, last I remember), and, uhh, umm, The Living Laser, who I think is an Iron Man villain and last I recall, he was a guy who was made out of living… laser.

  • Pen Dragon

    I’m worried because I’ve never heard of either of the mashed-up villains, and they both sound really lame. To me, this Whiplash looks like the fat sword-handed guy from 300. Also, Rourke appears to be wearing an ARC reactor just like Tony Stark’s, and didn’t we already have a villain that used one of those? Finally, Mickey Rourke sounds like stunt casting. All bad signs.
    But Don Cheadle’s in it! I’m not worried.

  • bitchen frizzy

    Sequels always worry me. So many of them suck.

    Character recombinations and blends are more common than this article claims, and often successful. If Peter Jackson could get away with it in adapting the better-known and beloved LOTR, then Favreau should be able to manage it with Iron Man.

  • Well, Favreau is no Peter Jackson, first of all… but I’m not worried about Iron Man 2. I really enjoyed the first one, and I’m looking forward to the second, but if it sucks I probably won’t care.

    Plus, in the PRO column: when’s the last time you saw a sucky Robert Downey Jr flick? How about never ever.

    I’m infinitely more worried about Star Trek 2 and The Hobbit.

  • Ironfan72

    Well as a life long Iron Man fan, I can say that what we are seeing with Rourke as Whiplash isn’t that far off from the actual comic version of Whiplash/Blacklash, he was essentially a guy who wore a spandex costume and carried a electified whip.
    This makes more sense, with Stark out as a hero called Iron Man , alot of villains will try to copy that technology. In one of the greatest Iron man stories of all time Armor Wars (Stark Wars), business rival Justin Hammer (how is in this film,played by Sam Rockwell), stole a bunch or Starks Iron Man tech and gave it to Iron Man’s villains who used it to commet crimes and Stark felt guilt for this and went on a one man crusade to stop these villains, even fighting close friends Captain America and Sheild, anyone who’s tech that Stark felt was his, were on his hit list.
    Granted, I understand the concern and yes Iron Man’s villains are obscure to non-comic fans who never read Iron Man, but this look at Whiplash is actaully very good and appropiate for a real world villain, and Favreau did a great job with the first film, so I have alot of faith in his vision, and one picture and movie does not make.

  • PaulW

    I’m only worried if Iron Man gets Squirrel Girl as a sidekick. Then the movie becomes all about her beating up Thanos and Dr. Doom and stuff.

    Are we still avoiding the Mandarin as a villain for the series? If we can’t use him, why not Fin Fang Foom?

  • Jim Mann

    Are we still avoiding the Mandarin as a villain for the series?

    I thought that the first film was setting us up for a version of the Mandarin that wasn’t so much of a Fu Manchu style stereotype as the original.

    After all, the Mandarin had a ring of power on each finger, and the middle eastern villian in the first film was associated with something called the Ten Rings. I’ve been assuming that that’s a lead-in to what the Mandarin was in the series.

    Jim

  • JoshDM

    I caught the Mandarin / Ten Rings comment too. I wonder if it will be hinted at in this sequel or dropped entirely, or build-up for Avengers or an Iron Man III. I don’t think it will be central to Iron Man II.

  • doa766

    I’m only worried about Scarlet Johansson

    there’s no reason for her to be on the movie, it’s just to show off her tits, she brings nothing to a character

    I was really surprised when I heard she was cast because the four main actors on the first one (downey jr, bridges, paltrow and howard) were chosen only for their talent and not for their box office draw or sex appeal

    I suspect this was not the director’s idea

  • amanohyo

    doa766, I’m a straight man and even I know that RDJ was chosen mostly for his talent, but also for his sex appeal. I’m not saying I think Johansson (or her clone) is talented or anything, but let’s be fair to RDJ and admit that he’s sexier than Scarlett to a fairly large chunk of the population.

    Paltrow was probably chosen solely for her “talent” though, I’ll gladly agree with you on that point. However, it’s an annoying Catch 22 to have a system that chooses and rewards actresses primarily on the basis of youth and appearance and then moan when they aren’t as good as the men when it comes to actually acting.

    Well, duh Hollywood, you picked most of the men on the basis of their acting with much more lenient standards of age and appearance and gave the girls mostly shitty supporting roles, and by the time a few of the girls somehow scraped up enough experience to be better actresses, you told them they were too old to get cast and the next batch of pretty young faces was brought in to take their place.

  • doa766

    my point is that the first iron man movie did just fine (comercially and critically) without having and untalented big breasted starlet on teh cast so I find it odd that for some reason they decided the sequel needed one

    for the record I don’t think Scarlet Johanson is very pretty, her face looks like an egg

  • mortadella

    A combo villain might be fine, since the villains in the original Iron Man comic often came off as cheesey anyway (that’s just a personal opinion)….the screenwriters might have been salvaging the good bits to create something edgier.

    I didn’t realized Scarlet was in the movie. Where’s Paltrow? Is she in this at all? I really hope Scarlet isn’t the love interest. Or we suppose to buy that she’s a bad ass? If so, why hire an actress who is so completely non-threatening in every way possible? On occassion, I actually think Scarlet’s OK as an actress, other times,I think directors hire her for her dewy blondeness and fawn eyes.

  • JoshDM

    Guys, stop harping on Scarlett. It’s not her fault she’s a clone.

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