Drunken Playboy in the Military-Industrial Complex: Iron Man 2
I liked the first Iron Man for its offhandedness. I guess it is too much to expect a sequel (by design a safe bet on the part of the studio) to rely on improvised dialogue. Iron Man 2 tries mightily to deliver the goods, with action to spare and Robert Downey Jr. and co firing off jokes at a mile a minute.
You might say that as a 2 hour-long product placement for Burger King and Audi starring dueling robot-suited people, it was pretty good. By the standards of time and the masters, Iron Man 2 feels canned.
On a side note: I hate it when previews shamelessly splice together moments from a film and pretend they are sequential. They’ll show some scene, and then cut to a character will saying “That’s cool/sexy/strange/random/pathetic” in an effort to condense those moments. The Iron Man 2 preview does this with Scarlett Johansson*, showing her doing some crazy jump kick in a bodysuit, and then cutting to Downey saying “I want one.” It’s as if the studios think every preview needs its own inner monologue, to help us comprehend those mysterious flickering images that advertise film. What’s wrong with the ominous movie-voiceover guy?
*(Her part in this film is tiny. She must not utter more than two lines at a time, in maybe one out of every four scenes. The script sets her up for a part in a sequel/spin-off; I hope for the sake of her career that she accepted this role on the condition of getting something meatier down the line.)