I enjoy a good superhero movie and based on how much I enjoyed the first Iron Man movie, I had pretty high hopes for the highly anticipated sequel. It wouldn’t exactly be fair to say that I was let down, per se, but the second movie isn’t quite as satisfying as the first.
This time around, we find Tony Stark slowly dying from radiation poisoning, thanks to that thing in his chest that is keeping him alive. For the life of him (no pun intended), he can’t find an alternative energy source. At the same time, he has to battle with a rival weapons maker contracted by the US government and a Russian physicist bent on Stark’s destruction.
Iron Man 2 is filled with plenty of guns and explosions (the introduction of War Machine — this time played by Don Cheadle rather than Terrence Howard — helps in this regard), but I would have really liked to see more of Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash character (the aforementioned Russian physicist). They only have a total of two real battle scenes between Whiplash and Iron Man, and for me, those were two of the most enjoyable scenes in the movie.
If you’re a fan of Marvel comics or you’re simply an action movie junkie, you’ll find a lot to enjoy in Iron Man 2. It’s amazing how Mickey Rourke and Robert Downey Jr., two actors once down on their luck, have really resurrected their movie careers in recent years.
Shrek: The Final Chapter (2010)
It’s amazing how many different titles this movie went through over the course of its production. Since it is the fourth installment in the series, the early titles played up the pun. I heard it called Shrek Goes Fourth/Forth. Then, I heard it called Shrek Forever After. Unfortunately, the final title isn’t nearly as inspired… Shrek: The Final Chapter.
Whatever the case, this film picks up where Shrek the Third leaves off. Shrek and Fiona are “happily” married with three kids, as are Donkey and the Dragon. However, the domestic life is starting to get on Shrek’s nerves and he yearns for the day when he was still a “real” ogre.
The long and the short of it is that he makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin, throwing him into an alternate universe of sorts where Puss n’ Boots in fat, Fiona is Xena the Warrior Princess, and the Gingerbread Man is a pint-sized gladiator. Go figure.
While I still enjoyed the hour and a half that this movie offered (especially since I caught it in IMAX 3D), it falls well short of what the Shrek franchise used to represent. The first two movies were heavy on pop culture references, whereas this one relies more on sight gags and cheap shots. I will admit, though, that the “cute eyes” scene with Puss had everyone in the theatre going “awwww… haha!”