Early Buzz: Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2

After last night’s LA premiere and with the film scheduled to open this week in much of the world, the review floodgates are pretty much open on reviews for Iron Man 2. While I don’t see the movie for a few more days, there is enough material out there to compile some profile of the basic response.

Overall, the tone seems to be that this movie tries to do a lot, perhaps too much, and that the pacing suffers and the overall effect is less than that of the first film. There have been some concerns that Marvel is putting too much emphasis on building up a world that can include Captain America, Thor and the Avengers. But is Iron Man 2 just a bit overstuffed, or does it veer towards the dangerous ground of Spider-Man 3?

Make up your own mind next week, but if you want a guide to the overall opinion so far, check it out after the break.

Here are a couple of clips from various reviews:

THR:

Everything fun and terrific about “Iron Man,” a mere two years ago, has vanished with its sequel. In its place, “Iron Man 2″ has substituted noise, confusion, multiple villains, irrelevant stunts and misguided story lines.

Variety:

…the beats here are more familiar, the pacing more uneven…In a sense, the virtues and weaknesses of the latest movie are reversed from those of the original…Here, the movie bounces through various travails assailing its hero, Downey’s Tony Stark, in less compelling fashion. Fortunately, that gives way to a final 35 minutes or so that delivers the goods…Where the first film felt buoyant and occasionally inspired in helpfully demonstrating that, done right, there’s considerable treasure to be culled even from second-tier occupants of the Marvel universe, the new pic feels more duty-bound and industrial.

Drew at HitFix says,

Both Captain America and Thor are overtly referenced in this film, and my guess is that we’re going to see these references work directly into the films that Marvel has in the works for next summer.  It’s a fascinating gamble, and I talked to people after the film who were just annoyed by the whole thing, but I think it’s like watching part of a big, crazy mini-series.  I don’t feel cheated at all by these clues.  “Iron Man 2″ works as a complete film without any of these “Avengers”-oriented moments, but they add to the overall texture of the piece in some really rewarding ways.

ComingSoon is also fairly positive (“The character development in the movie is top-notch, similar to “Spider-Man 2″ in the way it doesn’t merely fall back on what worked in the first movie, instead instilling real personal conflicts into the mix.”) and HeyYouGuysUK is guardedly positive. (“Iron Man 2 thankfully just about pulls it off, but only just. It’s a strangely paced film and suffers at times from incredibly long exposition and poorly contrived story lines that seem to be added to no doubt develop the Avengers storyline rather than the Iron Man 2 story.”)

Then there’s the review from UK tabloid The Mirror, which calls the film “mind-numbingly dull, chaotic and unwatchable.” But it’s The Mirror. When have you ever read a review of theirs before? (Or will you give it any more credit based on the fact that THR and Variety have issues with the film?)

Balancing that is Harry’s rave at AICN, where he says “I FUCKING LOVE THE ACTION of the film. I love that this is full on Marvel Science Fiction. The entire last act just fucking rocks balls!…IRON MAN 2 is comic movie crack!” So, yeah, typical Harry hyperbole there to balance out the possible ‘first!’ of The Mirror’s review.

We’ll have more coverage of Iron Man 2 over the next week.

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