Iron Man 2‘s a mess.
All the actors turn in performances, things explode and some things even fly, so yeah, it satisfies at the bare minimum level. The climatic action medley has men in mecha suits fight in a Japanese rock garden — three cyber samurai duking it out — which pleased me for a little while, and once Scarlett Johansson started beating guys up by writhing all over them I looked up from my watch and even paid attention for a while.I struggled to do that the preceding two hours though, when a nonsensical, inconsequential plot gurgled along in front me.
Things happen from scene to scene that don’t add up, and characters show up just to move the creaky plot along and wink at the audience, literally at times — “I’m keeping my eye on you!” Ohhhh, he’s got an eyepatch. Aha ha. Ha. Ha. Why’re there so many dumb jokes in this movie? Besides that, Samuel L. Jackson wastes his yelling talent as Nick Fury, having about as much reason to be in Iron Man 2 as he did in the Star Wars prequels. He doesn’t fight, he doesn’t do anything badass. He finds Tony Stark inside a giant donut (jokes ‘n jokes ‘n jokes), berates him in an L.A. diner reminiscent of the one in Pulp Fiction and hands him a Magic Plot Advancing Box. And no, not a mysterious MacGuffin like the suitcase in Pulp Fiction, but an actual Magic Box that solves everything. Everything gets solved so easily, so randomly that there’s no drama, no attachment.