Master Filmmaker Mark Mackner reviews IRON MAN 2!!!!



DIRECTED BY: Jon Favreau

WRITTEN BY: Justin Theroux

STARRING: Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson, and Sam Rockwell.

REVIEW BY: Master Filmmaker Mark Mackner

Here it is, kids! Summer movie season is officially here! Hoo-ah! And what a way to kick things off! If you’re a geek (And, let’s face it. You’re visiting the PopTards site. You know what you are), then you’ve been itching to see this, ever since the end credits rolled 2 years ago on the first IRON MAN flick. The first one rocked hard, and you wanted MORE. You followed director JON FAVREAU on Twitter to get all the latest updates. You went on ainitcool, CHUD, Film Threat, and other such sites to get early pics on what the characters would look like. And now, FINALLY, here it is!!!! FUCK YEAH!!!! But, was it worth the wait? Is it worth ANYTHING???? Can it erase the anguish that plagued our hearts after the darkness that was X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE? And, most importantly, what did MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER think of it????

Well, True Believers, I am happy to report that I enjoyed the hell outta IRON MAN 2. It continues the fine tradition of X-MEN 2 and SPIDER-MAN 2, of following up a solid- if-flawed first film, and improving on it magnificently. Sequels have the potential to really rock in super-hero films because there’s no pesky origin story to have to get through. We know who the hero is, and how he got to be a hero, so let’s get right to the good stuff. Geeks like you and I knew long ago how Peter Parker became Spider-Man, how Tony Stark became Iron Man, how Bruce Banner became the Hulk, etc. I understand why it’s necessary to get the uninitiated up to speed in the first films, and that’s all well and good. But I know the origins, and that’s why I relish the potential that’s inherent in super-hero sequels.

IRON MAN 2, plot-wise, is a kind of mishmash of the two most memorable stories from the Iron Man comics: ARMOR WARS and DEMON IN A BOTTLE. How so, you ask? Well, the new film focuses on Stark Industries’ rivalry with JUSTIN HAMMER in creating bigger and badder tech, and has some tech falling into the wrong hands. Iron Man must then suit up and make sure his technology doesn’t aid evil men in doing evil things. There’s your ARMOR WARS. Oh, and also, Stark is drunk most of the time in the film. There’s your DEMON IN A BOTTLE.

I’ll break this down by what was good about it, what my gripes are with it, and how it rates alongside other Marvel movies.


RDJ!!!!!!!! But, you saw the first one. You already know that. Other heroes, Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, etc., I’m cool with seeing other actors offer their takes on these iconic roles. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, but I don’t think those roles should be the exclusive property of any one actor. NOT SO with IRON MAN! Downey IS Tony Stark. That’s it. There will be no further discussions on the matter. He OWNS that role. Perfect casting. PERFECT!!!!!

Don Cheadle > Terrence Howard. That is all.

Drunken Iron Man vs. War Machine. A rare case which demonstrates how CGI can be used for good, and not evil. Glorious!

Jon Favreau & Pepper Potts in a car vs. WHIPLASH. So Tony Stark is driving a race car when he’s attacked by Whiplash, who destroys Stark’s car and causes a subsequent pile-up of the other race cars, presumably killing a bunch of people. Stark is at the mercy of the electrified-whip-wielding madman, and his bodyguard and Pepper Potts come to the rescue, crashing into the villain with their car. Very exciting scene, and very funny, to boot.

MICKEY ROURKE. What can I say, I’ve always been a fan, and I’m enjoying the Hell outta his resurgence. With this and SIN CITY, he’s piling up a nice resume of comic movie badasses, and I hope there’s more to come.

Scarlett Johansson as BLACK WIDOW. There’s a part where she maces a security guard, that’s so quick, so simple, and yet it was one of my favorite parts of the movie.

ScarJo and Sam Jackson together again!!!!! A SPIRIT reunion!!!! I’m not kidding. THE SPIRIT is not a good movie, but they were fun as the villains.

Sam Rockwell as JUSTIN HAMMER. Sam Rockwell always makes things interesting. Even when the movie as a whole sucks, he tries his best, which is pretty damned good. There’s a moment where he’s at a bar, watching Tony Stark on TV, and the way he scowls in disgust is sublime. That was my other favorite moment of the film.

The chemistry between RDJ and Gwyneth. This is one case where the romantic subplot doesn’t slow the whole movie to a halt. I actually don’t get tired of watching these two together. Pepper Potts seems genuinely concerned for Tony, and it’s actually quite moving.

THE CLIMAX. The movie builds up to a massive clash of iron and steel warriors, with heroes IRON MAN and WAR MACHINE vs. an army of Iron Robots controlled by Whiplash. Then the heroes vs. Whiplash himself. If you’re a geek, you fucking LIVE for shit like this!!!! YOU WILL FUCKING LOVE IT!!!!!


BLACK WIDOW needed more ass-kicking scenes. YES, her action scene is spectacular, but she deserved more than one. Here’s hoping she has more to do in the AVENGERS flick. I didn’t even care that she didn’t have the Russian accent. I really thought I’d be mad if she didn’t do it, but there I was, not caring.

TONY STARK invents an ELEMENT out of nowhere. JD brought this up, and I totally agree. I mean, yes, Stark IS a genius, but come on. That scene was a stretch.

And that’s it! Two complaints! Not bad at all. So, how does it rate against other Marvel movies? I’d say it’s the best one yet that doesn’t involve Spider-Man or the X-Men. And it’s better than the first and 3rd X-Men. Better than the first IRON MAN. And none of the others (Hulk, DD, FF, Ghost Rider, Punisher, etc.) even enter into the argument.

So, kudos to you, Jon Favreau! You’ve given us a great super-hero franchise that isn’t SPIDER-MAN or BATMAN. I’ll be surprised if there’s a better popcorn movie this summer than this one.

And that is the WORD, so sayeth THE MASTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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6 Comments to “Master Filmmaker Mark Mackner reviews IRON MAN 2!!!!”

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  1. Nitepete says:

    Couldn’t agree more. This movie was so funny and the action was all fine grade columbian. I excuse the new element by way of secret daddy footage only because it was coming from roger sterling himself, john slattery. The cast was great as expected and samjack got to be more jules winfield than mace windu. I also luv’d the bw mace in the face moment. Gold stars for everyone!!! I had a shiteating grin on for the whole film and i hadn’t even eaten any shit!!!

  2. So after reading your review I’d have to say I enjoyed it. My only quarrel I had was that I wanted more of the final battle. It seemed so short, Whiplash had a big huge armor body. I just thought there could’ve been a little more. Maybe engage in the air or some moving around. Just a few more minutes and I would’ve said this would’ve been better then the first one. The final battle in the first one was a lot of back and forth, but the way it ended was ehh. I thought Iron Man 2 was just as good, but did not best the first. Let’s go THOR!!!!!

  3. STEVE LAYNE says:


    Thanks for the review! Now I’m looking forward to it. Was apprehensive because I didn’t want to be disappointed (though ScarJo could pick her nose for half an hour and I’d be just fine with that) but you dispelled fears of “II syndrome” and it sounds excellent.

  4. JD (Host) says:

    ooh good review, sonnyjim! (though maybe put that it’s Spoilerific next time?)
    we’re also going to do a spoiler heavy version of the review on the show, if you want in this week, so i’ll leave my comments till then!

  5. Master Filmmaker Mark Mackner says:

    Nite Pete…. Glad you enjoyed that Widow mace moment as much as I did. I feared that, in the midst of all the special effects, explosions, and AC/DC, that a little moment like that might get lost, but I fucking loved it!

    Dunklenutz…… I’m happy to see that it took MY review for you to realize that you enjoyed the film. Barely knowing you, I didn’t realize I had that much sway over you. Now, how to exploit this knowledge……. But, yes, I do agree with you. The final battle could’ve been a few minutes longer. I know it was two against one, but when the “one” in question in Mickey Rourke in hi-tech battle armor, it should’ve been a bit more epic.

    Steve……….. I understand your apprehension regarding sequels, but, like I said, they’re almost always BETTER in comic book movies. SUPERMAN II is still considered by many to be the best comic movie ever. Then you’ve got THE DARK KNIGHT. No, it’s technically NOT the second Batman movie, but it’s a sequel only to BATMAN BEGINS, so it counts as a #2. SPIDER-MAN 2, X-MEN 2, HELLBOY 2, BLADE 2, you get the picture. So, GO! See IRON MAN 2! It’s just a fun time at the movies.

    JD………… that’s funny, I didn’t see this as spoileriffic, but, looking back on it, i can see how the argument could be made. But is it REALLY a spoiler to say that Whiplash attacks Tony on a racetrack, when that scene is featured so prominently in all the ads? And is it REALLY a spoiler to say that Stark gets drunk a lot? Maybe… if you’ve never read a comic book. Is it a spoiler to say that Widow only gets one action scene? Maybe, but it’s a good spoiler. Keeps your expectations in check. And to say that Iron Man and War Machine face off against Whiplash in the end? Well they’re the HEROES, and he’s the VILLAIN, so it’s kind of inevitable.

  6. JayDee says:

    Oh pssshaw! U know how us fanboys can be with spoilers! Though has anyone who would care about spoilers NOT seen it yet? 😉 but better safe than sorry

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