Welcome to The Daily Cup a movie blog/writing project by Kyle B. Dekker, presented by Hot Chocolate Media. You can read series concept here. The basic rules, Kyle must watch 365 movies in 2018 and write about all of them. 292 of them have to be movies he's never seen before. Thanks for reading.
When Iron Man 2 (2010) is brought up in conversation, it is often to deride it as one of the worst MCU films. While I will readily agree that it isn’t as good as the first entry of the Tony Stark saga, it’s still quite enjoyable, and has some fantastic parts.
One of the most apparent changes in the film is the change in casting of Colonel James Rhodes, switching from Terrence Howard to Don Cheadle. While I think Cheadle is the superior actor, Howard was good in the first film. The accounts of the change are varied, but it did come down to some kind of contract dispute. I did really like how they handled the change, having Colonel Rhodes enter the congressional hearing and the first line from Cheadle’s Rhodes is “Look I’m here, it’s me, deal with it.” That worked within the scene but also was an announcement to the audience that no time would be spent acknowledging the change, and that they announced boldly it has happened. This was a great way to handle a casting change and it really works out well.
Another thing I liked about the movie was setting up some early pieces of the Hydra infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D., having Senator Stern (Gary Shandling) antagonize Tony Stark about the Iron Man suit, and go after Tony for not sharing the technology with the US Military. This takes a more sinister POV when you realize he was flexing his senate position to get a new weapon for Hydra. Maybe the Russo brothers just ran with this idea, but I have a feeling Kevin Feige has always been playing the long game with the MCU.
My favorite part of the movie is Sam Rockwell as arms manufacturer Justin Hammer. A former Stark business rival, he is left to supply the military after Stark Industries leaves the weapons business. It is obvious Hammer is an inferior business person and weapons designer compared to Stark, which plays into the reason the government is going after Stark. Rockwell plays the role of a cocksure playboy who is secretly unsure of his own skill so well. Every scene Rockwell is in is delightfully entertaining, he is an actor that elevates every film he is in.
Some people complain about Tony Stark reverting to immature behavior form early in the the first film. He is overly cocky, impetuous, and unhinged, even for Tony Stark. People who say this miss the point of the film and things set up in the first film. Tony is operating under the idea his life is a gift from the man that saved his, and he promised not to waste his life. Now, the very device that saved him (the arc reactor) is slowly killing him. Tony has failed in his promise, and Tony reacting and behaving to failure the only way he know how - lashing out like a man baby. Over the course of the film he learns (thanks to some tough love from Pepper Potts and Nick Fury) to take responsibility for his actions and grow as a character.
Yes the villain is a little droll, but Iron Man 2 is a great entry into the growth of Tony Stark as a character. It sets up essential character growth, and conflict that will pay off in The Avengers, and Captain America: Civil War. This is a testament to the big picture approach Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios is taking. Tie in an awesome performance from Sam Rockwell and some amazing action sequences and Iron Man 2 is much better and fun that people often give it credit for.
Movies new to me watched: 16/292
Other movies: 5/73
Total movies watched: 21/365
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