In 2007, Jon Favreau had the audacity to make an Iron Man movie that was actually good. Two years later, we have our first glimpse of the inevitable sequel. What follows is a play-by-play breakdown of the new trailer for Iron Man 2 (or, as we call it, War Machine: Origins), featuring Mickey Rourke’s Burning Man-appropriate metal teeth, Scarlett Johansson’s laughable attempts at be-leathered badassery, and the brazen ripoff of a Dark Knight set-piece.
For your pleasure, we’ve highlighted some of the best parts (Sam Jackson as Nick Fury) and some of the worst (basically all the parts that do not include Sam Jackson as Nick Fury).
The trailer starts off right, letting us know immediately that Garry Shandling is still able to find work after What Planet Are You From?
Apparently, Tony Stark is answering questions at a Senate hearing about giving the U.S. government his Iron Man suit. This seems reasonable. The government could use the arc reactor’s free energy to feed the world — Stark’s just getting loaded and using it to power a man-shaped fighter jet.
Then he says something like “I privatized world peace,” which makes no sense, because it’s not like Iron Man is charging for his services. Either way, everyone cheers, because Iron Man is totally a people’s champ.
Cue the AC/DC rawk (that’s to remind us that Tony Stark is a badass, this is his world, and we just live in it).
Tony says to Pepper Potts — who appears to be way too close to that open bay door, btw — “Wish me luck…I may not make it back.” Oh dear, what ever could be the important mission Tony Stark has as part of his “privatized world peace” movement?
Uh, apparently it’s hosting the VMAs? Or wait, guest-judging American Idol?
Oh, “Stark Expo.” So, it’s like a shareholders’ meeting or something. Gee guys, a Senate hearing AND a shareholders’ meeting — who would think it possible to fit so much excitement in one movie?
Okay, now it’s getting a little sinister. Somebody’s got a live feed of this thing (or a VHS copy off eBay) and is watching it on their antique black and white TV. Who ever could this be?
Why, it’s Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko/Whiplash/(Son of) Crimson Dynamo! (Is anybody else worried that it’s only the second movie in the series and they’re already amalgamating Iron Man’s villains? Like, as if they’re already out of classic baddies and it’s only through their powers combined that they can be cool or threatening? And, no, that’s not to suggest that Grey Gargoyle should be the Big Bad in Iron Man 3.)
Why does the government need Tony Stark’s cooperation so badly if he could make the first arc reactor in a cave and some Russian grease monkey could make another one with a welding torch in a dirty motor pool? The schematics are probably on the internet. Google it, NASA.
Also, sidebar: this was already noticeable in The Wrestler, but Mickey Rourke has really weird fingernails. Just saying.
As far as this trailer is concerned, this is the only proof Sam Rockwell is in this movie.
Best moment of the trailer, and also the viewer’s life. No way anyone should pass up a movie that has even a second of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.
Surprise, surprise. Back when ScarJo got cast as Black Widow, a lot of people said she didn’t look the part. Those people were absolutely correct. Natasha Romanova is sharp and icy, like the weather of her Mother Russia; ScarJo is soft and American. She’s just rocking the same slack-jawed thousand-yard stare that’s made her the cow-eyed superstar she is today.
As this film’s replacement Rhodey, Don Cheadle blows Terrence Howard out of the water, mostly by not looking confused and constipated all the time. (PS: that looks like Black Widow in the background, which probably means [SPOILER ALERT!] she’s gonna be a good guy. Boooring!)
ScarJo, honey, you look ridiculous.
In case your favorite part of the first Iron Man was all the hammering, don’t worry — Iron Man 2 will also have more hammering.
Look, everyone knows they’re probably just setting this up for a big reveal in the movie where Whiplash becomes Crimson Dynamo and gets a legit suit, but does anybody really think he looks like a threat right now? He’s fighting Iron Man (you know, the guy that shoots lasers and missiles?) with some electric whips. Talk about bringing a knife to a gunfight. He’s also wearing pajama pants, and half his body is exposed. Couldn’t a beat cop with a few hours at the firing range plug this bozo from about 30 feet away? Hell, how’s that guy even within 100 feet of the racetrack?
Mickey Rourke has metal toofs, like some sort of 21st century Jaws. If that doesn’t chill you to the marrow, you are made of stone.
Luckily, they were able to save all the money they would have spent on special effects by just green-screening Iron Man into the scene from Dark Knight that looks exactly like this.
The first time through, it looked like Tony might have brought War Machine with him to that little third world town he visited in Iron Man to illegally murder some foreign nationals. You know, to relax — like when you bring a buddy fishing. Now it’s clear they’re actually fighting those gundams in the background.
Under scrutiny, most of this stuff reveals itself as flashy and neat-looking, but ultimately so insubstantial and borderline nonsensical. Why did everyone like the first one so much?
Iron Man 2 opens in the UK on April 30 and May 7 in the US.