"We went through 2,500 toothpicks during filming!"
I was sort of entertained at times, but I found myself feeling annoyed or bored more than I expected. I really liked the Ivan Vanko character, in fact I liked him quite a lot more than Tony Stark or any other character, and I'm bummed that they seem to have killed him off.
I got the impression that the director asked everyone but RDJ to play their characters really flat, so that RDJ could play off them. The result was that Rourke played a real character because he has an astoundingly mobile face, and the others weren't given enough to do. It's clear from Sherlock Holmes, and heck even from the first Iron Man, that if you let an actor stand up to RDJ (and give them decent dialogue) you get a scene with lots of energy, but it seems as if that rarely happened in this movie.
My main response to the movie was wanting to go see The Wrestler again (Rourke does a great job in that movie) and wanting to go see Devil in a Blue Dress again to see what Cheadle is really capable of (he had nothing to work with in this movie; most of his scenes are a closeup of his left eyeball).
Scarlett Johansson did a good job with her character, but didn't really bring a lot of spark to her, although I sensed she could if she were allowed. The character does get to be both smart and physical, which isn't all that common in action movies, so that was cool. I enjoyed her fight scene but it was filmed in a weirdly unreal way that made it look like they'd used footage directly from the video game. Maybe she'll be able to make more of the character in future movies.
I was really, really, really annoyed about Gwyneth Paltrow's character. She comes across as nothing but a wimp and a nag, and Stark walks all over her constantly; there's no sense that they are equal-but-different. He tells her that he's making her CEO, and she sits down. Then she is quitting being CEO because "her body can't handle the stress" or whatever, and so he kisses her. And all the mincing around in six-inch spike heels, ew.
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