Iron Man 2
Ah, sequels. We all hate them. The first film is simple and fun, and Hollywood, wanting to milk the cash cow dry, comes up with a follow-up and just goes overboard and ruins your memories of the first film. For example: If the Transformers franchise ended with the first film, I would have had fond memories of Megan Fox. I have become desensitized to explosions and fight scenes. I don’t go “Wow!” anymore. It’s sad. I loved the first Iron Man movie. It surprised me. I didn’t expect to like it. This sequel, however, is much too much. “I have successfully privatized world peace!” Is Tony Stark supposed to be this big of an asshole? Whatever happened to his character development in the first film? Stark creates weapons, drinks champagne in the dessert, and basically just goes around showing what a huge dick he has. Then he becomes a prisoner of war, gets rescued, and after searching his soul, shuts down Stark Industries’ weapon production. Enter the second film, and it’s like we’re starting all over again. And how is he able to rescue Pepper and fly away so fast without causing her injury? No matter. I only question the science of movies I don’t enjoy much. I’m pretty sure Inception is riddled with plot holes, but I don’t question it.
The Avengers film better be spectacular.
I had to tweak my brain while watching the film, because I had expected it to be a comedy. (Bradley Cooper is in it, and I have a Hangover hangover.) I thought it would be more Paycheck than Minority Report. (Note that I have the film adaptations in mind, not the original stories. I’ve read Philip K. Dick’s Paycheck short story and it’s…different.) The level of violence, especially toward the climax, surprised me. It’s entertaining. I didn’t expect the ending. Normally you watch a character pop a pill and just wait for the crash, the downward spiral, the final few pages of Flowers for Algernon, if you will.
Oh look, another sequel! The only reason you won’t consider Hangover II anything special is because Hangover I exists. They’re from the same mold. The filmmakers used the exact, same plot structure, and they’re not even shy about it. They even ended the movie the same way – with a character discovering incriminating pictures saved in his gadget, observing out loud that the pictures are fucked up, another character saying “Okay, we’ll look at the pictures once and then we’ll delete them forever”, and everyone exclaiming a disgusted “Oh!” before the pictures are shown onscreen and the credits rolled. If I were any of these characters, I’d be seriously disturbed. I’d think of Groundhog Day. I’d think of all the sins I’ve done.
A young man fails to get an acceptance letter from the colleges he’s applied to – even from his “safe school”, Ohio State – and in a moment of desperation, drafts an acceptance letter from the make-believe South Harmon Institute of Technology (or S.H.I.T.) and mails it to himself. What’s next? Create the website, find a building, find a fake dean. And maintain the lie.
The film came out in 2006, starring Justin Long, Jonah Hill, and Blake Lively. It’s a fun watch.