Home Video

Iron Man 2 - Blu-ray Review


Iron Man 2

<div style="float:left">
<script type="text/javascript"><!--
google_ad_client = "pub-9764823118029583";
/* 125x125, created 12/10/07 */
google_ad_slot = "8167036710";
google_ad_width = 125;
google_ad_height = 125;
//-->
</script>
<script type="text/javascript"
src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js">
</script></div>{/googleAds}

With all the hoopla surrounding the release of ole Shell Head's next cinematic outing, it's easy to forget that just two years ago Iron Man was a very unknown commodity. For those who didn't read Marvel's pages, or have even a cursory knowledge of comics, the character was something of a gamble, a Hail Mary for Marvel's fledgling attempt to make their own movies; and boy did it pay off...

The origin story of Tony Stark was the underdog smash of 2008 (in a crowded and intimidating superhero line-up that included The Dark Knight) and deservedly so. With Jon Favreau's impressive direction combined with the pitch-perfect casting of Robert Downey Jr., a vibrant and exciting beginning to a potentially classic franchise was born.

Now everyone's back (with the exception of Terrence Howard, replaced by Don Cheadle in none too ceremonious circumstances) to try and thrill us again. Did they succeed?

Iron Man 2 picks up with the aftermath of Stark's revelation at the end of the first one that he is the man in the suit. The US Government want his toys, Pepper Pots is growing tired of his eccentricities, a Russian bad guy (Mickey Rourke) connected to Stark's past is hell bent on causing him maximum pain... and despite Stark's genius, his power source that which keeps him breathing—is actually killing him. It's a busy story, with a lot of characters, and that commonly equals a busy film with little depth. Not so here. While the sequel's multitudes of threads move past at a cracking pace, the character of Stark does not suffer for it; each thread is connected to him or his actions in some way, and come to bear on the plot, with one exception: it is no secret Marvel have been laying teasers within their films for films to come. While this is a perfectly valid way of preparing for future adventures that will indeed include Iron Man, they have gone one further in this sequel by including them in the narrative itself, instead of simply just treating us at the end of the credits (which they also do this time). It doesn't add anything to this story; it's a bit of fun and good marketing, but nothing more. There is a danger inherent with all these films if they go down this road any further.

Downey Jr. continues to be the central reason to keep coming back; again he is funny, and complex, and this time around starts to reveal the demons within Stark that will ultimately consume him. This is a tough character to play; a narcissistic and singularly focused individual that steps on people's toes at every other moment - but Jr. is so damn likeable. The rest of the cast, including Paltrow, Johansson, Rockwell, Rourke, and Cheadle offer great support.

The action this time around dips a little in excitement. This is not to say the film is slow or without its moments, but there is such an opportunity for scale (at the budget afforded this one) that, at times, it seems to be missed here. As an example, the location of one of the major showdowns happens... in a little theme park creek? Perhaps they are saving up for a massive carnage fest in the third one.

Iron Man 2 didn't have the luxury of sneaking into popularity like its predecessor; expectation for this one was huge. They have not accomplished a film that equals the first one - few do - but they have resoundingly accomplished another enjoyable action romp that is well worth your time. Bring on 3.


Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

5 Stars



Blu-ray Experience
4.5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - September 28, 2010
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Three-disc set (2 BDs, 1 DVD); Digital copy; DVD copy; Bonus View (PiP)

It doesn’t come much better than this, folks. You get 3 discs (2 blu rays and 1 dvd/digital copy combo disc) that give you the flick, commentary, a feature length documentary (split into four parts, but with a play all function), featurettes, and the kitchen sink (well, not really, but near enough).

The picture quality is one for the showing off pile: a meticulously clean print without sacrificing film grain, and with no evidence of DNR or edge enhancement. Some video-philes have mentioned the odd soft shot and some banding on landscape shots, but this Average Joe’s eyes didn’t notice any detraction whatsoever.

Sound is as immersive as the picture and will effectively piss of the neighbours, should you choose to take full advantage of the 5.1 DTS HD Audio track with an appropriate system. By the credits, they’ll think someone started WW3 at an AC/DC concert.

There is a single/no frills blu ray out there, but this reviewer’s tip is spring for the frills. Highly recommended.

Supplements:

Commentaries:

  • Feature-length audio commentary track with Director Jon Favreau.

Featurettes:

  • Ultimate Iron Man: The Making of 'Iron Man 2' (1080p) - A four-part documentary
    • Rebuilding the Suit (29:14)
    • A Return to Action (17:22)
    • Expanding the Universe (18:56)
    • Building a Legacy (20:11)
  • Creating Stark Expo (6:44), Practical Meets Digital (8:37)
  • Illustrated Origin: Nick Fury (6:07)
  • Illustrated Origin: Black Widow (3:06)
  • Illustrated Origin: War Machine (3:52)
  • Working with DJ AM (2:02)

Concept Art Galleries:

  • Hammer Drones
  • Feebles
  • Russia
  • Mark IV
  • Sets
  • Stark Expo 2010
  • Stark Mansion
  • Mark V
  • War Machine
  • Whiplash Exo-Skeleton
  • Whiplash Mark II

Deleted Scenes: Eight scenes that didn't make the final cut

Trailers:

  • Iron Man 2 trailers (1080p, 2:33, 2:34, & 1:14)
  • Sega's Iron Man 2 video game (1080p, 1:47)
  • Iron Man 2 video game prologue (1080p, 2:45)
  • Avengers Animated (1080p, 1:51)

Disc 3 contains DVD and digital copies of the film.

{pgomakase}

Movie Reviews

Our Tweets

 

You are here: Home Home Video Iron Man 2 - Blu-ray Review
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Google+
Letterboxd
Find us on Rotten Tomatoes