Iron Man 2 comes out a few days and despite feelings of foreboding, I’m still considering the early nerd special. But, certainly, Iron Man 2 can’t be as bad as last summer’s “blockbuster,” Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen … can it?
No, really … It can’t, can it?
You tell me.
In my mind, I’ve worked out a list that I call …
“7 ways to tell if Iron Man 2 will be better than Transformers 2.”
- The franchise: One started as a Saturday morning cartoon from the 1980s, another is based on a comic book franchise that started in 1960s.
Advantage: Iron Man. There’s 20 more years of back story, including the Cold War and the Vietnam War.
- Leading man: Robert Downey Jr. vs. Shia LeBeouf.
Advantage: Iron Man. While Robert Downey Jr. seems to have survived the train wreck of his personal life, LeBeouf may be just starting his.
- Leading actresses: Gwyneth Paltrow & Scarlett Johansson vs. Megan Fox.
Advantage: Iron Man. It was a little tough, but Iron Man’s gets the nod for two reasons: 1. Math: two are usually better than one; and 2. Paltrow and Johansson are better actors than Fox. While certainly beautiful, Fox’s character was just eye candy … tough, butt-kicking eye-candy, though.
- Villian: Hammer and Whiplash vs. the Decepticons
Advantage: Push. I’ll take “live” characters over CGI enemies any day, but, in a cage match, could Hammer and Whiplash beat the Decepticons? Of course, that sort of premise is beyond the scope of this post, but it still makes me wonder …
- Plot: Compare plots here and here. While both films are sequels, one connects to several other “franchises,” allowing the potential for a somewhat deeper intertextual connection.
Advantage: Iron Man. Of course, if Tony Stark “dies” and then has an out-of-body experience with a bunch of robots who send him back … I’ll reconsider.
- Soundtrack: Hard rock vs. Hard rock
Advantange: Iron Man. Although the Transformers 2 soundtrack features a lot of great artists, any time you can get a Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame band to supply many of their greatest hits to your cause, well, that’s saying something.
- Total Running Time: Transformers 2 clocked in a 150 exhausting minutes. Iron Man 2 is 124 minutes. You could fit an episode of 30 Rock inside that 26-minute difference and STILL have time to use the bathroom. And any time you can fit in some 30 Rock (not to mention, for health reasons, the bathroom), it’s gonna be OK.
Advantage: Iron Man
Final score: Iron Man 2 6, Transformers 0. Push: 1
So, that’s my argument. Point out my flaws. The score seems lopsided; however, that doesn’t make Iron Man 2 a great movie. It just makes it better than Transformers 2, which is kind of like saying a speeding ticket for 20 miles over the speed limit is better than one for 25 miles over the limit. It may be true, but they both still suck.