****THIS REVIEW IS EXCLUSIVELY FOR NON COMIC BOOK READERS WHO HAVE WATCHED IRON MAN****
Mess. This film is a mess. A frustrating type of a mess. Not a really incomprehensibly bad and whacky film, but it is a major step down from the first Iron Man film.
Firstly, Don Cheadle replacing Terrence Howard as War Machine was a disappointment for me. Terrence Howard could've done a much better job as War Machine. I just can't buy Cheadle as that character. Speaking of the film overall, there are a lot of many subplots going on, which do not tie up together to form a cohesive "main" plot of the film. The movie feels like Vanko taking revenge on Stark for what his father did to Vanko's father but not really, Justin Hammers trying to take down his rival (Stark) but not really, Stark getting poisoned by Palladium core he used in the arc reactor but not really, Natasha "spying" on Stark to know whether he is capable of being in Avengers but not really, a film that is just there to kill the time as we head towards Avengers, i.e. an advertisement of Avengers, but not really ..... nope, it does really feel like an Avengers advertisement. All these subplots are really weakly connected with each other which makes the film a complete mess. It isn't firm and cohesive as the first one. Tony getting depressed by the fact that he's dying and doesn't totally whacky things is tolerable but that thing crosses a limit in this one. It felt like "too much" and didn't really make any sense. There is a maintenance of consistency from previous two MCU films - undercooked villain. Vanko felt really promising and in the end, he was just another villain to fight against the heroes and die. Just a generic villain. Every single subplot feel like they can make the main plot of a much better Iron Man film but due to some reasons, all of them were crammed into one. Hammers - didn't really care about him. Rather than doing some genuine stuffs, Vanko and Hammers argue about the bird and if I get a dollar for every time they say "bird" I would've been a millionaire. And the way Hammers and Vanko loosely get along woth each other is just ..... there. The way Rhodey becomes War Machine is also just .... there. The film really felt like it had a very poor execution. And (this isn't a MAJOR issue but still) this film marks a third film in a row within the MCU in which the hero faces the bigger, nastier bastardization of himself. In Iron Man, we had Iron Man vs the "bad" Iron Man. Here we have, Iron Man (Tony) and Iron Man (War Machine) vs the "bad" Iron Man-ish guy (Vanko/Whiplash). Iron Man and Iron Man vs bad guy. That's what "Iron Man 2" meant LoL.
Again, not a terribly bad thing. There are sarcasm and the first scene involving Tony not willing to give away his Iron Man suit is my best part of the film. That was really hilarious. The action sequences .... pretty fine, though generic in story aspect. But speaking of humor, it has some "trying to be funny" parts and some jokes which do not match with the tone of the film when it comes. It feels a bit cringe-worthy. Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and Gwyneth Paltrow were really good in their roles. RDJ's chemistry with almost everybody is appreciable. Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury in some really brief scenes was really great. He was just being typical Samuel Jackson, just not saying motherf****r.
Overall, enjoyable at parts, not unwatchable garbage but is a hot mess. Has some good Tony Stark moments and connections to other MCU films. However, since nothing quite productive has been developed till now on the basis of this film, it just feels like a movie which is just there to kill some time off and make money until we got Avengers.
Score : 6.3/10
Grade : B