Iron Man 2 ★½

While the first movie was a bit boring and a disappointing reminder how uncharming I find Robert Downey Jr, this sequel is more aggressively bad. I could have sworn that this was written during a writers' strike, but the timelines don't really support that.

To fit the direction of the franchise Tony Stark is even more obnoxious here, which would be fine if we weren't supposed to still be on his side against evil politicians and humanitarians. He is the mother of all anti-heroes that litters the screens and it doesn't help that his redemption comes through CGI battles against faceless drones that are incapable of harming bystanders even when they are shooting right at them or making millions of glass shards rain over the crowds.

Those things are still fine if it wasn't for Jon Favreau tactlessly drooling all over Scarlett Johansson with his camera and Gwyneth Paltrow fading into the wallpaper with her blandness. And the movie calling for a phat beat and getting Queen. And the world cowering at the sight of a crazy dude with a couple of whips, as if he was a threat to Iron Man. Etc.