Sam Rockwell Upstages Robert Downey Jr. in Loud, Bludgeoning Iron Man 2

| by Hollywood Elsewhere

Iron Man 2 does that basic CG pulverizing thing that Eloi movieogers all seem to want to see. I'm not blaming director (and costar) Jon Favreau, exactly -- he did the job that he was paid to do (at least in approximate terms), but this thing sure as shit isn't The Dark Knight, I can tell you that.

Plus it's so loud and bludgeoning that I began to wish that Downey could recede into the background and that the whole thing could be about Sam Rockwell's glib, slickly dressed yuppie-scum character. Between this and his deliciously comic performance in A Behanding in Spokane, I've totally turned around on Rockwell.

Does Mickey Rourke take pills in order to make himself look bulky and scummy? And those sausage-sized fingers with those grime-caked fingernails that look like they were transplanted from the claw of a giant sloth....my God! Rourke himself is a very good place spiritually, but every time I look at him I go "what kind of genetic inheritance...?"

I have a basic prejudice against any film that uses Monaco as a backdrop, even if it's just for one sequence, because it's a soul-less over-developed corporate hell-hole that seems to attract nowhere people -- a place like Atlantic City or Cancun or Las Vegas or Orlando DisneyWorld. If you go on vacation to any of these places you have a serious blockage affecting the state of your soul.

In my mind this is Robert Downey, Jr.'s second super-budgeted, high-impact, untethered fart-slamming movie in a row (after Sherlock Holmes). Plus he constantly steps on Gwyneth Paltrow's lines, to the point that I kept losing the thread of their discourse. On top of which he's wearing too much make-up in this thing so I've pretty much had it with him -- for now.

I'm not saying Downey is irrevocably toast but he definitely has to make something that will counter-balance the Sherlock/Iron Man 2 double-whammy effect to get himself out of dutch. The good will he enjoyed in the wake of Tropic Thunder is out the window -- I can tell you that.