A major theme of “Iron Man 2” is the churn and burn of public life — billionaire superhero Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is living large but he’s also being poisoned by his celebrity, his past and, yes, even by that bright glowing disc in his chest that keeps his heart going even as it taints his blood.
So, because of the mad public-life theme, the Hollywood premiere for the movie on Monday was big, brash, loud and crazy at the edges. (It was also an interesting moment in the life of Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Entertainment, which walked down their first public red carpet together with the tentative hand-holding that you might expect any arranged marriage.)
The premiere shut down Hollywood Boulevard and hundreds of fans and tourists turned out to gawk at the movie stars, the scantily clad cheerleaders in red-and-gold (they’re called the “Ironettes”) and the assembled press, which rearranged schedules to attend the affair — this premiere was supposed to be in London but the nasty ash cloud from that Icelandic volcano changed those plans. Yes, it sounds like a comic-book plot twist but isn’t that appropriate? I’m not sure I would have been surprised Monday if Mickey Rourke shed his leather-lapeled suit and attacked the crowd with crackling laser whips. He didn’t however, although at one point he did give his agent the slip; in the lobby of the El Capitan Theatre, ICM President Chris Silbermann walked up to a group of reporters and asked (with only mock distress), “Where’s Mickey? Have you seen Mickey? I went to the bathroom and I came back and he wasn’t in his seat.” The star was located and guided to an elevated stage outside, where “Iron Man 2″ director and costar Jon Favreau introduced his cast before fireworks were launched.
Downey had arrived with an appropriate bit of James Bond flair by zipping up a narrow, blocked-off lane in a souped-up, soft-top white Audi R8 Spyder. He stopped curbside, hopped out to open the door for his wife and producer partner, Susan Downey (she’s the executive producer of “Iron Man 2″). It’s amazing to watch Downey these days along with Johnny Depp, he’s ascended to a star level that no one anticipated a decade and although Depp loses himself in the disguise of his roles, “Iron Man” succeeds by bottling its star’s singular charisma and bad-boy background and presenting it as meta-entertainment.
Click here to keep reading this article from LA Times.