Iron Man 2 Soundtrack14.04.10 # Soundtrack # 44 Comments
Question: Do you like AC/DC?
If you answered ‘Yes’ then please proceed to Iron Man 2 soundtrack review A.
If you answered ‘No’ then please proceed to Iron Man 2 soundtrack review B.
If you answered with ‘Not really bothered’, ‘Don’t mind ‘em’, ‘Not sure’ or any other bit of obfuscating prevarication then just mash the two reviews together and fashion the happiest medium you can (and you should really try climbing off the fence. You will get ass splinters otherwise).
Iron Man 2 soundtrack review A: Simple yet effective. That was the modus operandi of the first Iron Man movie. While Spider-Man 3 got itself all snared up in its own ultra-tangled web of lame plotting, and The Incredible Hulk degenerated into a $200m version of ancient city-smashing coin-op Rampage, Jon Favreau’s take on how tycoon Tony Stark became tin-headed crusader Iron Man successfully breezed by on the boyish charms of Robert Downey Jr., some nifty effects work and an assuredly light tone.
Simple yet effective. That has been the modus operandi of AC/DC for a fistful of decades now. They may not be clever (shouldn’t Angus Young have made it through school already?), but they sure are big (though not literally in the case of lead singer Brian Johnson. Did you see him on Top Gear? Like a flat cap-wearing innermost Russian doll he was. He must’ve needed boxes on his feet to touch the car’s pedals, a la Short Round from Temple of Doom).
This simple yet effective pairing come together for Iron Man 2, with the soundtrack of the newest Marvel Comics blockbuster also doubling up as an unofficial Best Of for the rock royalty from down under. Rather than paying top dollar for a couple of the most killer AC/DC cuts and filling out the remainder of the record with a phalanx of second-rate soundalikes, Favreau and his Iron Man 2 collaborators instead deliver all the old classics (er, except You Shook Me All Night Long), with the likes of Highway to Hell sounding every bit as unassailably huge as ever.
There’s even space to sneak in a few lesser known numbers too, such as Cold Hearted Man (which is pretty much indistinguishable from all the really, really well-known stuff, but what the heck?). And who would have figured that the ’DC are Somerset Maugham fans, as indicated by the titling of The Razor’s Edge? So the Iron Man 2 soundtrack then – rocks like a mutha while simultaneously remaining duly respectful towards early 20th century English literary whizzes.
Iron Man 2 soundtrack review B: Rock bands being asked to soundtrack movies is not a trend that has either delivered a huge number of quality recordings or, fairly mercifully, ever taken off to any great extent. The suspicion must be that this is because rock bands spend less time honing their musical technique and songwriting craft than they do artfully styling their hair, seeing how much booze they can imbibe before any major internal organs go pop, and sticking things in portions of their impressionable fanbase.
This latter activity is something AC/DC devote quite a lot of lyrical time to, with opening track on the Iron Man 2 soundtrack Shoot to Thrill coming over like the kind of lecherous banter you might hear from a drunk at a wet T-shirt competition. Got my gun at the ready, gonna fire at will is the vertiginous height of cleverness to which the penile metaphors soar in that particular number.
The other topic the fret-mangling antipodeans tend to veer towards is a type of cod-Biblical/apocalyptic nonsense (Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation, Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be) which semi-mirrors the repetitive bombast of the accompanying music. Formulaic doesn’t quite do justice to the inert monolith of fist-pumping idiocy that is the career of AC/DC. The 15 tracks that constitute the Iron Man 2 soundtrack are less the sound of men making music than it is the noise of Neanderthals wandering round in the same aimless dazed circles, pausing only to pluck flies from one another’s armpits and greedily chew on the helpless bugs. This is a band whose iconography is defined by a grown man dressed as a schoolboy doing the duck walk. Who when they needed a new singer simply hired the guy who could bellow the most like the old, dead one.
Even if you salute the supposed stone cold classics here then there still remains the question of what is the point in putting them out again on a soundtrack to one of this year’s biggest movies? Are they really no newer bands, no fresher composing talents who would have been able to deliver something more worthwhile than a trillionth exhumation of Back in Black? Is there anyone out there who seriously wants to listen to Let There Be Rock who hasn’t already had every conceivable opportunity to wrap their lugholes around the little blighter? Maybe there is, but for the other 99.7% of the populace this Marvel-built monument to AC/DC is as pointlessly superfluous as Rhodey was in the first Iron Man movie.
Iron Man 2 Soundtrack (Songs) – Track List
1. Shoot to Thrill – AC/DC
2. Rock ‘N’ Roll Damnation – AC/DC
3. Guns for Hire – AC/DC
4. Cold Hearted Man – AC/DC
5. Back in Black – AC/DC
6. Thunderstruck – AC/DC
7. If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It) – AC/DC
8. Evil Walks – AC/DC
9. T.N.T. – AC/DC
10. Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be – AC/DC
11. Have a Drink on Me – AC/DC
12. The Razor’s Edge – AC/DC
13. Let There Be Rock – AC/DC
14. War Machine – AC/DC
15. Highway to Hell – AC/DC
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