Iron Man 2
Rated – PG-13
Directed by Jon Favreau
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke
Iron Man 2 picks up right where the first concluded, the pleasures and consequences of Tony Stark confessing to the world that he is Iron Man. In Russia, villain Ivan Vanko is building up a suit to rival and destroy Iron Man. His father just passed away and his madness is heighten with the notion he has nothing to lose (except his bird).
Meanwhile, Tony Stark is exploiting his insane popularity and power at his Stark Expo. Even though he has won the world over with his crime-fighting metal suit, he has some very powerful people concerned. He has to face a Senate committee hearing to decide if his suits should be taken away and given to the military. Also, Stark’s billionaire rival, Justin Hammer, is trying to compete with Stark’s advanced technology.
The film is overwhelmed with a lot of conflicts and I haven’t even mentioned the worst one yet: Stark is dying from being poisoned from the core reactor that’s keeping him alive. Now that’s irony for you.
With all of these problems for Stark, he’s found sulking for a large portion on screen, which is not the Tony Stark that we all loved in the first film. I guess we should excuse him a bit though, right? He’s dying, everyone’s telling him to shape up, the government and military are attacking him, and there’s a crazy Russian trying to kill him. We should really cut him some slack, but he’s a super hero!
Mickey Rourke makes a nasty villain in Vanko and his electrical whips that cuts automobiles into pieces. And Rockwell as Hammer was an enjoyment every time he was in a scene. He’s hated because he’s such a douche, but at the same time he provided as many laughs as Tony Stark did with half the screen time. Oh, and newly appointed CEO Pepper Potts played by Paltrow was as lovely as always, even though her role was significantly decreased from the first film. Finally, the sexy expert in hand-to-hand combat, Natasha Romanoff (Johansson) held her own in this crowded and talented cast.
Overall, I found this film to be very entertaining from start to finish. No, it wasn’t as good as the original, but it succeeded in an area that a lot of franchises failed: the sequel didn’t suck. The battle scenes dazzled the audience with its explosions and advanced weaponry, but it lacked one that was memorable.
The cast all served its purpose during this quick-paced, convoluted with information screenplay, written by Justin Theroux. The inclusion of S.H.I.E.L.D. was good to see, even though if Nick Fury was just there to help Stark get over his daddy issues. But this is just a stepping stone to the highly anticipated Avengers film in the future.
There is more than enough to enjoy during Iron Man 2. The most critical of viewers expected a more confined and focused storyline, cutting out a lot of the subplots nonsense. While that would’ve made for a stronger film, I still felt Iron Man 2 lived up to its expectations by being a solid two-hour sequel with a good blend of action and comedy.