Iron Man 2
Directed by Jon Favreau
Starring Robert Downey Jr, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Jon Favreau, Gary Shandling, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.
Alright, when the first Iron Man came out two years ago, I was suitably blown away to see this Marvel character be given such a fantastic big screen treatment, even if it did succumb to a few cliches of the superhero genre. I was looking forward to the sequel with great gusto, but then something weird happened. I’ve been phenomenally disappointed with every movie I’ve seen so far this year, so I went into Iron Man 2 with greatly lowered expectations. Would it be worth those lowered expectations?
It’s been six months since Tony Stark stood before the world and said, “I am Iron Man.” And it’s been a stressful six months for Tony. The US Government is breathing down his neck, wanting Stark to turn the Iron Man armor over to the military. Without having turned it over, Stark created a new arms race for other companies to build armored suits…namely, Stark’s corporate rival, Justin Hammer. It turns out that the ARC Reactor — the glowy thing in his chest that keeps him alive — actually uses a toxic substance and is slowly killing him. The final straw comes when the villainous Ivan Vanko shows up, using technology exactly the same as Stark’s, claiming that Stark stole the inventions from his father and Vanko swears vengeance. Has it all become too much for Tony Stark to handle? Can he get his act together, cure his poisoning, and save the city from Vanko’s rampage?
What I Liked
I was completely shocked at how funny this movie is. Don’t worry, it doesn’t become all campy like 1960s Batman, but there are enough clever quips to really make you laugh. The action scenes are amazing…it truly is an impressive climax with armored suits mowing down giant robots. All of the actors bring their A-game to the table. And I know, with all the new characters and heroes and villains introduced, there was some worry that others would get overshadowed. But, I found a nice balance was struck. Oh, and John Debney’s score was a vast improvement over ol’ whats-his-name who did the music for the first film.
What I Didn’t Like
Well, just like the first film, it still falls victim to some of the cliches of the superhero genre. And, unlike other superhero sequels, like The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 2, it really doesn’t push things to the next level. It’s more content to just give us more of the same.
It’s a hell of a good ride, a very entertaining film. Not better than the first one, but truly on the same level as the first one.