Review: Iron Man 2

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Genre: Action/Superhero
Directed by: Jon Favreau
Staring: Robert Downey Jr, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Samuel L. Jackson
Released:

THE GENERAL IDEA

With the world now aware of his dual life as the armored superhero Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from the government, the press, and the public to share his technology with the military. Unwilling to let go of his invention, Stark, along with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) at his side, must forge new alliances — and confront powerful enemies.

THE GOOD

Everything that was good about the first one? Still here. This is more of the same, but in a good way. RDJ is still Tony Stark, with all the snappy banter and compulsive rambling of a scattered genius mind. He also struggles with a certain subplot and it works SO well. RDJ is such an amazing actor.

Don Cheadle stepped up and proved to be a better military type than Howard was. I don’t miss Howard at all.

Mickey Rourke? Whiplash is awesome. He is a great villain, and driven by his sense of revenge on Stark. How he gets his hands on the tech is part of the subplot and I won’t spoil it. I am glad they went that way with him. Oh, and I wish I had the post over a year ago when we talked about how Whiplash could be a worthy foe against Iron Man despite his exposed fleshy parts. He proves more than formidable. Then in the climax he steps it up a notch.

The Action was way better in this one, but it is supposed to. The first was an origin story with a small sampling of action and combat at the end. Iron Monger was’t the best battle, but it worked. There is a TON of action in this one.

Scarlett’s introduction as the Black Widow. Day-yum!! Holy crap is that girl so hot – ahem – I mean she is an attractive and capable combatant that doesn’t over exaggerate her physical form. Much of the action is as eyecatching as her outfit, and most of her combat moves involve flips and throws that use her opponent’s momentum and weight against them. She’s not taking out 200lb men with a jab. Its amazing to watch and worth her presence. She’s not in the movie that much, but its appropriate to plug her role in the Avengers. Oh, she doesn’t talk with a Russian accent. It’s still ok.

THE BAD

There were a few things that bugged me. While Tony proved in the first film that piloting the Iron Man suit is fairly intuitive, they make a point that getting INTO the suit is a production in itself. So when Rhodey hops into the MarkII armour (apparently this is “next time”) I was surprised that it took mere seconds. Furthermore, its been clear that Tony’s “heart” power cell is what gives the suit its juice, but the MarkII is just laying around with a spare already mounted in it? And when Tony realizes the answer to a subplot problem is to create something that cannot be created, he just goes ahead and does it. Impossible gadgets I can deal with. Creating a new element? My disbelief got a bit too suspended.

There were other nitpicks, but most of them involve spoilers. Just that they gloss over details that were so important in the first film as trivial now just bugs me.

Justin Hammer is a terrible enemy. He is a cartoon character of a spineless man. Spineless would be fine, but how this weasle was ever successful at anything is beyond me. At least if Tony’s rival DESERVED the power he weilds, then he would be a worthy foe. But Hammer is a joke.

OVERALL

Fun to look at, and a great ride worthy of Iron Man.

On a side note for the Easter Egg hunters. We got to see Stan Lee in a glimpse as Larry King and he really looks the part, but he wasn’t as big a cameo as I thought he was going to be. I predicted Stark being a guest on his show, but maybe Stan the Man couldn’t act like Larry as much as he looked like him. As for Oliva Munn’s mysterious cameo? Munn herself reported that her more improv original cameo was reshot and she was now going to play a named Marvel Character – she’s not. She plays a TV Personality reporting on a media event. Boo. Agent Coulson gets re-assigned to New Mexico in the middle of the film and it plays a part in a pretty nifty Stinger at the end of the credits. I didn’t catch any Ten Rings references.

I give Iron Man 2 a 7 out of 10

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