Iron Man 2

ironman2 poster

C

Directed By Jon Favreau
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Scarlett Johansson

The best part of Iron Man 2 was the trailer for Inception. That said, I didn’t hate the movie. Sequels always start off down 0-2 in the count. Expectations are high, especially high in the case of Iron Man 2. Some live up to that hype: The Dark Knight, Spiderman 2 and Hellboy 2. Some fail huge: Ghostbusters 2, Predator 2 and Jaws 2, to name a few. I think Iron Man 2 is somewhere in between; it’s not a failure, and certainly not a success.

The movie opens with Tony Stark about to leap from the back of a cargo plane for his grand entrance to the Stark Expo. (I was already confused. Iron Man flies easily, as fast and high as needed. Why does he need to launch himself from the back of a plane?) We can tell from the size and spectacle of the Expo, Iron Man is more popular than ever. But all is not well in Starkland. The palladium core that energizes Tony’s metal suit and his beating heart is slowly poisoning him.

Meanwhile, a new baddie is chasing down our hero. He’s the mad genius son of an ostracized former partner of Tony’s father. He’s Russian, so of course he swills vodka straight from the bottle and is named Ivan. Mickey Rourke wears his George Clinton-inspired hairdo and gold-capped teeth well and is one of the highlights of the film. Most of the acting is inspired. Robert Downey Jr. is again great as Tony. His charisma and ego shine and, for as unrelatable a character as Tony Stark is, the audience can still empathize with him. Sam Rockwell as competing weaponsmith Justin Hammer unravels on queue, sometimes a bit too much.

If you waited until the end of the credits after the first Iron Man, you were greeted by an eye-patched Sam Jackson as S.H.I.E.L.D. head honcho Nick Fury. He’s back and has a big part in one of the film’s more interesting subplots. These little cameos and storylines are preparing us for The Avengers in 2012, which I have high hopes for.

The prerequisite final battle is a combination of underwhelming explosions and blurry metal suits zipping by a stationary camera. Tony and Ivan eventually end up facing off in what looks like a leftover set from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

Where the CGI artists really outdid themselves was with Tony’s technology. The diagrams in his headquarters float effortlessly, stretching and bending with the flick of a wrist. Stark fluidly interacts with his screenless computers and makes John Anderton look like a toddler playing with wooden blocks.

Iron Man 2 is the same great actors, playing the same interesting characters. This time their jokes are less funny, their dialogue less engaging and they’re surrounded by explosions less spectacular. You won’t be disappointed to wait for the Blu-ray.

tags: avengers, don cheadle, gwyneth paltrow, iron man 2, jon favreau, robert downey jr., scarlett johansson

  • http://andrewstamm.com Spaceman Spiff

    What’d you think of Scar-Jo’s performance? I thought she was great in the action scenes but all of her dialogue just seemed so wooden… even for her. Still… hard to argue with her costume.

  • http://seankealey.net Noah Nickels

    I totally agree with you. She does a great job in Woody Allen’s films, but the spark she has in Scoop and Vicky Cristina doesn’t come across in IM2. Maybe they felt her character should be more subdued, but you’re right it does come across wooden.

  • http://andrewstamm.com Andrew

    I was also a little disappointed that her role as the Black Widow didn’t involve a Russian accent.

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