Iron Man 2

15 Jul

Title: Iron Man 2
Year: 2010
Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: Justin Theroux, based on the comic book by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jon Favreau, John Slattery, Gary Shandling, Paul Bettany, Clark Gregg
MPAA Rating: PG-13, sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some language
Runtime: 124 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 73%

On April 29th I went to the 10.30 showing of Iron Man 2, excited I was getting to see it a whole week before it came out in the U.S. and excited because it really was one of the films I was the most anxious to see this whole year, because, after all, the first Iron Man had been a super cool movie, had started the comeback trail for Robert Downey Jr. and had proven to be not only seriously fun, but also seriously good. Now, while the sequel is still quite good, especially if you like your action sequences by the ton, it’s not as great as the first one was, maybe because we’ve seen it before and it doesn’t feel as fresh, maybe because Terrence Howard was better in the Rhodey role, I don’t know, but still, this one delivers as a great action blockbuster, and I liked it.

What’s especially good about this one, as it was in the first one, is Mr. Downey Jr., he really is a terrific actor, and as Tony Stark more than as Iron Man in this one he makes this one go, superhero films don’t necessarily need good performances, but when they have them it means you’ll remember them, and you will definitely remember him in this one. As we knew from the end of the last film, Tony Stark came out of the superhero closet and told the world he was Iron Man, and this film starts where it left off, and Tony is cockier than ever, and Downey kills it in that scene at his court date, and he kills it when Tony’s alone as well, because Tony Stark is dying in this one, and that’s Iron Man’s kryptonite, his heart is about to go off.

Gwyneth Paltrow returns as Pepper Potts, and I’m a huge fan of Ms. Paltrow (or Mrs. Martin, whichever you prefer), and I really like her in this franchise as well, and her character is running Stark Industries now, and she is running Stark Expo where we see the celebrity Iron Man has acquired, and where we meet the second villain we have, who would be Justin Hammer, another mogul who’s Stark’s rival and wants to build an army of Iron Men to bring him down, the first villain we saw was Senator Stern, whom we met in the aforementioned court scene, who wants to pressure Tony into making Iron Man available for the Department of Defense. Our third and final rival would be Ivan Vanko, the Mickey Rourke character who is a Russian and has a personal vendetta against Tony’s father and is recruited by Hammer, those two, Rockwell and Rourke, give pretty solid performances, not Oscar-worthy or Downey-like, but solid performances because they do what the role requires them to do, and they do it extremely well.

On the good side we have Nick Fury, the character Marvel has signed Samuel L. Jackson to play on nine films, and he is featured more prominently in this one as the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. and we also have Black Widow, played by an extremely sexy Scarlett Johansson, and of course Rhodey, the controversial role in the film because Terrence Howard, the actor who played in the first was replaced by Don Cheadle, the actor transition is smooth though, but as you may be thinking just by reading this review, this seems to be an awful lot of characters, bad and good.

And that to me was the bad thing about Iron Man 2, not the excess of action, because this is an action movie, plus the CGI was remarkably great, but the fact that there were so many characters and each one of them with their own little subplot (Russian tough life, business envy, superhero supergroup) made it hard to cram it up all into one film without losing stuff, and it lost a bit of substance, the script is as good as it could be considering that amount of characters, Justin Theroux was recommended to Favreau after he worked with Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder, and the direction is pretty damn solid in this one, too.

But this is an incredibly well-done sequel, and one can’t really expect all superhero sequels to be The Dark Knight, in fact, one can’t expect any film, superhero-themed or not, sequel or not, to be that film because it’s just too damn good, but still, this is a great sequel, it provides everything it should, and people will definitely knock it down because it’s not as great as the first one, but it has good direction and a still unbelievably cool and sublime Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role.

Grade: B+


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