Iron Man 2 (2010)
Directed by: Jon Favreau Rated: PG-13 Runtime: 2 hrs. 4 mins.
Studio: Paramount Pictures/Marvel Studios Screenwriter: Justin Theroux
Based on: ‘Iron Man’ comic by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Don Heck, Larry Lieber
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Micky Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jon Favreau, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, Scarlet Johansson, Greg Clark,
Iron Man 2 picks up six months from where the first one left off. Here Tony (Downey) must deal with the downside to coming out as Iron Man. His company, health, and reputation are suffering, and through all that, some heavy choices and discoveries happen.
The main question that’s asked, ‘is the Iron Man suit a weapon?’ If so, should it just be handed over to the government? This question is one of the main conflicts. The idea/fear is that not just anyone should build such a device; just because they can. That’s logical from a legal perspective; people can’t make explosives at home and use them. Or a nuke, if one was resourceful and intelligent enough. For Tony, it’s more-it’s also keeping him alive, so he argues. And yet, it’s the device in his chest that does that, not the suit. Still, it’s proprietary. He created it. Tony’s grandstanding and ego aside.
Mix the above with the lifetime grudge Ivan Vanko (Rourke) has for the Stark family, and the story begins to take shape. On his own, Ivan’s character and mission could never hold up as a plot. However, when Justin Hammer (Rockwell) joins the party, things fall into place. Yeah, Hammer is like that guy that shows up and tries to fit in but never quite does. Still, his desperate efforts and use of Ivan’s hatred tie in effortlessly with the government’s issues with Tony Stark as Iron Man. The merging of the subplots is clean, logical, and drives the story forward.
Iron Man and many of the components of the film also move forward seamlessly because of the CGI. The costumes, flying, explosions, race sequence, and fight scenes all add to the film but don’t overpower it. It’s balanced.
Agent Coulson (Clark), Happy Hogan (Favreau), and the voice of JARVIS (Bettany) all return for their respective roles. Other new additions are Nick Fury (Jackson), Natasha Romanoff (Johansson), and Lt. Col. Rhodes was recast with Don Cheadle. Everyone has more of a role in this film, and they execute their characters very well. It’s always nice to see character growth (development) with established characters.
Rourke’s performance is forgettable, but his character is meant to be. Ivan’s merely a plot device to further Tony’s journey and nothing more.
Hammer has always been a cast-off, a joke in the comics. Hammer tech is the two-star rated company you settle for because the best-rated ones are out of stock/back-ordered, and you can’t wait. Sam Rockwell really does a suburb job of bringing his character from page to screen.
A real treat is watching Natasha Romanoff (Johansson) bust some ass-kicking moves on a group of security personnel. In this film, the audience gets a glimpse that theres’ more to her than she lets on. Her character is instantly one you want to see more of.
RDJ continues to shape the character of Tony Stark/Iron Man in a performance that never disappoints.
Iron Man 2 is a good sequel and is a staging ground for many stories and characters to come. The film is worth a place on your watchlist for a fun watch with a good story and engaging characters. Be sure to stick around for the end credit scenes.
—a pen lady