Let me begin by saying this, in my life I am blessed with a really awesome wife. Not only is she a wonderful cook, mother and house-keeper, she also enjoys movies based on comic books almost as much as I do. When X-men Origins:Wolverine came out she was right there waiting in line with me. The Dark Knight?….yep…she was waiting in that insanely long line at the Galaxy cinemas Guelph that wrapped all the way around the side of the building, almost as eager to see this movie as I was. So when my birthday rolled around on May 11th, it was a no brainer that we were going to see Iron Man 2 as part of the celebration (after a really yummy steak dinner of course, a man has to eat right?)
I am going to keep spoilers to a minimum, but let me start by saying this, Iron Man 2 is an extremely solid second offering in the series. I love comic book sequels because you don’t need all the back story and character development, just jump right in to the story. Buckle up, it’s going to be a good one. Starring the always wonderful Robert Downey Jr as our hero, supported again by Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts and Director Jon Favreau pulling double duty as Stark’s driver Happy Hogan. New to the series this time around is Don Cheadle, replacing Terrance Howard as Rhodey, Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, Mickey Rourke as Ivan “Whiplash” Vanko, and Sam Rockwell as foil for RDJ, Justin Hammer.
Now a lot of reviews I have read have been a little negative, citing too many characters and too many subplots as a detrement to the movie. Obviously these reviewers have never been comic book readers. The Marvel Universe is all about lots of characters, subplots, hidden agendas, etc. That’s what make Marvel superior to DC (save for the Batman Franchise which is positively Marvel-esque in its depth of plot and Character library) The use of secondary characters to build to something greater is a huge part of this movie and, in this humble reviewer’s opinion, totally awesome.
You have the whole buildup to the upcoming Avengers Movie with appearance of Sam L Jackson reprising his role as Nick Fury, and the use of some clever imagery in one scene to foreshadow the upcoming Captain America Movie. I’m not going to go into spoilers here but, fellow geeks, the scene is classic and you will all know what I’m talking about when you watch this movie. But, back to the review of the actual movie.
Plot is Solid, showing Tony battling his own ego as well as blood poisoning from his chest implant. Not to mention that he has basically failed to do what he always does, find the solution, when he is unable to find a replacement for the chest piece that is slowly killing him. The introduction of fellow weapons designer Justin Hammer played by Sam Rockwell, who always plays the part of slimy arsehole to perfection, as a foil/wannabe to RDJ’s Tony Stark make the plot even thicker. Top that off with Rourke’s Ivan Vanko, revenge-driven son to Stark Sr’s former partner, and brilliant mind in his own right as the newest “Super-Villian” and you have yourself a story worthy of any of the Marvel books.
Cast’s performances are again, up to snuff, with RDJ playing the lead to perfection, Cheadle is good as Rhodey, although I think I may have liked Terrance Howard’s version better. Scarlett is awesome in her role (not to mention Drop Dead Gorgeous) And Paltrow is, well I’ve never really cared for her as an actress…but she’s fine I suppose. The return of a lot of familiar faces from the first film used both as plot devices and as humor points are very well done.
To Sum Up…I loved this movie…an excellent sequel, but stands well on it’s own.