Iron Man 2 (2010)
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has let the power of Iron Man go to his head. The government wants the prototype for the military to fight other countries with the same technology, yet Stark knows that no one is even close to getting the arch-reactor up and running. Tony is right about this until a single man named Ivan (Mickey Rourke) shows up at a car race with his own reactor. Stark takes him down, but not before Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), a military weapons expert working against Stark, assigns Ivan to make robots with the Stark Technology in order to prove Tony wrong. Tony goes into a downward spiral and Tony’s friend James Rhodes has no choice but to turn a prototype over to the government. It isn’t until Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) come to Stark with visions from Tony’s father that Iron Man can truly take down Hammer and Ivan.
Although it might not be as fresh and charming as the first Iron Man, Iron Man 2 sees a new set of characters as it tries to be bigger than the first. Terrence Howard departs as James Rhodes and Don Cheadle fills the role. Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke are big Hollywood names that add to the depth this time around. Gwyneth Paltrow and director Jon Favearu have much bigger roles than in the first and add most of the comedic relief (that already isn’t provided by Downey Jr.) My only beef with the movie is it felt like I was watching the first movie over again. The bad guy again is after Tony due to something his father did, and everyone is wearing armor suits. In the other comic book movies, all the villains have their own characteristics and identities and the bad guys in Iron Man just feel uninspired. Having said that, Iron Man 2 is a worthy sequel to the Marvel universe, but unlike X-Men 2 and Spider-man 2, it doesn’t elevate the franchise.
8/10 Stars – Not a great as the first, but a worthy and entertaining sequel.
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