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Movie Review: Iron Man 2

May 7, 2010

Iron Man 2 – A Paramount Pictures’ Release

http://ironmanmovie.marvel.com/

Release Date: May 7th, 2010

Rated PG for violence, language may offend

Running time: 125 minutes

Jon Favreau (dir.)

Justin Theroux (screenplay)

Stan Lee (Marvel comic book)

Don Heck (Marvel comic book)

Larry Lieber (Marvel comic book)

Jack Kirby (Marvel comic book)

John Debney (music)

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark

Don Cheadle as Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes

Scarlett Johansson as Natalie Rushman / Natasha Romanoff

Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts

Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer

Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, with his amazingly cool computers, in Iron Man 2

Our reviews below:

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Iron Man 2 Review By John C.

*** (out of 4)

Although Iron Man 2 lacks the gritty realism that I loved so much about the 4-star first one, it’s still a lot of fun.  This new installment is shinier and has the tone of a very good summer blockbuster, rather than the powerful anti-war message of the first Iron Man, but like Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) himself, it’s brilliantly good at entertaining an audience for just over 2 hours.

This sequel picks up shortly after the first film left off.  Tony Stark has changed his views on weapons manufacturing, and supplied the closest to world peace that the U.S. has ever known.  He has upgraded his assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) to CEO, and now has a mysterious new secretary named Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johnason).  But there’s one problem: the government wants the Iron Man suit and Tony Stark has to deal with sleazy weapons dealer, Justin Hammer (played with crazy amusement by Sam Rockwell).  Mickey Rourke plays Ivan Vanko, who is the villain this time around, and it would take more than a staple gun to shut him down.

Yes, there are a lot of characters to keep track of, but each actor gets a chance to shine.  Although the film doesn’t really have any iconic images like in the first one when Iron Man walked towards the screen in slow motion as Black Sabbath played on the soundtrack and a tank blew up in the background, this sequel rocks to AC/DC, boasting awesome special effects and thrilling action sequences.  The technology is advanced, but still believable, and Tony Stark’s computer program of holograms and touch screens is visually stunning and totally impressive.  But it is still by and large Robert Downey Jr.’s excellent performance that makes this film a winner.

Is this sequel worth your eleven bucks?  Sure.  Especially when seen on the big screen with a big group of people, the way these blockbusters are meant to be seen.  Iron Man 2 is purely enjoyable from start to finish, and really just a lot of fun.  Oh, and make sure you stay right to the end of the credits, for a special sneak peak at an upcoming Marvel film.

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Iron Man 2 Review by Erin V.

***3/4 (out of 4)

Two years ago, Iron Man was released to rave reviews.  Personally?  4 stars.  Whenever that happens the question of a sequel is; does it equal, or surpass, it’s predecessor?  In this case, not quite.  While the critical success of the first is probably causing somewhat tougher reviews here, on it’s own – inevitable comparisons aside – Iron Man 2 is a really good superhero movie.

In this installment, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has new problems to confront.  Ever since revealing he’s Iron Man, the US government is pressuring him to give them the suit.  Meanwhile, he’s trying to fix his chest piece, since chemicals from the mini reactor are slowly poisoning him.  We see more of Stark’s inner struggles in this film, such as alcoholism, and how the mask he wears he tries to figuratively extend to hide his challenges and feelings as well.  To alleviate some of the pressure, he appoints his assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) as the new CEO of Stark Industries.  And ‘Rhodey’ (Don Cheadle) finally gets to power up as War Machine…

If that isn’t enough, a man called Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) shows up as Whiplash – a powerful nemesis to Iron Man.  Along with tech company head Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), he plans on taking down Stark Industries.  We’re also shown more of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers storylines, with Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, and Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow.

But how does it compare to the first?  Well, Iron Man had less of a comic book feel – and it worked there.  It was very much a film about war, weapons dealing, and Stark’s push into a 180° turn about this.  It still stands as one of the best superhero movies ever made, and a great film besides.

In contrast, Iron Man 2, plays out more comedically at times.  Lots more fun banter between Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr., etc.  It does have a seriousness too though, and with all of the storylines, I was pleased how well it flowed.  The action scenes are well done – and there are more of them here, since Iron Man interestingly only had a one real comic-book-type fight at the end.  And the more advanced technology of Stark’s computer here is not only amazing, but really, really cool.  I love how Downey Jr. interacts with the (added in afterward) CGI screens.  And his new ‘suitcase armour’ is great.

The impeccable casting really makes these films work.  I could picture none other than Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role.  He’s perfect for it.  The only casting change here was of Stark’s friend Lt. Col. James Rhodes, played here by Don Cheadle, replacing Terrance Howard.  And he plays the part well.

Simply, Iron Man 2 has a good script, and is a great film to kick off the summer blockbuster season.  With the amount in here, it could have been a mess, but it’s not.  Though not quite up to the first, it’s definitely a good film, a lot of fun, and worth seeing on the big screen.  I really liked it.

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Iron Man 2 Review By Nicole

***1/2 (out of 4)

Iron Man is back in a fun sequel that brings in more characters and lots of witty dialogue.  Robert Downey Jr. is funny as conceited superhero Tony Stark/Iron Man.  Mickey Rourke is also good as Whiplash/Ivan Vanko, a Russian villain whose father’s business with Tony Stark’s father has given him unauthorized access to Stark technology, which Vanko uses to create electric whips and evil droids.  Meanwhile, Tony Stark battles a personal demon, as the batteries to his prosthetic heart are leaking toxins into his blood.  Afraid that he could die, Tony hands Stark Industries over to his assistant, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).

Iron Man 2 has a lot of really cool scenes, including a battle between Whiplash and Iron Man at a Grande Prix race.  Also, Stark’s old friend, Lt. Col. Jim “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) takes on a role as War Machine after borrowing one of Tony Stark’s iron suits.  A hilarious moment occurs when Tony Stark, after getting drunk at a party, gets into a fight with War Machine.  The two later engage in an exciting battle with Vanko’s droids in a conservatory.

With cool visuals, a stellar cast and great lines, Iron Man 2 is a fun movie that is worth seeing.  While not quite as serious a story as the first, this is a fun comic book adventure.

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Iron Man 2 Review By Maureen

***1/2 (out of 4)

Iron Man 2 is a whole lot of comic book fun.  Billionaire Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is back as Iron Man with his shiny red suit.  Stark is still his wonderfully eccentric and narcissistic self.  Stark Industries is still throwing flashy corporate expos and Tony Stark still has his loyal assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) to keep him organized and out of trouble.

What’s different this time is that Stark/Iron Man is literally running out of time due to blood poisoning from the rare-metals in his mechanical heart.  Also, a revenge seeking Russian physicist, Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) seeks out Stark to right the wrong he feels Stark’s father did to his own father many years ago.  Fortunately Stark’s old pal, Lt. Col. Jim Rhodes (played this time by Don Cheadle) and his new legal assistant Natalie (Scarlett Johanson) are there to help him battle Whiplash/Ivan Vanko and sleazy weapons manufacturer Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell).

There are so many fun and exciting action scenes in this movie.  There are also all kinds of really cool computer hologram devices and of course the Iron Man suits and droids are amazing.  What makes Iron Man 2 especially entertaining is the witty dialogue and of course Robert Downey Jr.’s wonderful portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man.

While not quite as well made as the original movie, Iron Man 2 delivers an action-packed, totally entertaining two hours.  Make sure to stay through the entire closing credits.

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Iron Man 2 Review By Tony

*** (out of 4)

Iron Man 2 is a good sequel continuing the franchise with a new challenge to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) coming not from within his own company but from Senator Stern’s (Garry Shandling) committee in cahoots with rival Hammer Industries, run by the sleazy Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell).  Hammer recruits Russian genius Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) to build an army of Iron Man clones. Vanko is avenging his father who had fallen out with Tony Stark’s father Howard (John Slattery).

Don Cheadle replaces Terrence Howard as Col. Rhodes, still trying to keep his job while looking out for Stark.  Samuel L. Jackson, seen by almost no one after the credits of the first film as the head of SHIELD Nick Fury, plays a more important role here, as does Stark’s new executive assistant Natalie (Scarlett Johansson) following the promotion of Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) to CEO.  The suspense is heightened by Stark’s race against time to find a replacement for the radioactive palladium in his heart reactor that is slowly killing him as it keeps him alive.

Lacking the novelty of the original, the sequel could not help suffer by comparison, but is still very entertaining.  The use of the old 1964/65 New York World’s Fair site for the Stark Expo brought back memories of my own visit 45 years ago.  The film clip of Howard Stark describing plans for a utopian community was an obvious reenactment of Walt Disney’s own promotional film for a project that he didn’t live to complete, and the closing credits (following AC/DC’s Highway to Hell) completed the Disney homage with a Sherman brothers song.  After the credits the handful of people left in the theatre are treated to a glimpse of the next installment.

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Consensus: While it doesn’t have the same grit as the first installment, Iron Man 2 is still a lot of fun, and a great way to kick off the summer blockbuster season. ***1/2 (Out of 4)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 15, 2010 10:55 am

    Thought it was Ok to say the least. Check out my review here: http://dtmmr.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/iron-man-2-2010/

    Like

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