Iron Man 2 – Movie Review

The summer movie season has begun and what better way to kick off the season than with Iron Man 2. As with most sequels there are either two ways that they can go: completely fail or succeed their predecessor. Iron man 2 doesn’t surpass Iron Man, but it doesn’t fail either. The movie continues with character development, introduces new characters and reminds us why Robert Downey Jr. is perfect for this role.

The movie starts off continuing from the end of Iron Man with Tony Stark revealing that he is Iron Man. As this scene plays off on a television in Russia we see Anton Vanko calling for his son Ivan, Mickey Rourke, and tells him that he should have been the one on the television. We are then shown Ivan with a blueprint for the Arc Reactor with both the names of Anton Vanko and Tony’s father, Howard Stark. As he starts planning his revenge and making his own reactor the movie flashes forward to six months later.

When we are re-introduced to Tony Stark he is flying into the Stark Expo and “not” bragging about what he has done for the world with the Iron Man suit. All of Tony’s cockiness and arrogance of the first film are present, but this time they are turned up a notch because Tony is hiding a secret, the arc reactor he is wearing is slowly killing him. Not only is he dealing with his impending death, but the Government wants the suit and a weapons manufacturer Justin Hammer, played magnificently by Sam Rockwell, who I’ll talk about later, is trying to duplicate the armor. These are the major plot points of the movie and they are all given to the audience within the first fifteen minutes

What is great about the new characters that are introduced in the movie is that they all have some sort of purpose and are not just thrown into the movie, “cough, Venom cough”. Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash is not just a villain who appears out of nowhere. He is trying to prove to the world that Iron Man in not invincible and show Tony Stark that his family stole the idea of the Arc Reactor.

Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer steals many of the scenes that he is in. Hammer is like that kid that always wanted to be cool, but no one ever took him serious, even now that he is rich no one takes him serious. Sam Rockwell, who is mainly known for a lot of independent films and I’ve been a fan of ever since I saw him in Galaxy Quest, will hopefully be introduced to the mainstream audience with his role here. His main goal is to outdo Tony and show that he can reproduce the Iron Man armor and make it better than Tony’s suit. He later combines his resources with Whiplash’s ingenuity and they create drones that rival the Iron Man suit.

Then there is Scarlett Johansson’s Natalie Rushman aka Black Widow. Due to Pepper Potts, Gwyneth Paltrow, promotion to CEO of Stark Industries, Rushman becomes her replacement and takes over the babysitting duties that Pepper once held. We later learn about her true intentions and when she goes into action it’s something to behold. I personally would like to see a Black Widow movie, only if it’s done right.

Some of the characters returning from the original movie are Nick Fury, Samuel Jackson, who has a bigger role this time around and not just a cameo. James Rhodes’, Don Cheadle, character is put into a hard position when choosing between his allegiance with his friend and the government that wants the suit. There is an interesting showdown between the two friends during Tony’s birthday party that kind of hints at the “Demon in a Bottle” storyline, but it’s also an eye opening experience for Tony. Agent Coulson, Clark Gregg, also makes an appearance and puts Tony in his place in one key scene. Be sure to stick around after the credits for Agent Coulson to makes a big reveal of what’s to come.

Iron Man 2 continues expanding the world of Tony Stark and keeps teasing us with the upcoming Avengers movie. There are mentions of the Avengers, Hulk, it seems this movie takes place before the Hulk movie, and a very funny moment involving Captain America’s shield. There are a lot of funny moments in the movie that do not take away from the action that takes place.
That’s my only gripe with the movie is that there is not that much Iron Man in the movie. The suit is only worn a few times, but maybe I just wanted more. Don’t get me wrong, I think the movie is a lot of fun, and the third act doesn’t fall flat like in the previous movie, but I just wanted a little more. The action scenes are incredible, but when Iron Man and War Machine team up, it’s well worth the wait. The new trick Iron Man uses during the battle with the drones will make you geek out with excitement and want to see him do it again.

Iron Man 2 is a great ride and an excellent continuation of the Iron Man story. It didn’t go as dark as I thought it would, but it did show the duality of Tony Stark and how he got to become the man he is. The new characters are a great addition to the story and feel more like main characters instead of supporting characters. Jon Favreau continues to show that he is making a movie with the fans in mind and it shows on the screen. There is no doubt that this movie is going to be a hit this weekend and I can’t wait to see it again. Iron Man 2 has something for everyone and it definitely leaves you wanting more at the end.

3 1/2 four sided dice out of 4

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