Iron Man 2
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Robert Downey Jr. returns as billionaire Tony Stark in this thrilling sequel to the worldwide blockbuster. Now that his Super Hero secret has been revealed, Tony's life is more intense than ever. Everyone wants in on the Iron Man technology, whether for power or profit... but for Ivan Vanko ("Whiplash"), it's revenge! tony must once again suit up and face his most dangerous enemy yet, but not without a few new allies of his own. Co-starring Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Scarlett Johansson, IRON MAN 2 is "Spectacular!" (Lee Thomas, Fox 2 Detroit)
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IRON MAN 2 was as good as it gets for superhero movies. It is a well-built story using characters and situations dating back to the 1960's. (Hence the nice addition of Tony Stark's dad in filmstrip sequences). The rivalry between him and a cold war Russian inventor plays out a generation later between Tony and the inventor's son, a character known as Whiplash (but never actually called that in the movie). I have to say the writing was top-notch and the characters excellently portrayed. For any armchair psychologists out there, the child-rearing theory of nature vs. nurture surfaces in Whiplash' origin. The young boy grew up in a climate of hate, and well, this is what happens. OK, getting too deep, more on the fun stuff...
Paltrow as Virginia "Pepper" Potts, the director as "Happy" Hogan, and Rockwell as Justin Hammer all did a great job. Mickey Rourke dialed it down a notch and was superb. You will get some laughs from Favreau, functioning mostly as a chauffeur. Adding in the Black Widow (Scarlett Johanson) was a stroke of genius. Her fight sequence deserved applause! A nice touch: her decorative belt rings (first seen in Spiderman issue #86, 1970) became her weapons. Very cool!
This film is great fun, balancing character development, science (best invention - Hammer's "Ex-wife" missile), thrills, politics and laughs. Highly recommended.
Robert Downey Jr. suits his role perfectly. His Tony Stark is egotistical and narcissistic, but still has a playful sense of humor and a powerful desire to do good in the world. These qualities don't often go together, but Downey brings them all to Stark in a believable way. I'd pay to watch an entire movie of him sitting by himself--he's that good.
Gwyneth Paltrow reprises her role of Pepper Potts, who's a dedicated, hard-working woman trying to manage both Tony and his company, but slowly being driven mad by the stress of it.
Don Cheadle steps into the role of Lt. Col. Rhodes, and it isn't one of Cheadle's best. Terrence Howard played a perfect Rhodes in the first movie--dedicated to the military, but also to his friend Tony, forever putting up with his shenanigans--even standing at attention for three hours on Tony's aircraft. In this movie, Cheadle just doesn't seem believable as a military man. In the Congressional hearing, both the Senators and Stark just overpower him verbally, and there just isn't the same level of playful banter between Downey and Cheadle as there was between Downey and Howard. (No "Spring Break 1987" jokes here.)
Overall, Iron Man 2 is very much worth watching. It's just not as good as the first.
I think it's very hard to do a good super hero story as the basic story is so well known. I would think you would want to add a twist to make it different from the comics but still be true to the well-known storyline.
The first Iron Man was great - didn't care too much for the last 3 minutes but otherwise almost a perfect 10. This one was a definite step-down but when you're stepping down from near perfection you're still very, very good.
They have taken, to me, a minor-major hero and made him a top-notch hero along with Spiderman! To do this take a deft hand.
Picture was superb on my 46 inch LCD. Sound was great! Plot was good - not as good as the 1st but still pretty good. It was nice to see the characters develop over time. Action scenes were way above average (unlike Man of Steel which did the same thing over and over and ....).
DVD arrived quickly in perfect shape at a super price.
I recommend this - 8.5 to 9.0 out of 10. I would give this 4.5 stars out of 5.