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The Man behind the Iron Mask...
on May 12, 2010
Behind the armored suits and superb special effects, Iron Man 2 is a tough story of a fall from grace and redemption. Director Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. (reprising Tony Stark/Iron Man) dare to give the man behind the iron mask a mission besides saving the world: saving himself, with a little help from unexpected friends.
As the story begins, Tony Stark faces the consequences of revealing his Iron Man identity. The government and a rival arms inventor (an over-the-top Sam Rockwell) want the suit; a revenge-seeking Russian physicist (a perfectly cast Mickey Rourke) is after Tony; and Tony himself is being poisoned by the miniature nuclear reactor that keeps him alive. Tony slowly self-destructs, wrecking his business, his relationships with long-suffering personal assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Air Force buddy Rhodey (Don Cheadle), and finally his status as Iron Man.
At rock bottom, Tony gets a hand up from Colonel Nick Fury of SHIELD (a nicely restrained Samuel L. Jackson). Fury provides Tony with a means, and a motivation, to work out his own salvation. En route to a smashing finale, Tony gets a key assist from Fury's undercover contact inside Stark Industries. As enigmatic SHIELD agent Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson is "all that" in a form-fitting unitard; her thrilling hallway fight sequence might have been the centerpiece of a movie with less visual firepower.
"Iron Man 2" is very highly recommended to fans of the franchise as an excellent sequel. There are hints the next sequel may be an "Avengers" movie.