Monday, May 10, 2010

Iron Man 2 Review

Iron Man 2 is the perfect way to kick off the summer movie season which, surprisingly, is something I didn't anticipate. Why? I was worried they would ruin the sequel by adding too many extra characters - ahem, Spider Man 3, X-Men 3. However, director Jon Favreau takes the reins yet again to prove you can add more heroes and villains without losing sight of what made its predecessor a such a mega hit. I feel Iron Man 2 is just as good at the first.

The original Iron Man introduced us to the playboy billionaire Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and how through a cruel twist of fate, became the heroic Iron Man. This second film (like most sequels) didn't need to deliver a back story, thus can leap right into the story.

There's great humor without copy-catting the jokes in the the first movie. Downey is of course his charming best, surrounded by a great cast. Pepper Potts, (Gwyneth Paltrow) is given a much more meaty role this time around and it's fun to watch as she goes from quite and meek to boss lady, taking the corporate world - and Tony - by the balls as a powerful woman in control. Scarlett Johansson is sassy and beautiful and is a real hellcat in fight scenes. It's a different side of Johansson and one that fits her well. Mickey Rourke is tremendous as Whiplash. They say he doesn't know what Iron Man 2 is about, but he did read his part and totally got into playing his role flawlessly. I don't think anyone could have played that role any better. Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) is a slimy businessman and in a way you kind of feel sorry for the guy who always places second to Tony Stark. And then there's the new James 'Rhodey' Rhodes, Don Cheadle. He had the unenviable task of taking over for another actor (Terrence Howard) and handles the pressure with real grace.

What really sets Iron Man 2 apart from its predecessor is Favreau's handling of action scenes this time around. The CGI is in a whole other league, and overall the action sequences are less stagey-looking and more fitting of a huge-budgeted superhero film.

Iron Man 2 is an incredibly fun joy-ride. From Whiplash's fabulous electrical whips to Johansson kicking multiple butts, it's no wonder the movie made an estimated $133,600,000 opening weekend. It's a perfect balance of great action, a little drama and humor. I feel it more than lived up to my expectations. Don't forget to stick around through the credits for a special bonus scene.

What did you think?


The Scottie said...

This was an all-out awesome movie, and the bouns scene was much, much better than the first.

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