ROBERT DOWNEY JR   GWENYTH PALTROW   MICKEY ROURKE  

SCARLETT JOHANSSON   SAMUEL L. JACKSON   SAM ROCKWELL

IRON MAN 2

 

            Some might call the delivery of Iron Man 2 overkill as far as preparation for The Avengers movie which is scheduled to hit theaters in 2012. Marvel’s undertaking of combining all these characters, actors, and storylines into one gigantic film unlike anything we have seen before is almost mind blowing to comprehend. As much fun and success as the first Iron Man film had there seemed to be enough going for this film to spit out another one before The Avengers movie or the other forthcoming superhero films (i.e. Captain America, Thor, etc). Downey Jr revives what was so good about the first film, along with Paltrow and other great additional characters. Director and co-star Jon Favreau again manages to orchestrate an appreciate amount of good storytelling with popcorn pop culture sequences.

            The American military is demanding Tony Stark (Downey Jr) turn over his Iron Man design to be used to strengthen the country against foreign attacks. As he resists making public his design, a Russian physicist Ivan Vanko (Rourke) challenges Stark to a deathly duel proving that technology will soon provide Iron Man with a considerable adversary. As his industry, friendship with newly appointed CEO Pepper Potts (Paltrow) and strength begin to decline Stark must create a new element to replace his dilapidated palladium device. Nick Furry (Jackson) also returns to recruit Stark for his top secret “boys club” placing his spy The Black Widow (Johansson) to assist Iron Man.

            The key to any comic book film adaptation is always first and foremost to please the fans. Where critics can be divided and sway in any other genre of film, when it comes to fan ruled films like this they often times underestimate the love behind these projects. Iron Man 2 lacks the authenticity of the first film which felt solid and iron clad both in writing and film making. Like most sequels the script weaves in and out of staying true to the original vision and promoting The Avengers (yes you need to stay after the credits roll once again). However all the hints, little references and “easter eggs” just fuel the fire for comic book geek fans that live for this stuff.

            I think Oscar nominated Rourke is an admirable and unique villain for Iron Man; with no rehearsals until they first meet on screen, Rourke’s method acting seemed to work well in this role. Overall I think Jeff Bridges was still a better and more powerful Iron Man villain. Some of the film’s best moments are the dialogue between Oscar winner Paltrow and nominee Downey Jr. I particularly enjoyed the scene where Stark and Ivan have their first bout with a screaming, hysterical Potts inches away in a peeled Rolls Royce making the scene more intimate, dynamic and authentic (unlike the latter scene where it’s just a bunch of bullets and CGI). Johansson gets to strut her stuff in one really terrific breaking and entering sequence that is well worth the price of admission.

            Final Thought – As fun as the first, less authentic and fascinating.

 

Grade B

By: Dustin Chase W.

Editor: Jennifer Gih