Iron Man 2 – Review
Checked out Iron Man 2 today and I honestly think there are people out there who thought it might actually be bad. Was it? Nope! Iron Man 2 takes everything that made the first one successful and builds on it. Very rarely does a sequel match it’s predecessor, but I think if you strip away the awe and sheer wonder of the original (the origin story), Iron Man 2 is definately riding the same wave. My only real problem with this sequel is that it plays in very familiar waters when compared to the first film… story wise. If there’s gonna be a third film (and there will be), Stark/Iron Man has to face something other than further iterations of the combat suit.
Giving himself more screen time as Happy Hogan, Jon Favreau once again proves he can direct the hell out of a comic book franchise. As Raimi with his first two Spiderman movies (the third was a studio misfire out of Raimi’s control), Favreau shows a love and respect for the characters in the Marvel Universe. His ability to direct action and fight sequences is almost artful. The first encounter with Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) is just flat out incredible (my geek was dangerously close to bursting out of the closet), and although the story slows down in the middle, I never felt bored. A few opening reviews I read commented on the film suffering from the “Spiderman 3 syndrome”… too many characters at the cost of story… I didn’t find this. It may ride dangerously close at times, but it never really steps over the line. The introduction of the Black Widow doesn’t seem forced, and the character is not over used. There are a couple of easter egg references, but with The Avengers building up, that’s to be expected. Overall everything fit very well into its 2 hour runtime. Make sure you stay until after the credits for another Avengers lead up.
Performances are top notch, Robert Downey Jr once again proving that he IS Iron Man. His on-screen chemistry with Gwyneth Paltow is perfectly lined with charm and sarcasm. Don Cheadle stepping in as Rhodey, to me, was seamless, bringing a deeper character to the table. Scarlett Johansson is actually quite good in the role as Black Widow. Her fight scenes although very limited are very well choreographed and satisfying. Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell both deliver great scenes and some highly memorable moments in the film. Rourke’s Russian accent is flawless. On the other hand though, I almost completely missed Olivia Munn’s cameo as Chess Roberts (I don’t even think it was a minute in length). I mean c’mon, the way she talked prior to the film being released, you’d think she got an upgrade from the role she actually played…. but when the dust settles it could have gone either way… and its far better to be safe than sorry.
Bottom line, Iron Man 2 is every bit as enjoyable as the first and continues to hold the bar high for the other Avengers related movies.