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Shoot to thrill. That's what "Iron Man 2" aims to do, and in doing so it is a success.

  • Feb 11, 2011
*** out of ****

The sequel to Jon Favreau's near-perfect "Iron Man" turns out to be pretty darn good, mostly thanks to the directorial talents of Mr. Favreau himself. Since it's nigh impossible to make a sequel to "Iron Man" and make it nearly as impressive and refreshing as the original film, Favreau decides to use what he's got. And he presents "Iron Man 2", in all its star-studded, CGI-happy glory, in the most passionate way possible. If you've heard that "Iron Man 2" isn't as good as its predecessor, then you've heard right. "Iron Man 2" is most certainly no "Iron Man", but it's entertaining in its own little ways. First off, not much has changed since "Iron Man" in terms of the bad-ass scale. Here is a director putting special effects and big stars to good use; and in the end, I tried as hard as I could to admire Favreau's latest. And what do you know; I actually liked the thing quite a bit. While not as intellectually radical as "Iron Man", "Iron Man 2" is still action-packed enough, well-acted enough, and all-around good enough to strike me as pretty damn impressive. The film essentially runs on coolness for its two hour run-time, and it never quite runs out. If you can get past the fact that the story isn't quite as involving in comparison to the first film, then "Iron Man 2" will take you for yet another good ride, courtesy of Favreau and of course, the always endearing Robert Downey Jr, who doesn't really add any more charm to his Tony Stark character, but then again he never takes from it either. Neither Downey nor Favreau have lost their grip on the ability to make a film like this work, and punchy directing as well as masterfully staged action scenes make "Iron Man 2" a must-see for all action/comic book fans. There's a good chance that a couple good fans of the "Iron Man" comic will be pissed due to some of the major plot changes, but to me these things are perhaps more minor than they should be. They're flaws for sure, but who really cares when you've got such an entertaining film on your hands? This isn't art; like "Iron Man". This is just entertainment, and damn good entertainment; from the looks of it. I think it's nearly meaningless to protest; this film is entertaining. And while it's less awesome than "Iron Man", it's just as cool on a technical level. It's fun to look at, and it packs enough humor and thrills to keep a guy like me entertained. I liked it in that strange, boyish way. It's a good thing that there's still a "boy" within me.

Tony Stark revealed his double-identity to the world at the end of "Iron Man", and "Iron Man 2" sees everyone's favorite "one-man-army" dealing with the consequences of the public. People are getting interested in the Iron Man "weapon", but Tony refuses to give it up for anything. On top of that, he's got a Russian stalker named Ivan. This angry Russian unexpectedly attacks Tony on a race-track, but is ultimately imprisoned. Or is he? Nope, wrong. He's not. Yet another new character intends on "using" Ivan's powers for his own malicious greed. Thus, he releases the guy from prison and sends him to work. Meanwhile, Tony has a new employee who might not be who they think she is, and his best friend has now stolen the Iron Man weapon and handed it over to the same guy that's got Ivan working on his new robotic army. So the plot essentially shifts from one going-on to another; with several little side plots (one of which being Tony's current health endangerment) along the way. It's not as good of a story as the one in "Iron Man", but luckily we've got good direction and genuine awesomeness to make up for that. I will admit that plot-wise, "Iron Man 2" can be pretty shallow. That's virtually its only flaw aside from some plot elements which just don't work as well as they should. Plus, there were moments when I though the film didn't need certain stuff. But most of the stuff fits wherever it may be; therefore rendering the film very much watchable. I actually enjoyed myself. I believe that depending on how much you liked "Iron Man", your opinions on the sequel will vary. Some might hate it, some just might not enjoy it, and then some, like me, will enjoy themselves. It's easy to kill a few brain-cells with this piece of work, and for the sake of entertainment, I say it's worth a good watch. There's plenty of ass-kicking involved; as long as you can find them hidden beneath the fractured story-telling.

Robert Downey Jr. once again makes Tony Start a funny and smart character; a cleverly written persona which only Downey could inhabit. It's almost as if the part was written for Downey and Downey alone; since I don't imagine it would have worked so well if it wasn't for his performance. Downey's performance in its own isn't as memorable as it was in "Iron Man", but that's only because I wasn't expecting that kind of sucker punch to the face, at least not the first time around. With that being said, I still liked watching Downey get into character; and I think he's going to take this role to whatever heights he intends on taking it to. Meanwhile, Gwyneth Paltrow is as good as ever, and Terrence Howard has since been replaced by Don Cheadle; who in his own way is an even more talented actor. The new actors include Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, and Samuel L. Jackson. The new cast is certainly appealing, but I don't think its right to call the majority of them "great". Most of the performances feel a bit character-less, and even though each character has a history and a personality, very few of them are all that interesting. But at least a good cast sells; and in this case, it doesn't stop the movie from being good.

Jon Favreau is a multi-talented director; being the director of both "Iron Man" and "Zathura". Both movies are good in their own little way, and "Iron Man 2" sort of fits right in there. It's not as good as "Iron Man", since that film breathed new air into what I believe to be a currently failing genre; the superhero movie. But maybe "Iron Man" is not a superhero movie. It's a comic book movie for sure; but the genius of the first film was that it didn't feel like one. It felt like a film. And that's what I loved about it. Luckily, "Iron Man 2" feels like a film as well, and never lets is awesome technical qualities outweigh its craft. Favreau has pulled off a successful sequel; full of thrills and visual coolness. I will be criticized for calling the film cool, but in many ways, that is what it is. But it's cool in a good way; meaning that it never lets its "coolness" control the film. Not completely. "Iron Man 2" is one of the best action films of 2010; let alone, one of the only good ones. Favreau seems to know what he's promising, and he knows even better how to deliver it. I expected great action and good acting. I got just that. "Iron Man 2" does indeed impress; it just doesn't surprise enough to be a great movie. None the less, it's a popcorn flick; and a damn good one too. Combined with solid cinematography, cool CGI, and a kick-ass AC/DC soundtrack; "Iron Man 2" is a movie/comic book nerd's kind of joint. And it's my kind of joint as well. Which is what I happen to admire about it.

Many people think that every movie out nowadays is laden with clichés and explosions. "Iron Man" was a great film for not only its craft; but its wide appeal. "Iron Man 2" is a film for the same reasons; it's just a little less "great". Still, I thought it was pretty darn good. Many people criticize the film since they're a bunch of whiny, annoying fan-boys who can't just sit down and enjoy a film like this. They can't experience it as it wants to be experienced; see it as it wants to be seen. You don't need to think much in "Iron Man 2". In fact, I advise you not to think. It's meant for stupid, but entertaining fun. And my goodness, what fun it is! I do know those who don't like this film, but liked "Iron Man". I put myself in their position since it's easy to do; and only then can I express the same kind of disappointment that they do. I know that its unfaithfulness to the comic will upset some, and I know that its lack of true intellectual enlightenment will disappoint some seriously smart people. But "Iron Man 2", being a typical Hollywood sequel, is not meant to be absorbed. If there's a reason to see it, then it's because it exists, and it delivers a lot of fun. Well, at least enough fun to make the two hours it requires worthwhile. Far from perfect, but good enough for me. I recommend "Iron Man 2"; warts and all.

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May 07, 2011
Great review as always, I liked this one as well.
February 11, 2011
pretty entertaining review as always, Ryan! Thank you for putting this in our community!!
February 12, 2011
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Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #3
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie


Iron Man 2 is a 2010 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name from Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures. It is the sequel to 2008's Iron Man, and the second film in a planned trilogy.  Directed by Jon Favreau, the film stars Robert Downey Jr., reprising his role as Tony Stark.

Tony Stark has revealed his identity as Iron Man and is resisting calls by the United States Government to hand over the technology. Ivan Vanko has also duplicated the technology and built weapons of his own, creating new challenges for Stark.

The film held its red carpet premiere in Los Angeles, California, on April 26, 2010 and in France on April 28, 2010. It was released in the United States on May 7, 2010.

After the high-flying adventures of the firstIron Manpicture, the billionaire arms manufacturer and irrepressible bon vivant Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) finds himself nursing a hangover. But not like any hangover he's had before: this one is toxic, a potentially deadly condition resulting from heavy metals (or something) bleeding out of the hardware he's installed in the middle of his chest. This is the problem Stark needs to solve inIron Man 2, not to mention the threat from resentful Russian science whiz Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), whose father helped create the Iron Man technology. There's an even bigger problem for the film: the need to set up a future Marvel Comics movie universe in which a variety of veteran ...
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Director: Jon Favreau
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: May 7th, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Studio: Marvel Studios, Paramount Pictures
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