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'Iron Man 2' Has Nearly the Same Thrust as the Original

  • May 31, 2010
The best asset of a superhero franchise is when any installment lacks hubris: either from its hero or from those who design it. When a superhero is thrust in such peril that the outcome is in question, and the usual assumption that the good guy always wins has to be drawn back to consciousness, you know the creators have assembled a great movie.

All the parts are intact: The trajectory is fun; the enemy is menacing; the dialog is witty and clever; and the story is cogent and clear--easy enough to understand, but detailed enough to be stimulating without overloading our efforts to suspend disbelief.

This time Iron Man [aka Tony Stark] (Downey Jr.) faces off with a Congressional committeeman, headed by Senator Stern (Chandling) who challenges his personal armored technology as dangerous and capable of escalating the arms race when brought to the wrong hands. Stark's snappy answers win the day, but his lack of concessions bring a headlong, prideful fall that sends him unraveling.

The Senator's witness, Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell)[another arms' dealer] doesn't take his defeat in stride. While showing off his prowess at auto race in Monaco, Stark faces his biggest challenge when an equally disgruntled Russian nemesis, Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) unveils his electrifying half-man, half-human hybrid imitation. From there Hammer builds an alliance with Vanko that makes inroads into the U.S. military, including with Stark's closest ally, Lt. Col James Rhodey (Cheadle).

Of course the trajectory of the movie doesn't work without the fun. A celebrated Iron Man must be chastened by all his handlers, including Pwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, his still wise-cracking assistant. New to the fray is Scarlett Johansson in a refreshing, make-over role as the attractive and lethal duo identity Natalie/Natasha. And while Stark's adolescent tendencies are not towed in line by both leading femme fatales, Cheadle and Jackson give able support.

This adventure does go to the edge of danger, but not enough to fully pay dirt. In some ways this isn't a five-star film for what I first thought were intangibles. My first inclination was to dock the movie for its overlong half-time exposition, but that's not really fair. An adventure movie that takes time out to think shouldn't be diminished, particularly when it delivers on the intelligence. It also helps that Iron Man has some health/toxicity issues, thickening the plot, even if it is a dropped opportunity to provide more tension.

The freshness and fun are just as apparent; it just comes down to the one factor I started out with at the beginning: Do you have to stop and wonder (while you're clinging to someone's hand [or your chair] and sitting at the edge of your seat) how this guy is going to get out of all the mess? What this sequel has going for it will propel it to at least two more sequels, but to have the cliffhanger feel of a sequel, like, say, 'Spider Man 2' is a bit of a stretch.

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August 16, 2010
Hi JP. Yes, that danged hubris will get you every time! You know movies are like a foreign language to me but I love reading your reviews, wherever I spot them. Keep it up...hey, do you make lists? like pretend I've never seen a movie and tell me what dozen I should see? I do that sometime with books, though I haven't for a long time.
August 14, 2010
Hello, TheJohn and Woopak, I appreciate you both taking the time to read and chime in and comment on my review. I thought this movie was a well-honed and entertaining sequel. It petered out in the second half, but had enough going for it to be an all-around good time. It wasn't as fresh or well-paced as the original, but I still think it's quite good. I'd give it 3 1/2 out of 4; the original I'd give 4/4. Respectfully, JP ;>)
August 14, 2010
I didn't think this was awful like a lot of others thought, but I will admit that it did need more action instead of looking at things that could be causing action (all the suits) and it's arc was weaker then the first. I don't think it was too plotted out and cluttered other then shoving the Avengers junk in here.
August 14, 2010
Thought this one was real flawed. I gave this a 3.5 star rating just because I wasn't bored with it. I guess Shellhead going real dark and real isn't going to happen in H-wood. Great review!
More Iron Man 2 reviews
review by . February 11, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** 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" …
review by . May 02, 2011
The first Iron Man is and will always be the better film, but Iron Man 2 is still a superbly entertaining, albeit somewhat uneven film tailor-made for the summer audience. It features strong action scenes, decent storytelling and naturally, a powerhouse performance from Robert Downey Jr. Again, I was never really interested in Iron Man until word of the Avengers movie (which is elaborated on in this movie) and now I definitely recognize them as two of the greatest superhero movies of all time. …
review by . May 07, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
3 ½ + Stars: Shellhead Gets a
   …well, not exactly, although “Iron Man 2” is definitely your Hollywood fare that relies on being loud, “spiffy”, brisk popcorn entertainment but it does do it well; its uninspired plot mechanics render this sequel a step backward. The first film (personally that was NOT the Tony Stark I remember) while not perfect had better plot development and didn’t rely on being “spiffy” too much but focused more on characterization. …
review by . May 09, 2010
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Superhero movies have a strange formula to them that, for the most part, has served it well for the past decade.  The first movie spends quite a bit of time on the origin of the hero and thus it's usually not quite as interesting as the first sequel.  Once we get to the first sequel we've passed the "how" someone became a hero and usually the "why," so the bigger focus is usually on a nemesis to the hero and perhaps digging a little deeper into the hero's own story, …
review by . May 09, 2010
Lacking in Iron
IRON MAN 2 Written by Justin Theroux Directed by Jon Favreau Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Dona Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke      Ivan Vanko: If you could make God bleed, people would cease to believe in him.      When the lights went down at the sold out opening night screening of IRON MAN 2 that I attended, there was a particular energy in the air.  It was that moment when you realize that what you’ve …
review by . May 07, 2010
Forgive the parlance, but I can't think of a better name for an irresponsible man who gets loaded, straps on a suit of destructive armor and starts using his laser beams to trick shoot fruit and vases in a crowded room full of people.  Tony may have seen the error of his ways in the first movie but with those troubles behind him theres plenty of room for his fast lifestyle and inner jerk to come out in this one.      Iron Man 2 is THE most anticipated Summer movie of …
review by . May 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Iron Man 2 takes off at a thounsand miles per hour and doesn't slow down.....
When "Iron Man" was released  in the early summer of 2008 it took the box-office and critics for a ride they would soon never forget, its huge critical and commercial success  and Robert Downey Jr.'s natural charm and appeal as the hero Tony Stark  landed this  larger than life comic book adaptation amongst the ranks  of greats such as Tim Burton's "Batman" and "Batman Returns", Christopher Nolan's "Batman reboot "Batman …
review by . May 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Sequels have a tendency to be on the mixed reaction of results. In the case of Marvel films (Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic 4, Hulk), it's a hit or miss. Regardless, we still love those comic book heroes in their adaptations. As with all comic book adaptations, they all loosely follow the comics per panel.      Iron Man 2 continues the origin story of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) as he continues to rise and protect the world from evil in his armor powered suit. Now that he has …
review by . March 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The United States government is now demanding of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) that he hand over his advanced armor technology to the military. Stark publically refuses in a fashion that gets him a lot of negative attention. Though one day Stark is attacked by a man named Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) who has technology of his own that might be on its way to being able to defeat Stark. Vanko now possibly has the technology to make a suit even stronger, and more advanced than Stark's. Meanwhile, …
review by . August 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Plenty of action. Plenty of drama, partying, flirting. But it lacked the heart of the first film (pardon the pun) and felt more choppy and predictable. There was one very satisfying relational moment, but other than that, I felt pretty indifferent and glad I didn’t hand over the moulah to see it in the theater. I’d suggest trying before buying.     
About the reviewer
John L. Peterson ()
Ranked #99
I am a substitute teacher who enjoysonline reviewing. Skiing is my favorite pastime; weight training and health are my obsessions;and music and movies feed my psyche. Books are a treasure and a pleasure … 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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