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Iron Man 2

May 10, 2010

Iron Man 2

The second installment of Iron Man took to the screen this past weekend raking in $133 mil nationally.  It keeps in the style of the first one with a lot of great action sequences.  The second installment doesn’t live up to the story of the first one, but Robert Downey Jr. just throws the film on his shoulders and carries it with an amazing performance as Tony Stark/Iron Man.

The story starts with Ivan Vanko and his father watching the television and seeing Tony Stark’s speech declaring that he is, indeed, Iron Man.  Vanko knows all at Stark Industries because his father had worked there before getting sent back to Russia during the Cold War for being a traitor.  His father dies, and Vanko starts planning his revenge on Tony.  Tony, at the same time, is enjoying his life and gives Stark Industries to Pepper Potts for his own reasons.  He lives up his playboy lifestyle including making a sham out of a senate hearing and ruining the day for his rival, Justin Hammer.  Things start to go wrong at the Monaco Grand Prix when Vanko attacks Stark as he is driving in it.  Vanko is captured, but Hammer breaks him out of prison to make a suit to rival Iron Man.  With Natalie Rushman, Stark’s new assistant helping Nick Fury keep an eye on him,Tony has to go after Vanko and keep the US Government from screwing with his Iron Man suit, which Vanko has tampered with.  Things go crazy as Hammer unveils the his drones and the Iron Man suit that Rhodey has borrowed.

The acting in this film is really good.  Robert Downey Jr.is just an amazing Tony Stark as I’ve previously said.  His Iron Man is pretty good too, but he really shines as Tony Stark, that cocky attitude.  In this installment, he does have more cares then in the previous film (or at least most of the previous film), but Downey Jr. does a great job filling in all of those.  Mickey Rourke plays the bad guy in Vanko.  His Russian accent isn’t the greatest, but he comes across as crazy and sadistic.  With the tattoos and teeth like they are is just creepy and playing two Stark hating people, with Justin Hammer, off against each other is just great.  Sam Rockwell, Justin Hammer in the film, just comes off as grimy.  He transitions into the role really well, and you hate him on the screen and that is a good thing because that is what they are trying to do.  Scarlett Johansson plays Natalie Rushman, and normally I’m not a fan of her, but as a red head in this film, she is much more attractive.  Her acting is even decent in this role, and I think that people have tended to overrate her acting ability.  Don Cheadle takes over to Terrance Howard as Rhodey, and they do a good job of poking fun at the change with his first lines in the film.  Cheadle, while being a better actor, doesn’t fit quite as well as Howard who is just a little more light hearted as compared to Cheadle who is more serious.  Gwyneth Paltrow does a good job again as Pepper Potts, and while her performance might be a little bit better in the first film, it is still very good.  Samuel L Jackson takes on Nick Fury for a couple of scenes, and I thought he was good, and I look forward to more of him with the Avengers.

Visually Jon Favreau does a great job again.  The action scenes are shot pretty clearly and there is only one long sequence, but they are very good.  The story isn’t quite as strong as the first one, with a couple of minor plot holes, but it comes together quite well  and the speed that the story moves means that it doesn’t dwell on the few holes like it could have.

Hopefully there will be another Iron Man film after the first Avengers film, it seems likely with how much money it is making.  They are a lot of fun and they blend some seriousness with crazy super hero action.  It helps that this series is based a bit better in reality.  Getting the combination of Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. is great and it would be well worth seeing more films.

Entertainment Grade: A-

Critical Grade: B

Overall Grade: B+

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