Iron Man 2 (PG-13) ★★★★

This is Film Entertainment At Its Best!

Robert Downy Jr. is back as Tony Stark, and his outed alias Iron Man; the comic book character that left audiences yearning for more. Not only is there more of the flamboyant billionaire womanizer Tony Stark, but there is also more of the shiny red and gold sleek steel suit of Iron Man. The new film directed yet again by Jon Favreau has more characters, more non-stop action, and a smart/funny script that will keep you entertained for the ‘roller coster’ duration of the film. Iron Man 2 stands up to the first film and in many ways, surpasses it.

For starters, casting Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko, the Russian scientist, aka ex-con, is brilliant. Everything about this villain is realistic and true. Rourke is chilling to view on screen and introduced early in the film surprisingly even before the title frame. The addition of Scarlett Johansson as Natalie Rushman/Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, adds the perfect tension between Pepper (Tony’s Assistant), Gwyneth Paltrow, and Tony Stark. A new arch rival comes into play as Justin Hammer, a weapons hungry guy is played well by Sam Rockwell. Don Cheadle as Lt. Col. “Rhodey” is great as always. Samuel L. Jackson also appears as the patched-eye Nick Fury who is Iron Man’s ally; a leader of a mysterious crime fighting agency called S.H.I.E.L.D.

Robert Downy Jr. is the main draw here. He owns this character and pulls it off with devilish delight. He’s enhanced Tony Stark, giving him more depth and believability. We are introduced to Tony’s father through old vintage footage that reminds you of Walt Disney when he spoke to audiences in the 60s. Clearly the writers are developing Stark’s character and giving us more insight into his make-up. Great addition.

AC/DC rock and roll music also blares as Iron Man is flying through the city and off fighting crime. I’m a huge fan of this group so of course I’m going to be bias as the pulsating beats and rhythm enhanced the film for this reviewer.

Tony Stark does have a monumental problem as his blood toxicity is effected by the power that keeps him alive. Yet again, we view Stark in his lab creating a new life source that will hopefully mitigate his problem. One favorite scene in the original Iron Man film is in the cave when Tony works to construct the Iron Man suit; observing Tony at work is the creme de la creme as these scenes are Downy’s best. His character’s nuances and personality are totally exposed in these moments when he’s entrenched in his work. His current work, is a matter of life and death and the way he goes after it is brilliant! Tony’s intellect and problem solving skills are on display for all to view and that is why no one could pull off Tony Stark’s character to the degree that Downey has.

The script is fast-paced and funny! Very enjoyable and entertaining. Again Downy’s quick wit and quirky attitude are front and center. 

The gold toothed, greasy-haired, tattooed Russian villain played by Rourke is chilling. He’s another actor that owns his roles as (The Wrestler 2008) was one of his best performances to date. His scenes with the lightening whips for hands are terrifying and exciting at the same time. He’s quite the match for Iron Man, and boy is he angry as he spent 15 years in a Russian prison all because to Tony’s father.

The visual effects are memorable especially the Monaco Grad Prix scene. Just the right amount, but not over-bearing.

Bottom-line: Iron Man 2 is my kind of film. Entertaining from start to finish, great comical scenes, characters that are fun, bad language at a minimum and my favorite actor Robert Downy Jr. 

* Iron Man (2008) was my favorite film for that year so you know where I’m coming from.

Sarah Adamson © May 2010