Superhero movies and sequels go together these days as much as superhero movies and cgi. Given the success of the original Iron Man, a sequel was all but inevitable. Despite having the same director and most of the same cast, Iron Man 2 is disappointing.

Six months after the events of the first movie, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is enjoying the spotlight, single-handedly bringing about world peace, and loved by the public. Unfortunately, radiation from Stark's artificial heart is slowly killing him. Russian criminal Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) has created powerful electric whips, and business rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) wants to undermine Stark Industries.

Every hero needs friends and allies. Petter Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) is back as the concerned aide who is made C.E.O. of Stark Industries. Lt. Col. "Rhodey" Rhodes (Don Cheadle, replacing Terrence Howard from the first movie) is the responsible friend who will become War Machine. Director Jon Favreau steps in front of the camera as chauffer Happy Hogan. And, foreshadowing the eventual Avengers movie, there are appearances by Nick Fury (Sameul L. Jackson) and martial artist-super spy Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson).

The characters in Iron Man 2 are very one-dimensional, from all the people asking Tony Stark innumerable variations of "Are you alright?" to Justin Hammer as a ineffectual, unpopular copy of Stark's success. Robert Downey Jr. is still good in the role, but here he has less room for growth and discovery than in the first movie. And for an action flick, there are numerous stretches of this movie that are pretty boring. Iron Man 2 isn't terrible but it's not all that enjoyable either.

Overall grade: C-
Reviewed by James Lynch

1 comment:

Chad Cloman said...

I agree with much of the review, but have a few comments:

It's not an artificial heart -- it's an "arc reactor" that he uses, among other things, to power an electromagnet that prevents metal shards in his body from reaching his heart and killing him.

It wasn't radiation that was hurting Stark; rather, he was being poisoned by the Palladium he was using to fuel his arc reactor.

According to the promotional 7-11 cup that I purchased, Mickey Rourke's character is known as Whiplash. Wikipedia, however, says he's a combination of Whiplash/Blacklash and the Crimson Dynamo.

Scarlett Johansson's character is also known as Black Widow.

I would characterize this movie as "more of the same but not as good." I still liked it and would give it more of a B- rating.