Movie Review: Iron Man 2

Hi all!

Was I excited by the fact that Favreau and Downey Jr. were at it again with the next installment of the Iron Man movie franchise? Of course I was! It’s been two long years since we last saw old Shell Head kick some butt on the big screen. Worldwide Iron Man made about $600 million and I know I contributed to that by seeing it in the theater a couple of times and buying the DVD…

So how was Iron Man 2? Well, I’m sorry to say that it was good, but not great and definitely not as good as the first one for me. Was it still entertaining? You bet! I expect it to beat the first one in terms of ticket sales hands down.

[rating:3/4]

As most of you know (unless you were hiding in a cave a couple of years ago), Iron Man ended with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) announcing to the world that he is Iron Man and the suit isn’t simply a bodyguard. Though most of the world was pleased with this, it turns out (surprise, surprise) that not everybody is a fan. The sequel picks up about six months after the first one ended.

The gang is back – Stark/Iron Man (Downey Jr.), Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and Happy Hogan (director Jon Favreau)… And there are some new faces. Jim Rhodes (now played by Don Cheadle who picks up where Terrence Howard left off), Natalie/Natasha/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson, who surprised me in this role in a good way), Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell in a beautifully over the top performance), and Ivan Vanko/Whiplash (Mickey Rourke, who stole the show when on screen)…

It took a while for this film to get going for me. But once it gets going, there’s no turning back. The main players – Downey, Jr., Jackson, Cheadle, and Rourke dominated the screen in every scene. I was happy to see Favreau back as Hogan in a meatier role and Scarlett was stunning as the Black Widow. If there was a surprise in the film for me, it was her.

The whole Cheadle vs. Howard debate never really happened for me. I like Cheadle. He brings a solid presence to the role of Rhodey that I never really felt with Howard. But I did I think Paltrow was lacking in this one a bit. Somehow she never gained that witty exchange between Potts and Stark and whenever she was in a scene it was a bit of a buzzkill for me.

Once the action starts going – from the scenes during the race in Monaco to the explosive finale – it seriously grabs your attention and only lets up a bit here and there. At least that’s how it felt to me.

I know Iron Man 2 has had some mixed reviews. And my opinion is mixed as well, but I enjoyed it, will see it again, and will purchase the DVD when it’s released. A solid 3 out of 4 stars for me. So I think it’s definitely worth seeing. The only debate now is whether to see it in IMAX or on the regular screen the next time I want to see it!

What did you think? Leave me a comment with your review below!

–Fitz

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