Movie Review: Iron Man 2

Robert Downey Jr. is back with a bang as Tony Stark in Iron Man 2. In tow are Don Cheadle as Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes / War Machine, Scarlett Johansson as Natalie Rushman / Natasha Romanoff, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer, Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko (Whiplash), Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson, John Slattery as Howard Stark, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan (also the director it Iron Man 2), Paul Bettany as Jarvis (voice), Kate Mara as U.S. Marshal, Leslie Bibb as Christine Everhart, Garry Shandling as Senator Stern, Christiane Amanpour as herself.

Director Jon Favreau does a good job of showing a dying Stark who decides to have a little fun as the US Govt. wants to take the Iron Man suit from him for national security. The device in his chest, meant to purify the metal in his bloodstream is keeping up with the contamination level in his bloodstream and Stark is running out of replacement ‘cores’ for the device. While Stark is having fun, a Russian, Ivan Vanko is plotting revenge to avenge the wrongs done to his father by Stark Industries.

The casting of Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko could not have been better. He is the perfect counter-balance to Stark’s larger than life ego. The scene in the beginning of the movie where Vanko cuts Stark to size is one of the coolest scenes in the movie. Rourke plays the perfect bad-ass villain and looks menacing with tattoos, metal teeth, confident evil laughter and of course, the energy whips.

Both Stark and Vanko are shown to be highly intelligent and innovative. Vanko’s character has been shown very nicely and at one point I even felt that its Stark who is the villain as Vanko was merely trying to avenge the wrongdoings done to his father. Unlike bad-ass characters in other movies, Vanko had a purpose where as in the middle of the movie, Stark almost loses it.

As far as the “WOW” effect goes, Iron Man (2008) was certainly more impressive.  In Iron man 2, Stark’s character is more evolved. The flamboyance shown by Tony Stark in the 2nd movie is used more like a mask to hide his true feelings from Pepper Potts and from the rest of the world. The chemistry between Stark and Potts is awesome which makes their banter that much more enjoyable. The difference between Scarlett and Gwyneth is – the former is a star, the latter an actress. While Gwyneth can easily act like a star, Scarlett has a long way to go before she shines as an actress. Till then she can be content with being eye candy.

While many are gushing over the leather clad Scarlett as Natasha Romanoff, she didn’t quite do it for me. She was quite unbelievable in the suit, and I don’t mean that in a complimentary way. As far as leather clad babes go, her character in Iron Man 2 ranks wayyy after Rhona Mitra (Doomsday and Rise of the Lycans), Trinity (Matrix), Kate Beckinsale (Underworld Evolution), Jennifer Garner (Elektra) – all clad in a leather body suit and Mila Jovovich (Resident Evil series). Ms Johansson needs to get a lot more dirtier and tough to impress me. In this movie, ScarJo’s  ‘too perfect’ sexiness works against her character in the movie.

So far the Iron man series has better made movies than the Spiderman series, but it is not as good as the new Batman movies. Somewhere in between. It’s tough to produce a good act. It is tougher to follow it. Iron Man 2 maintains the momentum. Its exciting, its fun, its innovative. Watch it for RDJ, Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow and the direction of Jon Favreau. Watch it for heart pounding action sequences of fights choreographed to the superb music by AC/DC. My rating – 7.5/10.

Watched it already… Did you like it?

All pics from http://www.comicbookmovie.com/iron_man/iron_man_2/pictures/

No, I did not forget about Samuel L. Jackson. Its just that I felt his precence was somewhat unwanted in the movie. Chop off those scenes and Iron Man 2 is shortened by a good 10-15 minutes. Perhaps Marvel is trying to run a common thread in all its superhero movies, but really, it is seems quite unnecessary and superfluous to the actual story unless, there is a movie on the agency monitoring the superheroes, a la Watchmen.

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  1. angel
    May 23, 2010 at 07:44

    I want to see this movie…but only after june 6th 🙂 2 more weeks..yay

    • May 23, 2010 at 11:27

      i think u’ll like it. and i’m curious …. why the timeline…?

  2. Ava
    May 21, 2010 at 07:53

    I missed this movie. Kiddo has seen it already and loved it. Sigh..

    • May 22, 2010 at 11:23

      hmmmm… you shd try and catch this one… its fun! RDJ is superb in his delivery and the chemistry b/w him and Gwyneth is worth watching… although in some scenes she does seem more like his mother than like his GF with all the bickering 😀

  3. Spike
    May 21, 2010 at 06:47

    If you thought this was slow, you will also find the 1st part a bit of a drag in certain places, Anupama. Even i thought it could have been shorter by a 15 minutes, but then it risks being too much of action squeezed together. That being said, so far the Iron man series have been better made movies than the Spiderman series, but it is not as good as the new Batman movies. Somewhere in between.

  4. May 20, 2010 at 14:15

    I haven’t seen Ironman 1 but even so I thought this part was slow by itself but enjoyable on the whole. And yes, Scarlett Johansson needs work before she can pull off a mean machine character like that. Right now she just ends up looking like a PYT brought onto the screen for obvious reasons.

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