Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2

The difference between this and Iron Man? The number 2 - simonconnolly

10 Points

Viewer Rating:simonconnolly has rated Iron Man 2 rating: 3 Star

When Iron Man was being made back in 2007/2008 it managed to stay somewhat under the radar. Then in the months leading to its release people started to get more excited due to a brilliant trailer and a lot of positive reviews. But I don't think anyone expected it to be as successful as it was in the box office with the film reeling in almost $100 million during its opening weekend in the U.S. and almost six times that much over its time in cinemas. And so it was pretty much a guarantee that Iron Man 2 would be soon to follow and now just 2 year later here it is. So how does Iron Man 2 measure up to its predecessor. Well its no better, no worse in my opinion

Iron Man 2 starts off a couple months on from where the first left off. Tony Stark has just revealed himself to the world as Iron Man and everyone now wants something from him. The media want his story, the government want his technology, Stark Industries wants him to do his job, Justin Hammer wants his status, Whiplash wants him dead and Pepper Potts just wants him. The start of the film sees Stark being handed a Subpoena to attend a Senate hearing about who should possess the suit. He convinces the Senate, or at least some of them that the suit cannot be duplicated and that he will continue to bring world peace with it. But at that very moments Ivan Vanko, who is grieving over his father Anton who Stark industries previously screwed over, is perfecting his own Arc Reactor which will transform him into Whiplash. Whiplash immediately tries to kill Stark, and fails but Justin Hammer enlists his help to create an army of Iron Man drones and become the new Tony Stark. This plan backfires when Vanko takes control and once again tries to kill Stark. So with the help of good friend Rhodes in the War Machine suit, Iron Man tries to get rid of Whiplash once and for all. But will he succeed? Well obviously yes, this is no Kick-Ass but it still makes for engaging stuff. Oh and a Nick Fury/Black Widow subplot is thrown in as a set up for The Avengers movie.

And that right there is my biggest complaint about this film. Favreau, for some reason has used his franchise to promote the upcoming Avengers film, a completely different franchise with which he has (to my knowledge) no involvement. And this is part of the reason why Iron Man 2 felt so much like a mere rehash of Iron Man. The majority of the time the first film is meant to get all the character introductions and all that out of the way. But here, possibly due to the upcoming Avengers film or Iron Man's new found status as a successful franchise a lot of big names came into the film. In fact there are more new characters in this film than there were in the first one. Justin Hammer, Whiplash, Black Widow, Nick Fury, Senator Stern are all added and all need to be introduced. After seeing the first I hoped Favreau got all introductions out of the way and the second could just be relentless, mindless action and violence. Sadly not. These new characters and the various subplots in which they feature ended up consuming a lot of the films runtime, which caused a noticeable lack of action. Action which comic book film sequels so desperately require.

But the film is by no means without any action as there is a lot of it to feast upon. The final battle scene which seemed to have two parts to it left me a little underwhelmed. There was a hugh build up to it and so I expected a lot more but it seemed to end far too quickly and as it turns out Whiplash wasn't too difficult to stop. But the earlier action scenes such as Black Widow taking out a bunch of goons, Stark and Rhodes going head to head with war suits and the Grand Prix Iron Man-Whiplash confrontation.

Fortunately the films cast are amazing and really help raise standards. Robert Downey Jr. now owns his role and seems much more comfortable with it. He is funnier, edgier, more vulnerable and has somehow made Tony Stark even more egotistical. Gwyneth Paltrow also returns and despite her constant nagging is even more likable, yet relatively underused. Don Cheadle, stepping into the boots of Terrence Howard who wanted more money, actually does far better than Howard did as Rhodes. He was far more convincing and after just a couple minutes I had forgotten he wasn't in the first as he played the part with complete conviction. Director Jon Favreau gives himself some more screen time, and he can more than handle it.

There are some new faces in the mix aswell. Sam Rockwell is one of these new faces and he really was a fantastic addition. He is pretty much bad guy Tony Stark, but if you saw last years Moon then you will know exactly how good an actor he is. He is charismatic, funny and ultimately narcissistic. Mickey Rourke, accent aside is entirely convincing as Whiplash and has everything you might want from a villain. He continues to defy his age and shows he is one tough man. Samuel L. Jackson starring in the first of many films as nick Fury is more or less the exact same as he usually is, in everything just without the 'mother-f**kers' and all other variations of this. And the last of the new, important cast members is Scarlett Johansson. Now before this film I never disputed that she was incredibly hot, but never corrected people who said she was a useless actress. With this display she hasn't convinced me she can act as she mostly just pouts, but proves she is hot. And the scene in which she kicks all kinds of ass is the very well choreographed and is perhaps the best action scene of the film.

So all in all Iron Man 2 , despite being a sequel has the exact same feel as structure as the original from which it lives. Favreau seems to have played it a little safe and hasn't taken any risks, and he shamefully let the studio behind this use the film as a set up for a completely different franchise. But luckily the action is spectacular despite being more unfrequent than I would've hoped, the cast are all outstanding and the story managed to remain clear despite there being a lot going on. And the soundtrack, dominated by AC/DC acts as the perfect background noise. If this film was just a little edgier and more of a departure from the first installment then it would get 4 stars but ultimately this is a great film which is more of the same old stuff and so as a sequel it gets three stars. A deserving three stars though.

Review published on the 04 May 2010 02:29

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Same old Same old; Whatever you opinions of the first, most likely will prevail for part 2 - 2xensemble

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