Movie Review - Iron Man 2
I reviewed Iron Man when it came out, and I basically liked it a lot. I was really looking forward to this sequel, as much for the movie itself as to see how it set up the rest of the upcoming Avengers movies. The highlight of the film, like the first one, is not the CGI, the effects, the explosions. Rather, it is the portrayal of Tony Stark by Robert Downey, Jr.
It's refreshing, in a way, to see that Tony hasn't changed much between films. So many "scoundrel" superheros are completely goody-two-shoes by the sequel. Here, we see the continued evolution of the frat-boy-esque Stark, still the narcissistic, uncontrollable scoundrel. Instead of the formulaic angst-filled superhero, suffering under the burden of his abilities and responsibilities, (I'm looking at you, Batman) we find a hero who fights for the right to have fun slapping bad guys around.
The story moves along a little quicker than the original, but is also somewhat fragmented, as if they were trying to pull a lot of pieces together. It also falls into the typical sequel trap of multiple villains. And while Sam Rockwell's portrayal of Justin Hammer was a little weak, Micky Roarke was great as Ivan Vanko, a villain who combines aspects of Whiplash with Crimson Dynamo. Roarke went out of his way to bring a humanity and depth to Vanko, and it paid off.
An upgraded (in several ways) part goes to Lt. Colonel "Rhodie" Rhodes, a.k.a War Machine. We also see new or expanded roles for other Marvel characters: Whiplash, Black Widow, Happy Hogan and Nick Fury. (There are also hints of Captain America, The Incredible Hulk and Thor)
There is sex and language and violence. Much violence. However, like the old The A-Team series, you never really see anyone get killed. The sex isn't much more than you would see on television, and the language is pretty minor by todays action-movie standards. I wouldn't bring young children, certainly, but the film is fine for teens.