Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Iron Man 2

"Everything is achievable through technology.” - Howard Stark

Two hours of Rock and Roll, fast cars, stylish-special-effects, great characters in the adrenalin rush that is "Iron Man 2". Set about six months after the last film, Tony Stark is at the top of the world and Downey is over the top. Not the mild manner alter-ego of "Iron Man," Tony Stark's Iron prosthetic device is the mild manner partner. Gwyneth Paltrow is back as Pepper Potts; Replacing Terrence Howard is Don Cheadle as Lt. Col. James 'Rhodey' Rhodes. Directing "Iron Man 2" is actor Jon Favreau, who also directed the first "Iron Man" in 2008. Since then, Downey also did "Tropic Thunder" in 2008 and "The Soloist" with Jamie Fox, and the highly acclaimed "Sherlock Holmes" with Jude Law. Downey is on a roll with a sequel for Holmes and "Iron Man 3" in the next two years. "Iron Man 2" declares the official opening of the Summer Box Office season is official here. Get ready folks, here we go.


Picking up after six months from the first Iron Man, Tony Stark is at the top of the world launching a yearlong exposition, the Stark Expo, started by his father in 1974, when Tony was just a child. Casting a classic Mad Men as Tony's dad Howard, John Slattery looks the part perfectly, even giving a Walt Disney like performance in a film clip played at the Expo's opening night. The only issue I see with "Iron Man 2" is that writer Justin Theroux, is cramming too many top actors in potentially first-rate parts that eventually don't get enough screen time to do their characters justice. Tony's battery device that he wears in his chest requires a Palladium core be exchanged out every few days. In the meantime, the element is giving Tony blood poison. Unable to find a cure, Stark becomes unstable. Required to testify in congress, at a hearing designed to convince the country and Stark to hand over the "Iron Man" suit where in the military's hands it would be safer and do the country good. Like Howard Hughes in 1947, Stark makes a fool out of Senator Stern (Garry Shandling), and co-conspirator Justin Hammer of Hammer Industries played by award winning actor Sam Rockwell, ("Green Mile," "Moon"). Realizing that he doesn't want to run his company anymore and try to complete a billionaire "bucket list" leaves Pepper Potts as CEO of Stark Enterprises. Pepper, the logical, organized and sensible one hires a legal aid to help with transfer. Natalie/Natasha (Scarlet Johansson) is a hot asset to Stark Industries, as well to the viewer. Wronged many years ago by Howard Stark, Anton Vanko lays dying in a shabby Russian apartment, passes on a legacy to his son Ivan played by Mickey Rourke (Nine 1/2 Weeks - 19686), builds a suit that is comparable to Starks, and Ivan seeks out his revenge on Stark. Ivan catches Tony off guard at the Monaco Grand Prix and slashes his car to pieces with his electric whips. Tony escapes to fight another day and Ivan are off to prison. Plans change, and none other that Justin Hammer, Tony Stark's rival in arms manufacturing, Hammer broke Ivan out of prison. Hammer wants Ivan to create him an army of suits based on Tony's design. Ivan does one better; he creates an army of drones for each branch of the services. The interplay between Rockwell and Rourke is funny and interesting at the same time. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Rhodes steals one of the suits during one of Tony's episodes of drunkenness and irresponsibility - typical for Tony. Taking the suit to the Air Force for examination, Hammer industries, is contracted to arm the suit with weapons that would make all other forms of warfare obsolete.


Contacted by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), he sets Tony on the right direction to getting his life back together, along with clues to how his father put all his hope into Tony before his dad died. AC/DC songs are featured prominently in the background music for this film, giving it action and helping with the pacing of the film. A lot is going on in this film, many subplots and too many characters to develop effectively, Jon Favreau balances the story, the characters, and the right amount of special effects needed to make this a successful film. "Iron Man 2" is worth the time to go see it and enjoy. If you remember the first Iron Man, film, at the very end, after the trailers, is an additional scene that gives a hunt to more movies.

Movie Data

Genre:  Action, Adventure, SciFi
Year:  2010
Staring: Robert Downey Jr., Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, and Scarlett Johansson
Director: Jon Favreau
Producer(s) Kevin Feige
Writer(s): Justin Theroux, Stan Lee (comic)
Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 124 minutes
Release Date: 5/7/2010