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The follow-up to Iron Man suffers a bit from the problems that affect a lot of sequels. In trying to be bigger and better than the first film, it tries to cram in too much. Tony Stark (Iron Man) is dying of poisoning from the element that powers his fake heart; he’s under investigation by the US government, which wants to use his armour as a weapon; a rival weapons manufacturer, Justin Hammer, is trying to outdo him; and a Russian engineer/psychopath, Ivan Vanko, has replicated his tech and is coming after him. Plus series regulars James Rhodes and Pepper Potts have a bit of character stuff to deal with, and there’s a lot of set-up for the forthcoming Avengers movie…
This kind of thing is fine in comics, where most ongoing superhero stories have two or three subplots running underneath whatever this week’s big fight is. But in a two-hour movie it feels cramped. Especially the stuff that looks ahead to the Avengers movie – there are little teasers in each film, usually post credits, which work very nicely to draw them all together and create anticipation for the next movie. But Iron Man 2 features way too much of Nick Fury, the leader of Shield, who is looking to set up the Avengers. And the arrival of Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow adds to an already cluttered film without enough room for anything to breathe properly.
Happily the fights are still fun. The final battle, where Iron Man has to take on a small army of drones with similar powers to him is fun, even if the final showdown feels a bit perfunctory.
Robert Downey Jr is still very good as Stark. He’s become even more of a douchebag by the start of this film, and he drinks too much and is obnoxious towards his closest friends. But he has the charm to pull it off. The rest of the cast do what they can. Paltrow is better this time round. Mickey Rourke is terribly miscast as the evil Russian scientist, but Sam Rockwell is great as the obnoxious rival arms dealer. Jackson and Johansson are both terrific, but it still feels like they shouldn't be in this film. But this is one of the weaker efforts overall.
With the second sequel now coming out on DVD, I thought it high time I reviewed Iron Man 2 - seeing as how I only watched it again most recently.
Anyone thinking this second film in the franchise might not deliver, released ahead of Avengers Assemble - the BIG Marvel team-up movie everyone was waiting for, were proved wrong, wrong, wrong when the film was released. This sequel amps up the action, amps up the tension and gives a whole new bad and seemingly unstoppable villain in the shape of a barely recognisable at times Mickey Rourke.
Tony Stark is living the life of Riley following his big, shocking announcement that he is, in fact, Iron Man. He begins partying a little too hard, enjoying life to the fullest extremes and generally makes an ass of himself. But his frivolity hides a dark secret - Tony Stark's life support system is dying and hence, so is Tony too unless he can find a way to fix it!
Tony also faces threats from other sources too! A Russian bad guy wants to get his own back on Tony for actions committed by his father and the U.S government have designs on Tony's Iron Man armour that see him falling foul of his old friend, Jim Rhodes.
S.H.I.E.L.D too, and especially Nick Fury, also want a piece of Iron Man for their own reasons - all in all, in this film at least, Tony's life suddenly ain't looking too great!
This is a cracking sequel that I really, really enjoyed despite others telling me it was a little bit weak. There are plenty of high octane, action packed set-pieces that never fail to deliver and some really funny moments too at the beginning when a slightly inebriated Tony starts misbehaving!
Is it as good as the original? I would argue it is better! There is more of everything here - more action, more suit, more Nick Fury and Scarlett Johansen's Scarlett Widow is simply to die for!
I have heard mixed reviews about Iron Man 3 but then I heard mixed reviews about this too so my hopes are high! Certainly from the evidence here, there is plenty of life in the old rust bucket yet!
With Avenger Assemble now out on DVD/BluRay, I am continuing in my series of reviews looking at the movies that lead us to this excellent piece of all-star superhero action. In this review, we're suiting up for a second time with Iron Man 2.
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) has taken the world by storm with his superhero persona, the seemingly invincible Iron Man. However, all is not well. The government wants Stark to turn over Iron Man to the US military, his corporate rivals are closing in and the very thing that is keeping him alive, the wonderous arc reactor, is also slowly killing him. Meanwhile, the mysterious and menacing Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) has Stark in his sights, hellbent on bringing down a violent and crushing vengance on the family that ruined his own.
Once again, Downey Jr shines as Tony Stark, his irreverent humour and easy charm providing a great energy to the character. However, it's in Stark's weaker moments that Downey Jr's performance truly excells, his own insecurities and fear of his own mortality painting a clear picture of a self-destructive, egocentric man trying to stay afloat in a world slowly turning against him. Unfortunately many of the other performances are, with a few acceptions (Don Cheadle in particular almost steals the show as James Rhodes/War Machine), largely forgettable, particularly Rourke's turn as the main villain, who's questionable motivation, strangely ineffective weaponry and sparse, stilted dialogue make him more of a confusing distraction than a credible threat. That said, the great special effects and rapidfire action sequences that made the first Iron Man such a joy to watch are all still present, with a couple of good fight scenes and a genuinely exciting final showdown at least keeping things interesting. It's just a shame that the scenes in between Iron Man's boughts of repulsor-powered brawling are so lackluster in comparison.
In conclusion, Iron Man 2 delivers as a sequel to Iron Man and a stepping stone into Avengers Assemble. The action is frenetic and engaging and Downey Jr's Stark is a fun to watch as ever but, with the lack of a truly imtimidating villain ends up puting the focus more on Stark's own inner struggles than anything he has to fight as Iron Man. That said, still a solid action film and certainly entertaining.
So, is everyone looking forward to "The Avengers" next year, then? You'd better be, after Marvel Studio's ambitious and expensive build up - five big budget superhero movies (Iron Man 1 & 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America) establishing the principle characters in next year's main event, The Avengers.
The big question has got to be, does anyone apart from Marvel fanboys actually give a toss? Sure, Marvel have made their money back - and then some - with the project so far, and the films so far have been an enjoyable way to kill a couple of hours.
But how excited can you get if you know the hero must survive in order to fulfill their role in The Avengers, and how excited can you get about these superheros anyway, given they are all pretty much B- and C-Listers on Marvel's back catalogue? (As a non-comic book geek, before all this begun, I'd heard of exactly 50% of the above line up).
"Iron Man 2" opens at the conclusion of the last film as billionaire industrialist and playboy Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) announces to the world that he is Iron Man. This breaking news is watched by a dying old man in a dark, dreary Moscow apartment - he is Anton Vanko, who we will learn had a grudge against Tony's father, Howard. The old man passes away, and his son Ivan (Mickey Rourke) sets to work, using blueprints conspicuously marked "Stark Industries".
(Although set in the modern day, it's interesting to note how this credit sequence clings to American Cold War-era cliches about Russia - there's some Red Army Choir-like music on the soundtrack; it's grey, freezing, miserable, and knee deep in snow; everyone looks poor; all there is to drink is vodka.)
Six months later, Stark has used his Iron Man suit to broker world peace; he's as conceited and facetious as usual, and as he re-opens the expo established by his late father, appears to be a man riding the crest of a wave.
However, Stark is a man with problems - he is subpoenaed to a Washington Senate commission, led by the loathsome Senator Stern (played convincingly by the loathsome Garry Shandling), who wants him to turn his Iron Man tech over to the military.
Stark is also dying. The Palladium core of the reactor in his chest, which keeps him alive and also gives his suit all its fancy powers, is slowly poisoning him.
Despite his friend James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) being forced to testify against him, Stark manages to demonstrate projects in unfriendly countries such as North Korea and Iran to develop a similar suit are years behind - as are the experiments of rival weapons contractor, Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell). As Stark modestly puts it, "I have successfully privatized world peace."
However, as Ivan Vanko is about to spectacularly demonstrate at the Monaco Grand Prix, Stark's assessment is grossly over-exaggerated...
"Iron Man 2" trundles along entertainingly enough without ever being as fresh or refreshing as the original. This is partly due to Stark - the man's dying, so obviously he's a bit down in the dumps. In the first film, most of the fun was due to the anti-heroic nature of Stark, an unrepentant hedonist and narcissist, who's enjoying himself discovering what he can do with his indestructible flying suit. This time round, Stark's not enjoying himself so much, so neither is the audience.
It's also down to director Jon Favreau, who seems caught in two minds where he wants to go with this, the bridging chapter between "Iron Man" and "The Avengers". The eventual outcome is pre-defined, but he seems unsure whether he wants to go for more of the same, and stick with the light, irreverent fun of the original, or go darker and expand on the characters, like "Spider Man 2" or "The Dark Knight".
In the end, he doesn't really do either, so "Iron Man 2" follows pretty much the same story arc as its predecessor, without adding on any darker psychological layers to make the characters anymore interesting.
The film has one stand out set piece, as Vanko unveils his new equipment at the Monaco Grand Prix - which Stark has decided to race in, as you do when you're a billionaire playboy superhero who's dying.
Mickey Rourke looks awesome, standing fearlessly in the middle of the race track, tearing cars apart with lashes of his electric whips. It is the film's only genuinely exciting and inventive moment, and the later climax pales in comparison.
Rourke, as usual, transcends the material he is surrounded by, although is tragically under used in "Iron Man 2". Vanko is underwritten for a supervillain, and Rockwell's Hammer gets to do most of the talking, leaving Rourke to do most of his work with his eyes. However, Rourke does what Rourke does best - Vanko in his hands becomes a weary soul weighed down with hard won wisdom.
It would have been nice for Rourke to share more screen time with Downey Jr, to see what would happen - both men fell from grace after bright starts in their career, and fought back from obscurity to become two of today's most interesting and watchable actors. Both seem to use their troubled pasts to inform the characters they play, no matter how well scripted or directed.
Downey Jr seems relatively restrained this time around, which perhaps is inevitable given his character is dying, so is understandably a little more introspective. His performance is never less than interesting, though, and despite the excellent cast assembled, Favreau still seems content to let the film coast along on his star's unpredictable charisma.
Sam Rockwell has fun as Justin Hammer, a loquacious, smarmy gobshite who wants to be just like Tony Stark, only to have his ambitions trumped at every turn. Rockwell plays the part mainly for comic relief, although subtly gives the character a sinister edge - this man may not be the fool he seems.
Gwyneth Paltrow is as dependable as her character, Pepper Potts, still running around tidying up after her capricious boss, still the obvious unspoken love interest; however, this time Stark's eye is caught by newbie Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson), hired to replace Potts when Stark promotes her to CEO.
Johansson doesn't have much to do apart from look sultry, and plays what at first seems like a small part as transparently more than it seems. She gets to do some pretty slinky, cat-suited butt-kicking later on, when she forms an unexpectedly effective partnership with Favreau, reprising his role as Stark's chaffeur and bodyguard Happy.
Don Cheadle has the most unforgiving role, as a man caught between duty and looking after his anguished friend; the performance comes across as rather one note, for the most part Cheadle looking like a dog does when it's owner nips down the shops for a paper and leaves it at home.
Samuel L Jackson rolls up at one point, in the film's most overt reference to the upcoming "Avengers", as S.H.I.E.L.D director Nick Fury (That's Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Department for those of you who don't know...)
Strangely, for a big summer blockbuster, it's the action sequences that let the movie down. All credit to Favreau for keeping the characters the main focus, but apart from the Grand Prix sequence, the action moments are the movie's most forgettable, and the climax is the worst of the lot.
It degenerates into a flashy but unengaging punch up between Stark, Rhodes and an army of Vanko's drone creations, and Vanko himself is dispatched with embarrassing ease. There's no sense of danger to the characters, especially as their facial expressions to the action is registered via a disembodied "in helmet" shot - their face against a black background, with the suit's dials and read outs projected against it. As a result, the ending falls flat, with a disappointing shoulder shrug rather than a big bang finale.
"Iron Man 2" is a friendly and non-threatening way to while away a couple of hours - but then, it's nice occasionally to have a superhero movie that doesn't feel the need to go all dark and broody ("The Dark Knight", "Watchmen", etc). Having said that, without that psychological edge for non-superhero fans, isn't it all just comic books?
(First posted on Ciao! as Midwinter.)
I love Robert Downey jr, and I love Mickey rourke, but who do I love more? There is only one way to find out!! FIGHT!!
A Russian scientist who has a huge grudge towards the iron man creates his own weaponised suit, with the help of sam Rockwell, a rival weapons manufacturer..
As you might already have guessed I don't like giving away too much in my reviews but I can tell you as an F1 fan, the opening sequence at Monaco is cooler than a naked penguin taking a dip!
There is no point me babbling for ages about the manliness of this film when all I have to say is "awesome".. Let's move on to the credentials.
Personally I am not sure I like the villain in this episode of the iron man series, although rourke plays his character well I simply didn't take to the electric whips..
Don cheadle plays war machine, a military version of the iron man suit (iron man with rocket launchers and machine guns).. Very cool and he does a better job than the last guy from the first film (not mentioning any names).. Usually I don't like it when they keep the same character but change the actor but in this case, spot on!!
Visual effects strike a stunning resemblance to the quality of the first film and it packs just as much action! Only slight fall back for me was that I didn't feel it has the same feel as the first film... It is like buying your second car, on paper it is better, less rust, more oomff, but something just isn't the same!
Don't let this put you off though. Downey Jr is on fire at the moment and it is a great film! Get in a pizza and a few beers, sit down and enjoy!
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) is now a worldwide hero and recognised universally as the Iron Man, the inventor uses this to showcase his company and in an non too subtle way suggests that he is the only known deterrent to world wars. The Government of America feel that he is right in this comment but that his technology must be shared with the state to ensure that a nations defences aren't left in the control of one man.
Stark encounters new foes including a crazed Russian scientist (Mickey Rourke) and Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) a rival arms dealer, and must face these as well as a failing in public confidence armed only with his suit, his knowledge and his friends.
I actually enjoyed this film more than the first one, it has really settled into itself and everyone seems more confident, Downey Jr is splendid as always and plays the right mix of hero, idiot and arrogant publicity seeker as Stark, he gets the role spot on and as with Batman we clearly have a hero who is somewhat darker than his public image, facing his own inner demons (In this case a feeling of failing to live up to his father's skills). He is supported by Don Cheadle who moves into the role of best friend Col. "Rhodey" Rhodes. Cheadle fills the role with smart one liners and is a good solid counter to Starks flair and desire to stick two fingers up at authority, he gets into the action himself and the fight scenes involving the two are great fun.
Gwyneth Paltrow gets more to do as love interest Pepper Potts, although at times she is more like Stark's mum than potential love as she clears up the havoc he wreaks everywhere he goes, she is a good balance again to the flamboyant Downey Jnr and plays the role well. Mickey Rourke continues his recent upward curve playing a villainous Russian scientist Ivan Dranko who has a score to settle with the Stark family, his motivation is clear and at times you can relate to him more easily than the cocky Stark, but this is a plot mechanism and is exploited well. He is emotionless, determined and all muscle, gold teeth and tattoos, he definitely looks the part.
The film builds the plot curve and gives us a potential weakness for Iron Man which makes him question himself and his role, an authority who want to stop him, a villain with a purpose and hatred of our hero and a love interest who is as interested in stopping her man killing himself as anything else. The CGI looks great and there are some interesting cameos from Samuel L Jackson and Scarlett Johannson, who are building the plot for the forthcoming Avengers film which could be exceptional or could be a CGI disaster.
The film could have been an unmitigated build film between this and the Avengers flick, but the plot makes sense and the cast have the ability and experience to pull through any of the more lightweight scenes with the sheer power of their personalities, there are some standout action sequences such as the moment Iron man meets Dranko at the Monaco Grand Prix or the final fight sequence which is incredibly detailed and action packed, but does leave you wondering how many computer animators it took to build the scene.
There are numerous references to other Marvel characters and to the comic books, the film really tries hard from this perspective and is very smart.
Overall you get a lot of bang for your buck here, but in between the excellent action sequences there is some strong dialogue and a great cast, definitely a sequel worth making. I enjoyed it and found myself laughing and at times wondering what might happen next, I did feel Rockwell was underused as the odious Hammer, but feel sure that following the comic books he will come back with more villainous accomplices in any future films.
My only complaint would be that the soundtrack is still a little too rocky for my liking, but nonetheless, other than that this is in the upper half of superhero films.
Having been a big fan of marvel comics growing up Its safe to say I have been left deeply disappointed by most of their super hero outtings on the silver screen. Especially in the X-men and Hulk department.
I remember when I saw the original teaser trailer for 2008's Iron Man the first thought that came to mind was "Here we go another comic book to ruin" I have to admit watching Iron Man in the cinema literally blew me away. The acting was solid the casting was very good especially Downey Jr and Bridges, the relationship between Stark and Rhodes personified friendship and a deep mutual respect for each other even if Stark had none for himself, The revelation brought on by his condition while held captive and the interaction with his saviour Jensing was touching and the Story itself was great, the visuals and the sound track were spot on not forgetting the Gadgets..... its every boys dream to have a toy like that!!
I waited patiently for the sequel, looking at regular update sites and watching all the online featurettes I could find until the movie was realised, Although I enjoyed Iron Man 2 I felt it fell short of the original.
Ultimately The Story had a lot potential but it lacked the heart of its predessor, it became drawn out and some of the scenes became far fetched even for a comic book, the way Stark had to deal with the consequences of saying "I am Iron Man" as well as the ARC reactor in his chest slowly poisioning him all the while the U.S government is trying to procure the IRON MAN technology, with a direct competitor around every corner was well done with Stark taking the path of self destruction and Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) trying to steal Tony's spotlight as the military's new defense contractor. The courtroom scene with Gary Shandling was classic Stark / Jr at his best gadgets and all. The Iron Man vs Whiplash Scene at the track in Monaco was one of the highlights of the movie but at the same time how Whiplash could even be a match for the Iron Man MK V armour still baffles me. Ok he some how used his whips to block the repulsors but when Iron Man Punched him in the face that should of killed him right? technicalities aside I felt that too much was crammed into this movie, Stark created a new element and the toxins in his blood vanished almost instantly, once again the main enemy became another IRON MAN style suit similiar to the IRON MONGER of the first movie. There was a lot of humour as well nods to the other avengers characters in this movie and the WAR MACHINE armour looked amazing but bottom line is there simply wasnt enough IRON MAN in the movie, the stakes never felt that high either it lacked the do or die attitude the original movie had especially in the captive scenes.
Its still a good pop corn flick which I proudly own on Blu Ray Disc but as a follow up to Iron Man (2008) its disappointing but definitely worth purchasing.
I've always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with Superhero movies, with hate being the more common emotion. When I first saw Robert Downey Jr in the role of Iron Man I found that I surprisingly really enjoyed it, although perhaps given Downey Jr's acting ability it shouldn't have perhaps come as such a surprise. Having been a late comer to the Iron Man films it meant that I had missed the release of Iron Man 2 in the cinema and finally this weekend I found the time to sit down and finally see the follow up thanks to my lovefilm membership.
Return Of The Stark
It's been 6 months since Tony Stark admitted on live TV that he was in fact Iron Man. The US Government are demanding that Stark handover the Iron Man suit, but he refuses. A number of imitations of the suit are being created without success until Stark comes face to face with Ivan Vanko the son of one of his father's ex employees. Vanko blames the Stark family for what they did to his father and vows to make Tony pay. Now Stark must fend off the interest from the Government, keep Vanko at bay, all the while trying to discover a cure for the poison taking over his system from the device keeping him alive.
Favreau Keeps It Rolling
Having been pleasantly surprised by how good a job Favreau did with the first iron Man film I was even more impressed by this second outing. In some ways making the first film is always a little easier, but what Favreau has done so well is developed the background story of Iron Man along with the plots of each individual film. He manages to create a very strong, reasonably paced action film that tells the story, but also develops the Iron Man franchise particularly well. The film lows really well considering its 2 hour 5 minute runtime and Favreau really seems to be able to keep the film at an acceptable and interesting pace.
It helps that the story linked to the development of the Iron Man back story and unlike a lot of Superhero movies the development of the Ironman character hasn't just been shoehorned into the movies, it's actually allowed to develop and grow with the franchise. There were one or two slower moments within the movie but these were quickly forgotten by the next rush of action. I'd been impressed by the use of Special Effects in the first movie and it would be fair to say that Favreau and his team certainly delivered again. Couple all of that with a very strong soundtrack featuring the likes of AC/DC and it is fair to say that Iron Man 2 picks up where Iron Man left off and certainly doesn't disappoint.
I mentioned recently during my Due Date review about my opinion of Robert Downey Jr improving with each film and I really felt that Iron Man 2 really affirms him as a leading man. He has a very unique screen presence and that seems to really shine through well in the role of Tony Stark. His ability to charm and entertain an audience even when he's being slightly obnoxious is a real talent and one that will no doubt see him secure a number of lead roles in the future. It will also help that he has chemistry with both Gwyneth Paltrow and Scarlett Johansson and in both cases it appears on screen to be very natural.
By retaining the key figures from the first Iron Man movie Favreau has managed to add a couple of additional characters with great success. The inclusion of himself was always a given as Stark's driver but by keeping Paltrow as Pepper Potts and Don Cheadle as Lt Rhodes he compliments them well with the addition of Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L Jackson. With Downey Jr providing the perfect Iron Man, he needed a charismatic nemesis and it wouldcertainly be fair to say that Mickey Rourke delivers as Ivan Vanko. He is a man of few words but his actions, look and mere presence work well to create a bad guy that actually poses a threat to our hero.
Iron Man Returns
Having been more than impressed by the original Iron Man movie I wasn't quite sure whether this second instalment would be anywhere near as good. Thankfully the answer was delivered quite quickly that it would be, if not better. The way the production team is developing the Iron Man franchise really works in its favour and with number 3 already announced I'm looking forward to it already. If you want a film that entertains, is interesting and will hold your interest then I would certainly recommend Iron Man 2, although only after you've seen the first.
I had seen Iron Man 1 before watching this sequel, however I couldn't remember much about the plot or characters. It was a friend of mine that wanted me to see this and I was looking forward to it because the one thing I remembered was that I loved the action, the comic book elements and Robert Downey Jr. Despite being told that this wouldn't be as good as the first instalment, I really enjoyed it and so would recommend it to fans and newbies alike.
Iron Man 2 sees the return of Tony Stark (played wonderfully by Downey), who is this time faced with criticism and pressure from all sides to step down and give up his alter ego. For those who aren't familiar, Stark is actually a mastermind of sorts, a billionaire from his super hero inventions. These magical suits of armour equip him to take on the bad guys of the word and, in his eyes, maintain world peace.
Unfortunately the public, press and media don't see it that way anymore. Once adorned and admired for his bravery, his commitment to the interests of public safety and his ingenuity, Stark is quickly being challenged for going off the rails and endangering the world using unauthorised means. The suits aren't just his protection, they're his weaponry and it's this that has landed him in the courts to fight for his beliefs and creations.
Whilst he's Stark by day, he's Ironman as soon as he slips into his suit, both characters of which fit Downey like a glove. His casting in this role couldn't have been better as he brings intelligence and wit to the film, providing a loveable character that you can't take your eyes off. Alongside him during his trials and tribulations is his aid Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and friend and Lieutenant, James Rhodes (Don Cheadle). It however seems that when things get tough, Rhodes is forced to take action against Ironman by suiting up as War Machine. As the film progresses, we see how the two men are pushed to opposite sides of the war, and then return to fight a larger cause together. Quite sweet really.
Up against Ironman are several characters, most notably Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), who's dark secret motivates him to seek revenge on Stark. Whilst I was quite surprised to see Rourke, he played the part very well. In fact, I would say that the whole cast was a credit to the film and made it feel both high quality and watchable because of it. Names include : Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark, Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), Don Cheadle (Lieutenant Col. James Rhodes, aka War Machine in the suit), Samuel L. Jackson (Colonel Nick Fury), Scarlett Johansson (Natalie Rushman), Mickey Rourke (Ivan Vanko, aka Whiplash), Sam Rockwell (Justin Hammer), Garry Shandling (Senator Stern), and John Slattery (Howard Stark).
For fans of action there was certainly plenty of that when the guys were suited up. The sci-fi style technology and amazing special effects bring this comic book creation to life. Yet at the same time as being relatively unrealistic and detached from the real world through super heroes and such, the cast, sarcasm and witty humour keep it grounded. It's this aspect that I enjoyed so much because it made it more believable and I enjoyed seeing the character interactions as human beings as much as I enjoyed seeing Iron Man kicking some bad guy ass. I would therefore say that you don't need to have read the comic books, you don't necessarily need to have seen the first film or be a fan of super heroes and unimaginably awesome technology to find this flick visually stunning and engrossing.
Overall, I really enjoyed it. I can understand that some people may argue that there was a degree of complexity introduced that wasn't needed and made the film less easy to follow, but this didn't really bother me too much. I also realise that something which I haven't really mentioned, it's following to the graphic novel etc, will probably disappoint fans somewhat. However, I enjoyed it as a more standard comic book fan who didn't look too deeply into the storyline or adherence to the originals. I was happy enough to watch this from start to finish, admittedly thanks to Downey for being the awesome actor and Iron Man he is, and so I would recommend it.
Currently selling on Amazon for £6.49.
119 minutes running time. Rated certificate 12.
Iron man 2 is the second live action feature film staring the Marvel comic book superhero created by the legendary Stan Lee. Tony Stark is the billionaire owner of Stark Industries who fights for justice by donning a high tech suit of armour that increases his strength, allows him to fly and shoot repulsor beams from the palm of his hand. The suit is powered by a miniature arc reactor implanted in his chest which also keeps him alive by stopping metal shrapnel from reaching his heart (due to an injury suffered in the first movie.)
This sequel has Iron man facing off against the Russian Ivan Vanko. Although he isn't given a super villain name in the movie, comic book fans will note that Ivan is a mixture of two Iron man villains (namely Crimson Dynamo and Whiplash.) Ivan is out for revenge against the Stark family who he feels betrayed his father. His pop (Anton Vanko) defected from Russia to America during the cold war and worked with Tony's dad for a while, but things didn't work out so he got deported which couldn't have been a pleasant experience.
Ivan has created an arc reactor of his own, after coming across some old plans his father had, and uses it to power his own battle suit equipped with twin electric whips. He joins forces with Stark Industries rival Justin Hammer who hires him to build weapons which he hopes will elevate his company above Tony Stark's business. Ivan is however more interested in using Justin's resources to kill Stark which he plans to do by upgrading his battle suit and assembling a small army of remote controlled robots. As if all this isn't bad enough Tony has even more problems to contend with.
Firstly he is trying to stave off pressure from the United States government who want the Iron man technology for military use. Tony isn't keen on sharing that information and who can blame him. A big part of the first film was Stark trying to redeem himself when he discovered how the weapons his company produced ended up being used to commit atrocities. The second problem Tony is facing is his impending mortality. It appears that the arc reactor in his chest is slowly killing him. Although the machine keeps his heart ticking its radioactive power source is poisoning his blood stream.
As you would expect from a super hero movie there are some good action scenes to watch. If you've seen the trailer you will already have a glimpse of the first time Tony and Ivan clash at a formula one circuit. Ivan uses his whips to smash up cars before Tony confronts him wearing a new Iron man suit which morphs out from a brief case. Later on in the movie we get a clash at a party were a drunk Tony goes head to head with his best friend Rhody who has confiscated one of the Iron man suits.
The movie's finale is however were the best action sequences occur. Iron man and Rhody (wearing the War Machine armour) take on Ivan and his robot army whilst trying to save numerous innocent bystanders who are caught in the crossfire. If all this computer generated fighting isn't for you there is at least some more traditional action featuring Natasha Romanoff (the Black Widow.) She infiltrates one of Justin Hammer's facilities and lays a smack down on his lackeys using some funky spy gadgets and acrobatic manoeuvres. Any hot blooded males are sure to enjoy those battles as Natasha, famous for her skin tight outfit, is played by the sexy Scarlett Johansson.
Despite all this action the main bulk of the film doesn't really feature Iron man kicking arse. The movie, much like the first film, revolves around Tony Stark outside of the suit. Thankfully you won't get bored due to the story which deals with Tony self destructing after accepting that he is going to die. He gives ownership of his company to secretary Pepper Potts and decides to spend his final days partying it up (much to annoyance of Rhody who is trying his best to protect his friend's image.) It's a tale of someone hitting rock bottom and then trying to pick up the pieces to tackle the problems he is facing.
Although there was a danger that the story could get dull due to the long running time this is not the case due to the great cast of characters. Robert Downey Jr proves to be a perfect choice to play Tony Stark. Mickey Rourke continues his acting comeback in full force as Ivan Vanko. Pretty much every scene he was in was entertaining. Sam Rockwell and Gwyneth Paltrow also deserve a mention for playing Justin Hammer and Pepper Potts.
Paltrow did a good job as the love interest during a testing time for Tony Stark whilst Rockwell nailed Justin Hammer as a mirror image of Tony Stark. Both men are the heads of successful companies, but are complete opposites in terms of personality. Stark is a good guy at heart, but can be blunt with people whilst Hammer is rather selfish, but uses diplomacy to get his way. Hammer will however have to settle for second place in his rivalry with Stark as he lacks Tony's charisma.
One interesting thing to note is that this time round Rhody is played by Don Cheadle. He doesn't do a terrible job, but I think I preferred Terrence Howard from the first film. Apparently there was no chance of Howard reprising the role this time round due to, depending who you believe, arguments with the director or the movie studio not willing to cough up the salary he was demanding.
There is always a danger that sequels will not live up to the first film, but this is not the case with Iron man 2. I enjoyed it just as much as the first one. A lot of people however disagree with this view saying that the first is better. I think expectations may be a factor in their opinion. Iron man isn't as well known as Spider-man or Batman so people weren't expecting much from his movie. This time round audiences may have been demanding more as the first film is rated as one of the best superhero movies around.
Another complaint I hear is that Iron man 2 is just hyping up the Avengers movie that is in the works. I feel that is slightly unfair as the film has its own self contained story that stands on its own feet. There were only a couple of scenes featuring Samuel L Jackson as S.H.I.E.L.D director Nick Fury which mentioned the Avengers. There was also a clip showing a hammer (a nod to the new Thor movie) but that was after the credits rolled so if you leave early you wouldn't even notice it. To be honest I am not fussed about the Avengers, but after seeing this film I cannot wait for a third Iron man flick. In the words of Stan Lee... nuff said.
Review originally posted on Ciao (November 2010)
Iron Man 2 - Single Disc DVD Review
Having revealed to the world his big secret that he is Iron Man Tony Stark is enjoying the trappings of fame and attention, the hedonistic lifestyle he always enjoyed has been magnified and he has adopted an almost arrogant air of invincibility. Iron Man is seen by the world as a deterrent against war and terrorist activity and for the first time in years there appears to be peace on Earth. The US government wants to keep things that way and demands that Stark hands over his technology to them, the Iron Man, they claim could be used as a weapon in the wrong hands and if an enemy figured out a way to duplicate the technology everyone would be in real trouble.
In a cold and desolate part of Russia Ivan Vanko is hard at work, his recently deceased father worked with Howard Stark (Tony's father) but betrayed him. Putting the finishing touches to his own creation Vanko is out for vengeance for his father and nothing will get in his way, especially not Iron Man...
Facing pressure from the US government to relinquish his technology Stark has no idea of what is about to hit him. The palladium core which is keeping him alive is in actual fact slowly killing him and he knows it, Tony is spiralling out of control and runs the risk of losing everything. When Vanko makes his presence known everything changes and the once invincible Iron Man is quickly running out of time and options.
What will happen to Tony Stark and Iron Man? This film has the answers.
Sequels are often rubbish I find and often don't match up to the original releases, studios seem to think that a follow up film needs to be bigger, quicker and louder and usually make the mistake of relying too heavily on action sequences rather than a decent storyline. My wife bought me Iron Man 2 as a Christmas gift and as much as I enjoyed the first film I did have reservations when I sat down to watch this hoping that the sequel would live up to the expectations I had. After watching the film last night I was relieved to see that the sequel had maintained a lot of what made the original so good and even though there were a few faults in this film I did on the whole enjoy Iron Man 2.
In actual fact I can't say that I am a massive fan of the Superhero genre although there are a few notable exceptions such as Spiderman and Batman and for a while both DC Comics and Marvel seemed to be the focus of a large number of film releases which ultimately left me becoming bored with one action hero after another. Iron Man/Tony Stark was different though and I liked the idea that the lead character had flaws in his personality and wasn't your typical superhero, he drank, was massively egotistical and at often times wasn't particularly likeable. He certainly didn't fit the mould of how superheroes should be and had been portrayed in the past and I liked the contrast the character offered.
Picking up from where the original film ended Iron Man 2 wastes no time with back stories or history, this is a direct sequel and to understand who the characters are and why they act in the way they do then you will need to have seen the original film. Robert Downey Jr. fills the role of Tony Stark effortlessly and is the highlight of the film as far as I'm concerned, Downey himself has had a chequered past and if you remember him from the 1980's like I do then you will be able to see the parallels between the character of Stark and how he once was himself. Similarly Mickey Rourke who seems to have had resurgence in popularity thanks to his appearance in The Wrestler is perfectly cast here as the villainous Vanko with a real menace to his character and even has a believable Russian accent.
Gwyneth Paltrow returns as (the brilliantly named in my opinion) Pepper Potts and whilst she is once again underused as she was in the first film at least here she is shown to grow in character with new challenges to face. I understand her inclusion here as the sensible voice of reason but still think that she's pretty much a party pooper and isn't as much fun as the majority of other characters.
The rest of the lead cast including the new addition of Scarlett Johansson are all competent and well known faces, the focus of the story is Tony Stark/Iron Man though so a lot of these are really surplus to requirements and are included really just to push the narrative forward. They all do what is required of them but are never particularly well developed and pretty much blend into the background whilst the action takes place on screen.
What made the original film so good for me was the special effects used especially during the flying scenes featuring Iron Man, this film uses the same technology to seamlessly join CGI and real life action together and whilst it does heavily rely on effects it is to the films advantage. Sometimes films are far too reliant on creating a spectacle with the storyline and dialogue taking a back seat, in Iron Man 2 there is a really good balance between creating excitement and also telling the story.
Much of the film's opening 30 to 40 minutes are dialogue driven and are used to set up the events which are about to take place, they feature very little use of special effects but once the storyline kicks in and the character of Vanko has been established that's when the action really begins. Visually impressive and genuinely thrilling this film is a perfect representation of how far special effects have come over the years and it is now hard to tell when CGI takes over.
On the whole the film proved itself to be a worthy sequel to the original Iron Man and the only criticism I had with it was the fact that a lot seemed to be packed into the films 2 hour running time. There are numerous subplots which run alongside the main Vanko vs. Iron Man story and at times it felt as if these were underdeveloped and included just for the sake of it, personally I would have preferred for the focus to be on the main plotline as much of the additional stuff was distracting and gave the film an often disjointed feel to it. I would imagine that there was a lot of footage edited from the final release to bring the running time in to a reasonable length although even at 2 hours the film does feel slightly on the long-side and could really have been done with being sharper and snappier.
I don't often mention the soundtrack in my DVD reviews but the music in this film is incredible, I'm not a fan of AC-DC in general but they provide a high octane thrilling accompaniment to the action that takes place on screen and were the perfect choice to really bring the soundtrack to life. From the opening sequence through to the fast action fight scenes the soundtrack adds a lot to Iron Man 2, the fact that I'm even mentioning it here just goes to prove how much it added.
All in all then Iron Man 2 was a successful sequel which ticked a lot of boxes as far as I'm concerned, the plot did become overly convoluted and contrived in places but the strong acting from all the major players plus the special effects made this a fun-filled 2 hour romp. I received the single disc DVD from my wife and as this is a DVD review I have to mention the extras you can expect to receive should you buy this edition. Frankly they are a disappointment and to say this is a big budget Hollywood Blockbuster film Paramount (the studio and distributor) should be utterly ashamed of themselves.
**Region 2 Single Disc DVD Extras**
All you get as the way of bonus material on the single disc edition of this film is a commentary by the film's Director John Favreau, that's it. No deleted scenes, no making of features, no interviews with the cast and crew just a commentary. There are subtitling and language options which are pretty much what you would expect nowadays on DVDs but unless you are willing to pay out a few pounds more for the 2 Disc Special Edition then extras-fans will be disappointed. In fairness this doesn't bother me, I rarely watch Extras anyway and even if I had bought this for myself I would have chosen the single disc edition anyway. It wouldn't surprise me if some point in the future an "Ultimate" edition of the film be released with more content, the usual money-making tactics which are not uncommon anymore.
My edition of the film is currently available from Amazon.co.uk for £10.99 which has actually increased in price from its pre-Christmas cost of £9.00. For what you actually get included with the film I do consider this to be expensive, if you are happy just to see the film and not bother with anything else then this would be the option to go for, however there is a 2 disc edition available for a few pounds more which seems to include additional content (although I haven't seen this for myself so can't confirm what is on there). As far as my rating is concerned the film itself is a solid 4 star winner for me but as this is a DVD review I have to take into consideration the lack of extras so I am deducting a star therefore Iron Man 2 DVD receives a perfectly acceptable 3/5 stars from me.
Thanks for reading my review.
Please note that this review also appears on ciao under my username
This movie doesn't even live up to the hype that was so drawn out to be. To watch the opening scene and watching Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourkes character) watching his father die and seeking revenge on Tony Stark (Robert Downey jr.). From his apartment where you saw just a poor home to a laboratory making a arch reacter in it. The realism wasn't there for me like the first one. This movie make me feel like I could open up a box of Cracker Jack and get a arch reacter as my prize. Then walking on the course of a Grand Prix race track in real life he'd be dead in seconds by the police. The only realism to this movie is Gary Shandling, both in life and on film he is such a narcissistic butt munch and to hear only what he wants to hear in a congressional hearing just makes him the only character who was true to form and didn't need to practice his part.
It was sad that Terrance Howard didn't come back. He must of saw the same things as I did in this movie. There was only one part of the movie to make me rewind my DVD..That was the scene in the boxing ring when Scarlett Johansson grabbed Happy the Butler by his arm, bringing her legs up and scissor his neck and flipped him. I replayed it 5 times because it was so cool. I fed off of Ivan being by a crimminal to the Russians but being nuclear physicist and not working with the Russians made me unclear about his role in the movie. Yes I am clear this is a comic book hero and the best jam that Black Sabbath ever made, but the cleverness wasn't here like in the first one. Sammuel L. Jackson's character was so unclear I just trying to get the remote to turn it off my player, but it brought me back again with Scarlett's kung fu fighting and those sliding tazers she had. If anything she made the movie and everything else was extra's.
With all of the slicing and dicing you didn't see any police or fire trucks fighting the fires they made from the missile shots and at the end of the movie being on the roof with traffic going up and down the road clearly made me happy that this movie was over. I guess I just expected more out of Jon Favreau's work as a director. The creativeness he displayed in the first movie is basically how all directors do is just trying to make the second one better than the first, and there is on'y a few that can do that. I'm glad it only probably cost me about 30 cents to watch it. Netflix rental, and electricity. The worse thing it did was take time out of my life.
Iron Man 2
Now with his secret identity made public, Tony Stark AKA Iron Man (Robert Downey Jnr.) faces a whole host of new problems. Despite achieving world peace, he is challenged by the Senate to hand over his patented armour suit to be used as a government weapon. He successfully outdebates his critics, but little does Stark know that a new enemy, Whiplash (Micky Rourke), is plotting vengeance against him. Meanwhile Stark faces an internal battle with his health; the palladium core of the arc reaction he has embedded in his chest to keep him alive is slowly poisoning him. All of this goes on under the ever-watchful eye of S.H.I.E.L.D. and their leader, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) who dispatches of his agents, the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), to pose as Stark's new assistant...
The first "Iron Man" was the shock Marvel comics hit for 2008. Not really a second-stringer, in the Marvel cannon, nonetheless Iron Man has never achieved the level of success in the comic world that Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, X-Men or the Incredible Hulk has. I would even put Captain America as a more recognizable Marvel superhero. Nevertheless, the concept of a flawed yet well-intentioned billionaire who was a technological genius resonated with cinemagoers of the 21st century. The film's style was colourful enough to contrast with the darker edge so many 12a movies seem to have embraced in their advertising over the past 10 years or so. And yet it didn't fall too far into self-parody like the two Fantastic Four films did. Despite proving a success in its own right, Iron Man is used as the most overt link in the build up the "Avengers" movie. The first film revealed the first teaser with Nick Fury arriving after the movie's credits to announce the new Avengers Initiative. Robert Downey Jnr. arrives at the end of "The Incredible Hulk" movie to discuss the new initiative with the Hulk's nemesis General "Thunderbolt" Ross. This extra element has been pretty successful thus far in adding another dimension to the Iron Man movie franchise and it will be interesting to see how it develops.
"Iron Man 2" is very faithful to the way the first film was set out and it I don't thin it will disappoint fans of the franchise. It can be put up there with "X-Men 2" and "Spider-Man 2" in the seamless way this is carried over. However, it is worth mentioning that none of the Marvel franchises has yet been able to pull out a third instalment that has met majority expectation. The bar is set surprisingly high with this time, as "Iron Man 3" is slated to come out after the Avengers movie and presumably after the events of this particular film. If ever there was a risk of an anti-climax this might well be the textbook example.
Downey Jnr. is still ever-likeable as Tony Stark and takes the dying billionaire to a negative extreme that Tobey Maguire failed to do with his superhero character in "Spider-Man 3". Celebrated actress Gwyneth Paltrow is back as Tony's personal assistant "Pepper" Potts and between them they carry off fairly convincing sexual tension. The "Pepper" Potts character is juxtaposed with the far more dynamic and action-packed female character of Black Widow. Paltrow holds her own, as can be expected by her acting pedigree, but I feel the scripting still could have been a bit fairer. She is still hopelessly picking up Stark's pieces and acting like a damsel in distress when her comic-book equivalent is a much stronger personality.
Micky Rourke continues his comeback rampage and it is interesting to see him matched against Downey Jnr. Both were out of action due to addiction problems and both have defied their critics in coming back at least as strong as before. Downey Jnr's return was earlier and he has clearly made the faster career recovery, but Rourke is re-climbing the ladder in perhaps more style. Downey Jnr's place now seems set on holiday blockbuster roles, which is a far stretch from the days of "Chaplin". Rourke is continuing to establish himself as a serious actor and like all good serious actors - particularly those over 40 - he gets the chance to steal the show as a superhero villain. This is nearly accomplished and it is to the credit of Downey Jnr's performance as well as the film's overall editing, storyline and direction that it doesn't happen. Instead Rourke's character is both powerful and memorable, but his scenes are quite limited so as not to dominate. He also only shares one short dialogue exchange with Downey Jnr. Iron Man is very clearly still the star and the villains never rise above foils. This is not a Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger Joker situation. The casualty of the onscreen reduction of Whiplash's presence is the film's final showdown, resulting in an anticlimax. It's very short-lived and lacks the type of action-packed to and fro drama you expect in a superhero movie.
However, aside from this "Iron Man 2" delivers positively in so many other ways. It is as exciting as the first film and adds extra elements to the storyline that both honour the source material and progress the franchise in a way that doesn't feel gimmicky. The Audi product placement is as blatant as it was in the first film, but then again, I like Audis, and at least there is no obvious Burger King name dropping. Justin Hammer, another legitimate Marvel Comics bad guy, fits in perfectly with this story and given his character background would be worth using again in "The Avengers". The S.H.E.L.D. sub-plot with the increased presence of Nick Fury also works well and does not distract from the main storyline, but compliments it very well. In conclusion, "Iron Man 2" is a strong sequel that fulfils its function admirably.
Stars Robert Downey Junior
Run-Time 124 minutes
If you didn't see Iron Man then you're missing out, comfortably the best superhero hero film in 2008, running amok over the somewhat over-rated and samey Dark Knight. Batman Begins was the far superior film of the two of that particular franchise and with the brilliant Spiderman trilogy of recent years with Sam Raimi the bar has certainly been lifted in what has been a very cheesy and camp genre for far too long. Just as Iron Man reset that bar this has kept up the levels with an enjoyable sequel and clearance. Iron Man 2 was never going to equal film one but it's a surprisingly good attempt. So often that's not the case with big movie sequels.
Iron Man model works so well, not just because of the charismatic lead by Robert Downey Junior, absolutely perfect for the role as Toby McGuire was for Spiderman, but because the superhero is the most cerebral we have seen for a long time and the script soars above that fist-punching, lycra wearing stuff we have been spoon fed in this genre, why I was one of very few who enjoyed Watchmen.
Robert Downey Jr. ... Tony Stark
Don Cheadle ... Lt. Col. James 'Rhodey' Rhodes
Scarlett Johansson ... Natalie Rushman
Gwyneth Paltrow ... Pepper Potts
Sam Rockwell ... Justin Hammer
Mickey Rourke ... Ivan Vanko
Samuel L. Jackson ... Nick Fury
Clark Gregg ... Agent Coulson
Leslie Bibb ... Christine Everhart
Jon Favreau ... Happy Hogan
John Slattery ... Howard Stark
Garry Shandling ... Senator Stern
Paul Bettany ... Jarvis (voice)
-Iron Man/Tony Stark-
Ober rich American businessman and inventor Tony Stark has created Iron Man, an almost indestructible Robocop style superhero. Stark's heart is powered by a new plasma lithium energy battery power source that not only keeps him alive but gives him those superpowers, awarded this gift by being incarcerated by Taliban style insurgents in an Afghanistan cave after shrapnel destroyed his original heart when he was over there road testing his wares to the US army. He now works for good and heads 'Stark Enterprises', a military technology conglomerate, based in Malibu, California.
After his heroics in film one, handsome and charismatic billionaire Tony Stark (Rob Downey Junior) has created something approaching world peace, no country with the munitions to go up against his technology, Iron Man ruling the skies, regularly going into action with one of many classic AC/DC songs on his headphones. But, as per usual, the US military are not happy with world peace, or indeed Starks power and so move to confiscate his Iron Man suits by an act of congress, Stark facing a grilling from a senate services committee. But he is a smart guy and quickly flips things around on why he and not the US Army should own the Iron Man legacy, his opposite number who bought the action, fellow arms company billionaire Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell, playing a slimy Carter Burke from Aliens character) soon humiliated and Stark marching out of the hearing with a standing ovation from the crowds in the great hall with his legacy. But for how long?
Over in rural Russia we meet our villain of the piece, Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), by his father side for the old mans last breaths, the senior Vanko of the family the guy who helped Stark invent his Iron Man suit and power supply in that Afghanistan cave. But Ivan is working on his own suit, if a little crude; ready to rage vengeance on Stark for unknown reasons. Choosing Monte Carlo to do just that produces the films first big action scene and Varko a prison cell as his new home. But its here Hammer decides he needs help with his version of the Iron Man suit and recruits Vanko on the quiet, the Russian soon a match for Stark with his technology upgrade. Stark is also having problems, his battery beginning to fail and so his life force, resulting in increasingly erratic public behaviour that suggest he may not be the right guy to have the suit anymore, his faithful assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) becoming increasingly concerned.
Its seamless stuff guys, picking up nicely from the last film in texture, charm and integrity, no short cuts taken and director John Favreau again delivering, classy stuff as this only his third big budget film behind the lens. Rob Downey is his super slick and assured magnetic self on screen with Scarlett Johansson sizzling alongside in her leather cat suit and very much the films sexpot to poor old Gwyneth Paltrows plain pepper pot. Isn't it great to have a voluptuous Marilyn Munroeesque screen siren on screen guys! The always excellent Samuel L Jackson is also in the movie as the head of a secret government organisation although it feels like its just box ticking to get a wider multiplex audience. I would like to see him get more screen time in the third film.
It's an excellent mix of action, humour and gentle war on terror digs as the narrative keeps it simple but still laced with contemporary political comment for the adults. I wouldn't say it's a superhero for grown ups but its refreshingly non-patronising.
The AC/DC centred soundtrack is fabulous and the special effects excellent, a suitably glossy film that isn't over the top. It's the type of film George Lucas would have wrecked with his petulance to assist that lots of 'stuff' is on the screen. Its subtlety is its selling point.
Mickey Rourke's Russian accent is the only corny comic book thing here but what a bad boy he is to enjoy on the big screen. Talk about a lived in face! The films silliest moment is the Monte Carlo race sequence, Bernie Ecclestone, when approached, blocking any use of Formula One cars in the movies because it's so naff. It felt like the forced bit to sell the video game to me.
From a budget of $200 million it grossed an impressive $650 million and the third film will surely make a billion after DVD and Christmas trilogy box-sets if marketed right. It did an incredible $100 million on opening weekend, what makes or breaks a big budget movie now. Roll on the sequel and Watchman 2!
Imdb.com - 7.2/10.0 (71,897 votes)
- Special Features -
*Audio Commentary by John Favreau*
*Behind the Scenes*
Tony Stark s facing great pressure from the American government to pass over his Iron Man invention as they believe it to be a powerful weapon which they can use. Tony is not willing to give it up and manages to escape the court hearing still owning the suit. Unfortunately Tony is also facing a bigger problem, the devise which is keeping him alive is running out of power and he is not able to get more. He needs to find a new way of staying alive.
Believing he is dying Tony and his ego, Iron Man play a dangerous game, wild parties reckless behaviour and upsetting his most loyal friends. Things come to a head though when Tony is faced with a new enemy, Ivan Vanko, who has created his own suit which has the same if not stronger power than Iron Man. Tony is now faced with bringing this man to justice and stopping him from defeating Iron Man.
Can Tony overcome Whiplash and discover a new way to live or will the Government get hold of Iron Man and he will be no more?
I have only given a really brief outline to the plot for this film as I feel giving any more away will spoil it for those who may not have seen this film yet. There is a lot more to the story so don't just think it is as basic as I have described above. I loved the story and thought the film was an excellent sequel to the first film. All of my family were great fans of the first so were really looking forward to watching this film and I am happy to say it really did not disappoint in any way.
The characters were all very good and Tony Spark / Iron Man was once again played by Robert Downey Jr. He manages to bring so much to the role, his performance was packed full of humour as well as the more serious side and he delivered a lot of good emotions throughout the film. He came across as a sad man to me at times who was scared of dying and although this is a hard subject to deal with he did it very well. He worked with the Iron Man costume very well and made it all look very realistic and he also acted well with all of the special effects. I found the relationship between him and Pepper was great and right from the start of the film I was just willing them to get together as this was simmering in the first film and I found that the way they continued their relationship was great. They seemed very natural together on screen and their lines to each other never seemed forced or wooden.
We had a lot of other good actors in the film including, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke and Samuel L Jackson, they all played very different roles and bought a good mix to the story. My favourite had to be that role of Ivan Vanko, played by Mickey Rourke. He came across as a very lonely and hard man who at times was a little misunderstood but I loved how he managed to stand up for himself and actually hurt and bring Iron Man down at the start of the film. The one problem I did have with him was not being able to fully understand what he was saying at times due to the accent.
The special effects were used right from the very start of the film and they were of a constant high standard. They were created and produced so well that they fitted into the film with ease and I did at times have a hard time working out what was computer generated and what was not. I found the flying scenes with Iron Man to be a little on the weak side at times but I could over look this due to the standard of the other effects. The battle scenes and fighting were also very good and detailed and at times I was wincing in pain as they looked so good. We had other smaller effects which were used for the party scenes and for me these did add some humour to the film.
The film is based on a comic book character so as you can imagine there s some parts which are unbelievable and far fetched but I think these were done in such a good way that they were believable in this film. The film also contains some good laughs, I would say the humour is mainly aimed at the older audience and some young viewers would not get it. Tony is the main person who brings the laughs with some of the one liners and the daft things he does when getting drunk.
There are bonus features on the DVD but I have not watched these and so am unable to make comment on them. The DVD is currently being sold for around the £12 mark in Tesco and I do think this is a reasonable price. We had no chose but to buy this on the day of release and therefore paying full price but I would say that £10 or less would be more suitable.
The running time of the film is 124 minutes and the rate is a 12A. I agree with the rate but I have let my boys, ages 8,6 and 3 watch this film as they just love Iron man. There is quite a lot of violence in the film but it really is down to your own discretion as to whether you let your children watch it. I would say to watch it first as then judge yourselves. There is a small amount of language in the film but it has be dubbed out.
I am happy to give this film the full 5 stars as my whole family loved it. The story is good and so to is the characters and acting, it is a very worthy sequel to the first and I did notice the small references to the other Super hoers in this film which will soon becoming together to make one massive hit of a film. A high recommendation from me.