Iron Man 2 ***


I think I am one of the few people who didn’t think that the original “Iron Man” was an amazing film. I liked it but I didn’t love it. I do however think it is better then the sequel. “Iron Man 2” is entertaining, and has a lot of elements that I liked, but it seems to be lacking a coherent story and fully developed characters.

Take for example the villain of the film, Ivan Vanko, played by Mickey Rourke. When he is on screen he is pretty cool. He has built a suit similar to Tony Stark, with certain upgrades, including electric whips that can slice through metal and concrete. My only problem is that he is not nearly in the film enough. He has a basic back story followed by a spectacular battle with Iron Man on a race track. After their confrontation though he finds himself shuffled to the back burner until the ending. Even when he shows up at the end, his battle is pretty cool but is also very brief.

The secondary villain in the film is Justin Hammer, played by Sam Rockwell in a wry comic performance. He is another millionaire inventor who has lived in the shadow of Stark his whole life. His scenes with Robert Downey Jr. strike a perfect tone. But even his evil scheme plays second fiddle in most of this picture.

So what exactly is this movie about? The story mostly follows Tony Stark in his efforts to fight off the government from taking his suit and his fight to stay alive as the reactor in his chest is slowly poisoning his blood.

Gary Shandling has a beautiful scene as a U.S. Senator during a hearing where he tries to justify the repossession of the Iron Man suit for national security.

Anyway enough negativity. The movie is a lot of fun. The action rocks and Robert Downey Jr. is terrific once again. I also loved all the setup towards the impending “Avengers” movie. I just think that this could have been so much more then it was.


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