Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jon Favreau
Written By: Justin Theroux
Directed By: Jon Favreau
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Iron Man was a smash hit and something I didn’t really have any expectations. Iron Man 2 on the other hand, I had a lot of expectations for. The problem with most sequels is they try to do too much and make it bigger than the first one. Iron Man 2 is a good & entertaining flick, it’s just not as good as the first one.
Iron Man 2 picks up about 6 months after the last movie. There are TV clips of Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr) announcing to the world that he’s Iron Man to refresh people’s memories. Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) watches the news as his elderly father Anton Vanko dies. Ivan begins building a similar reactor to Tony’s, in getting revenge on the Stark family. Their fathers worked together on the original arc reactor and Anton was deported because he was trying to profit from it and went poor for the rest of his life soon after. Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) is the new CEO of Stark Industries, and Tony has a new assistant Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson). Which turns out to be that Natalie is an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D agent Natasha Romanoff keeping a watchful eye on Tony. Vanko locates Tony Stark and attacks him at a celebrity Circuit de Monaco event. Tony escapes the attack, thanks to Pepper and Happy Hogan coming to rescue and providing him with his portable suit in a briefcase. Vanko gets arrested but ends up soon escaping with the help of Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell).
Ivan begins working with Justin Hammer, a sleazy rival and competitor to Tony and Stark Industries. Hammer wants to upstage Tony but Ivan wants something more than that. Meanwhile, Tony is having a tough time being Iron Man and his life begins to spiral out of control fast. The core in his chest that was keeping him alive is actually killing him and he doesn’t know what the cure is. With the help of James Rhodes, Natasha Romanoff, Pepper and Hogan, they try to stop Vanko and Hammer.
The movie has it’s moments, and definitely contains a lot of that charm from Robert Downey, Jr. that everyone loved the last time. But I think the middle gets bonged down from the plot, and other devices. The movie tries to introduce new characters and other characters from other Marvel franchises and I think the movie loses its focus. The beginning started out good with the introduction to Ivan, the Senate hearings with Tony and Justin Hammer, and the cool scene at the Grand Prix thing. The ending I liked a lot, especially the action scenes involving Iron Man, War Machine and Vanko. The ending also showcased Sam Rockwell’s acting and improv skills. Only if he was like that the entire movie. The addition of Scarlet Johansson was nice, but you don’t really get to see her shine until the ending. I’m sure there will be some spin-off movie with her involved. The middle didn’t have as much action, and was just a bit sluggish. I know they had to show Tony’s downward spiral and brief glance at alcoholism. From what I heard, they kept close to the comic books.
If you got loads of time, the Blu-Ray extras are something to watch! This is actually my first blu-ray that I’m reviewing and I’m just blown away at the quality. The video is sharp, audio is great, just everything about Blu-Ray is awesome! The 4 part documentary is feature-length and LONG. That’s what I meant when I said if you got loads of time because you’ll need it. The behind the scenes stuff goes into everything in depth and I was very happy with it. You find out that Mickey Rourke really went to Russia and went to a prison there to research. You see them shooting on locating, building sets, etc. and if that wasn’t enough, there’s also 6 behind the scenes featurettes as well. The deleted scenes include that scene we saw from the trailers/commercials where Tony tells Pepper that he completes him and kisses her, as well as a few others. The deleted scenes weren’t bad actually, and something worth checking out along with the documentary and the other featurettes.
Iron Man 2 may not be as good as the first film, but it’s still an entertaining summer flick! I’d like to see a little bit more action in the next movie, but not so much that the story suffers. This one had an okay balance but was more on the story side. Check it out, maybe you think differently than me.
S.H.I.E.L.D Data Vault
Commentary By Director Jon Favreau
4-Part Making Of Documentary
6 Behind The Scenes Featurettes
8 Deleted Scenes
Includes DVD Copy Of Iron Man 2
Includes Digital Copy Of Iron Man 2 For Portable Media Players
Widescreen 2.40:1 Color
ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1
SPANISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
PORTUGUESE: Dolby Digital 5.1
English, Spanish, French
Bottom Line: Entertaining but not as good as Iron Man 1
Running Time: 124 mins