Movie Review: Iron Man 2 (Robert Downey Jr, Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson) 2010

Posted: November 27, 2011 in Action, Drama
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iron man 2

The world is at peace and Tony Stark (Downey Jr) is to thank.  There are no wars, no terrorism, so Tony should be on top of the world, right? But he’s got problems, a grandstanding Senator named Stern (Garry Shandling( hectors Tony about the proliferation of Iron man suits around the world.  Tony proves the suits In Iran and North Korea don’t work.  What Tony doesn’t know is that a nemesis named Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) is working for a rival, Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) to mass produce the Iron Man robots.  Vanko’s father was deported by Stark’s father and he now he sits in Russia and plots his revenge.  Vanko’s revenge involves making the robots drones, with no human pilot

Tony knows one thing for sure, he is dying, because the arc reactor he invented has begun to poison his blood.  He starts to become fatalistic about his future, turning over control of Stark industries to his assistant Pepper Pots, and racing cars in Monaco, as well as hiring Natalie Rushman (Johansson) an employee from legal to be Pepper’s assistant. In Monaco, Tony has his first brush with Vanko, Vanko is jailed by French authorities, but is bailed out by Justin Hammer to work at Hammer industries   Sick of Tony excessive drinking, his best friend , James “Roady” Roads, confronts Tony, fights him and takes one of Tony’s spare Iron Man suits to be weaponized by the military.    Toby’s downward spiral would continue, if he weren’t kidnapped, by mysterious Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and told to find and element for his arc reactor that won’t kill him.  Fury gives him an injection that slows down the poisoning and Tony begins to look for the elusive element, with the help of some old film of his dad.  But will Vanko and Hammer build those Iron Man drones and rule the world?  Who is Natalie Rushman, will she help Tony or doublecross him?  Will Tony find a new element for his arc reactor before the old reactors kill him?

This is a breathtaking movie, especially for a sequel.  This is an action junkie’s dream.  Sometimes, the action is too frenetic, but what keeps this movie together besides the action is the really large helping of comedy.  This was a really funny movie.  Justin Thoreaux  who wrote the very funny Tropic Thunder, wrote this movie as well..  Robert Downey Jr carries huge portions of this movie by himself.  If anyone understands the excesses of money and fame, it’s Downey because he’s lived that life.  Downey Jr was funny in a dry understated way, and really plays well off fellow 1980’s star Mickey Rourke.  Rourke could have played Vanko as a cartoon sort of Boris Badanov, but he plays Vanko as a quiet, understated villain, seething and smoldering, waiting for a chance to strike, like a coiled cobra.  And to hear him talk about his “burd” is hilarious.  Sam Rockwell  plays the smarmy, fast talking, thoroughly incompetent defense contractor Justin Hammer.  He personifies everything that is wrong with corporate America today.  Scarlett Johansson is great in this movie too, she fills a female action void that was missing in the first movie.  She kicks butt and takes names, I was impressed.  There was also a mystery to her character, I didn’t know where her loyalties lay until the last moment.  Samuel L. Jackson is just plain having fun, with his eye patch, and his cheesy one liners, he was clearly enjoying himself, and that kind of fun is infectious.  There were disappointments however, Don Cheadle didn’t really cut it as Roady.   Cheadle is more a quiet, contemplative, thinking man’s actor, the action format is not his best genre. Terrence Howard was  just as soft-spoken as Cheadle but he had a presence of strength and honor, he seemed more military than Cheadle.  The other disappointment is Paltrow as Peper Pots, all the chemistry between Paltrow and Downey is gone, she seems more like his mother than a love interest, chiding Iron Man to wear his clean undies before he beats up the bad guys, ok I made that up, but her performance was still disappointing,

Iron Man.  Ironing out his personal problems, and letting us watch.

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