By T. A. Moreland
The metal man is back. Robert Downey, Jr. reprises his role as the super rich techno genius, Tony Stark. Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) remains his top aide and guardian. His good friend Rhodey (Don Cheadle) is still on the scene.
In Iron Man 2 Stark basks in the success of his creation and how the partnership between him and his iron suit have created a world of peace and tranquility. But of course that tranquility cannot continue to exist. If it did, the movie would be a complete bore. Instead Stark is under siege by both the well and not so well intentioned. The U.S. government demands he share the secrets of the suit with the military for the benefit of the entire country. Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), a Russian scientist harbors a long simmering anger against the Stark family and decides to take on Tony. And there’s business rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) who wants take to Tony’s crown as the world’s preeminent industrialist. Finally, the military is not the only agency with their eyes on Stark; agents from S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) are always close by.
Iron Man 2 is just a lot of fun. It’s amazing film making and is visually captivating. The producers and writers didn’t rest solely upon the glitz and glamour of the production; they enrich the story with weighty subplots.
The truth is Robert Downey, Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow are not the stars of Iron Man 2. The new performers simply outshine the original cast. Sam Rockwell is the perfect bad guy; he’s sleazy with a win at all costs attitude and a true scene stealer. Scarlett Johansson’s character is so fascinating she deserves her own movie. And no one could have come across creepier than Mickey Rourke as Ivan the Russian.
Don Cheadle replaces Terrance Howard as Rhodey. Frankly, Cheadle lacks the onscreen presence of Howard.
Iron Man 2 is sci-fi at its best and gets a strong See It rating. It’s PG 13 and 125 minutes in length.