This month’s big release and currently raking it in at the box office is Iron Man 2. Robert Downey Jr. once again plays billionaire industrialist playboy Tony Stark. He is joined once again by Gwyneth Paltrow and John Favreau. In the sequel Don Cheadle takes over the role of Iron Mans friend War Machine from Terrence Howard. Howard apparently had a falling out with Marvel after the first movie. Both fine actors and Cheadle does a good job as Tonys friend caught between the government and their friendship.
The main baddie of the movie is Ivan Vanko, a jilted Russian scientist who is out to ruin Tony Stark at any cost. He is played by Mickey Rourke, as a man of few words and even fewer resources until he is helped out by Tonys rival industrialist billionaire, Justin Hammer. Hammer is played brilliantly by Sam Rockwell. Every time he is on screen it’s a joy to watch.
Smaller roles are given to Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury trying to convince Tony to join the Avengers, Scarlett Johansson pops up as Nick Furys spy Natasha Romanoff. Tony Stark does have a soft spot for beautiful women. If you liked the first movie then chances are you are going to love this second one, in my opinion the sequel is the better of the two. You get a great turn from Robert Downey Jr., could you really see anyone else playing Tony Stark? Rockwell is excellent as Justin Hammer and I hope he returns if there is to be another movie made, which there will be I’m sure. The story fleshes out this whole Avengers Initiative that Marvel is working toward while showing us more of Starks life, his relationship with his father, his alcoholism etc. It’s a much more rounded movie.
Two things did disappoint me with the film though, I had looked forward to seeing Tony Stark racing his Formula 1 car around the streets of Monaco but as soon as he sat in to race; Whiplash was tearing up the track! That’s a minor gripe, I know. Also the BIG end battle against Whiplash and all those Hammer drones was painfully short for my liking. They all looked impressive but it was missing a bit of mecha action in my mind. Not big enough complaints to turn you away from the movie though. It’s written by Justin Theroux who also did Tropic Thunder, so there are lots of funny lines in there. Garry Shandling as Senator Stern trying to get Stark to hand over his Iron Man suit to the government has some gems. Along with Tonys usual quips and putdowns which are very clever, or maybe Downey Jr. is just so good at playing the prick we let him get away with it. Either way this is a great movie, definitely worth seeing and leaves a lot of scope for a third movie which hopefully won’t turn out like recent third movie comic book outings, X-Men, Spidey I’m looking at you!