Stars: Robert Downey, Jr., Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Mickey Rourke
Director: Jon Favreau
Release Date: September 28, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Aside from Chris Nolan’s success in rebooting the cape and cowl franchise, the house that Stan Lee built has always had the advantage over the Distinguished Competition when it comes to big screen adaptations of their intellectual properties, especially in the age of modern CG effects. When you compare the $30 million Jonah Hex lost at the box office to the $112 million Iron Man 2 brought in over its $200 million budget, it’s plain to see that round 2010 goes to Marvel again. Of course that numerical suffix to the movie’s title means that no one is going to be comparing it to what the other guy is doing, they’ll only compare it to the original. So right away, out of the gate, does Iron Man 2 hold up to the original Iron Man? Well, yes and no.
The cast is great. I firmly believe Robert Downey Jr. was placed on the earth to play the role of Tony Stark. His return, as well as that of Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts) and Jon Favreau (as the director and as Tony Stark’s bodyguard Hogan) is complemented by a great cast of newcomers including Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson and Academy Award nominees Mickey Rourke and Don Cheadle. The latter deftly picks up the mantle of Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes in a role previously held by Terrence Howard. The ubiquitous Samuel L. Jackson also gets some screen time reprising his Nick Fury cameo seen after the credits of the first Iron Man movie, helping Marvel set the stage for the upcoming Avengers movie. Everyone plays well together, and nobody says anything about snakes on planes.
Unfortunately, the script didn’t quite hold up to the casting talent. The witty repartee between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts seems to have dropped a half step, and the villains never really create any cause for concern for the protagonist. Both Rockwell (Justin Hammer) and Rourke (Ivan Vanko/Whiplash) turn in great performances, but unlike Jeff Bridges’ Obadiah Stane, neither come across as menacing or intimidating. Everyone knows Tony Stark is going to take these guys.9
What the movie lacks in suspense and character development it makes up for with some big time action. What more do you want from your comic book movies anyway? If you liked the first film and you’re a fan of big explosions and action sequences, you’re going to be happy with the sequel. If you refer to the movies as ‘cinema’ and you spend more time discussing the finer points of dialog and various camera angles than the climactic scene of a film, well then you may want to take a pass on this one.
The film is rated PG-13 for plenty of action violence, some mild sexual content (read: skimpy clothing) and a scene in which Tony Stark is visibly drunk. After screening the film myself, I felt it was tame enough to let my 4-year-old son watch. Afterward, I asked him his thoughts were on the film- you know, to flesh out this review a bit and get him to do some of my work for me. Unfortunately, all of his input revolved around running across the room shooting pretend laser beams from his palms. Considering that he got so worked up about it, I’m thinking Iron Man 2 gets his stamp of approval. Mine too.
Source by Josh Vollmer