Iron Man 2
Staring: Robert Downey Jr, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Samuel L Jackson, Clark Gregg, etc.
Premise: Now that Tony Stark has revealed himself to the world as Iron Man, he's having to deal with some of the fallout. The government wants the suit, his industry competitors want the suit, some aggrieved people he's never even heard of want pay back. But the one thing most prominent in Tony's mind is the ticking time bomb in his chest. While the power source keeps him alive, it is also killing him with toxins. His time is running out and he's not taking it very well.
Review: The grapevine said that there'd been problems with Terrence Howard, the original Rhodey, so they'd had to get someone else to play the part. While Mr. Cheadle has been around and has been known for some very fine work, the spark between his Rhodey and Tony Stark just wasn't as pronounced as it should have been. Not that he was given much to work with, so it isn't entirely his fault. But it was something that hurt the film somewhat.
With Pepper now taking a back seat in the plot, that also didn't do the film any favors. (I also have to agree with Rob Thurman, they're just cruel having her running around on those heels! Oi!) Even the poor robot, which had caused such laughs in the first film, got his time cut. While understandable due to the plot and the time constraints, it still hurt the film.
There were definitely touches of comedic moments, but nothing like the original. Something was lost here as well.
The special effects, Stark Expo, the tech, all were FAB! The flight sequences, the race sequence, the explosions, all of that was utterly awesome. In the digital finesse of IMAX, it will have you drooling. Robert Downey Jr was excellent once again as Tony Stark, showing the multiple sides and complexity of the character and his many facades with ease. Very much enjoyed Mickey Rourke's addition as Ivan Vanko. Just the right touch of reckless madness and creepy. Mr Rockwell was well suited to be Mr Hammer, a man with power, who let it get to his head, yet always still looking for just that bit more of acceptance at any cost and never realizing what an idiot he's making of himself trying to copy others. (Kinda felt sorry for the schmuck! Heh)
The action sequences with Scarlett Johansson were a total blast! Made it all look so easy~! And way more believable than Hit Girl. (Sorry Kick-Ass fans!)
Poor Stark's house gets trashed yet again. That awesome place has no hope or survival. Good thing it's isolated!
Overall, the movie kicked buns even as it fell short of the original. I was way way relieved they didn't do the normal process Hollywood tends to go with these hero films when they decide that one bad guy is not enough to make a movie with. They kept it to 1.5 bad guys and extra plot complications. That worked quite well. Yay! (I can't believe how these movie people will not get the hint that multiple villains DO NOT WORK! You can have awesome scripts with just 1 bad guy. Really!)
Definitely go check this puppy out!
Rating: 3.75 out of 4
P.S. While the movie website is gangly and hard to figure out, it does have some awesome stuff in there. Even more fun are some of the associated sites under Extras like the Stark Expo 2010. Let the expo map load and you can click on some of the buildings. Some of these have even more sites attached. The Japanese one was the bomb! And wait till you get a look at the new sonic fire fighting equipment. (There's video!) Whoever organized the web presence went way out of their way. Awesome stuff. Now if only the main site had been more friendly. I almost missed out on all this! (Make sure the click the tiny nav square on the left side.)
P.S.S. Of major disappointment was seeing that while there's an AC/DC Iron Man 2 CD for the movie (AC/DC Rules~!) the background music soundtrack is NOT available! You can hear tracks from it at the main website, but that's it! ARGH! Soundtrack junkie needs will not be met for me. Nooooo!!!!!