Iron Man 2
The original Iron Man film really surprised
me and although I was expecting another mediocre superhero flick, it
actually superseded my expectations and became one of my favourite films
of 2008. Unlike most superhero films, Iron Man is almost a tale of two
men, that of Tony Stark, Iron Man’s alter ego and of course the
superhero Iron Man.
This balance made the film more relatable to the viewer but
what really made Iron Man so good was Robert Downey Jr. who really
became entrenched into the headspace of Billionaire Tony Stark. With such big boots
to fill in a sequel, screen-writer Justin Theroux, director Jon Favreau
and Downey Jr. have succeeded again in turning this relatively B-grade
superhero into an A-grade blockbuster.
Before I go onto the plot, if you
really want to be immersed by this film, than I would recommend that
you watch it on IMAX which makes the whole experience larger than life
and a very surreal experience. A giant screen? amazing speakers? This is
how superhero films should be watched!
The film begins with Tony Stark hosting his
yearly technological expo and when Iron Man flies down onto the stage,
the crowd erupts into a frenzy. Throw in the “Iron Man” dancers for a
titillation factor and the viewer is once again reunited to the
eccentric and comedic Tony Stark, not only the face of Stark Enterprises
but also the man behind it. As we are introduced to the supporting cast
of Iron Man 2, it helps establish a rapport between the movie goers and
the characters before the director goes into the next gear.
in Iron Man 2 is played by Mickey Rourke who plays the revenge fuelled
Ivan Vanko who has vowed to take revenge on the Stark family due to
Howard Stark. According to Vanko, Howard Stark was responsible for not
only the downfall of his father but also his disgrace.
For those who have read
the comics, Vanko will eventually become Whiplash, a nemesis for Iron
Man and although his birth is in cliché, a barely recognizable Rourke
actually does the character justice, even with his Russian accent.
Another villain in the film is Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) who plays a
rival to Stark and is quite jealous of his Iron Man technology and of
course his prestige. Desperate to create his own Iron Man technology, he
joins Vanko for a very shaky alliance. It's interesting to see two
villains who are totally different which is almost like Stark's split
personality of man versus hero.
The main theme that runs in the
film is Stark refusing to give the United States, the Iron Man
technology and there is a brilliant scene with Garry Shandling who plays
a Senator where Stark makes a mockery of him. It's the scenes like this
which makes Iron Man 2 such an enjoyable flick.
Another spanner is thrown into the works
when we learn that due to
the technology that keeps Stark alive, his end of life is imminent and
what does a billionaire do when he thinks he is about die… party hard
like there’s no tomorrow.
Samuel L. Jackson returns again as Nick Fury
as he attempts to assemble the Avengers and offers our hero a dues ex
machina for his current predicament that pays great homage to the
original comics. Speaking of comics, creator of Iron Man Stan
Lee makes his stock standard cameo appearance which would cause some
comic geeks shout for joy.
The last spoiler for the movie is the
second Iron Man in the film, a military man called James Rhodes (Don
Cheadle) who is a close friend and confident to Stark. Due to the
Billionaire acting erratically, he steals one of his old Iron Man suits
that leads to a great fight between the two of them. Needless to say,
Iron Man 2 is a fun journey as we witness Star going from broken hero to
Iron Man once again.
Although not as action orientated as the
original film, the action scenes in Iron Man 2 are very cleverly
choreographed and look spectacular on the IMAX screens, especially the
battle between Iron Man and War Machine (James Rhode). The Monaco battle which graces the
trailers also looks fantastic and the special effects are truly jaw
Even though the special effects
are all there, what makes Iron Man 2 so enjoyable are the actors. Robert
Downey Jr. personifies the persona of Tony Start perfectly and you can
actually see his motivations as he balances brilliance with his
eccentricities. Sam Rockwell is another strong performance as Justin
Hammer, the flipside of Tony Stark and even though he tries hard to be
another Stark, it’s almost embarrassing (in a good way) to watch.
Don Cheadle plays Stark’s military friend well and although he follows
orders for America almost blindly, he still manages to turn a blind eye
here and there to his friend Stark. Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts has a stronger
role in the sequel and her character is developed more in terms of what
is happening with the story and a little twist at the end.
Lastly we have the beautiful and talented
Scarlett Johansson as Natalie Rushman (aka Black Widow) who is a little
2D in the film but hopefully if the Avengers movie ever takes off, we’ll
see more of her character. A joy to watch but unfortunately a little
emotionless at times.
There are a few timing issues in
the sequel where the story comes into a lull, however Favreau manages to turn it
around and creates a worthy successor to the original. Some may consider
this just another Hollywood blockbuster but it actually pays homage to
the original comic book character well and on IMAX, it becomes larger
It’s action, drama, intrigue and even a touch of romance but
at its heart, it’s a good old fashioned superhero movie that manages to
break some of the stereotypes and clichés. Even if you’re not a
superhero fan, you still need to see it just for Robert Downey Jr. and
make sure you see it on IMAX!
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