Saturday, April 25, 2015

Movie Review: "Iron Man 2" (2010)

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Movie"Iron Man 2"
Director: Jon Favreau
Year: 2010
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 4 minutes

Since Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) revealed he is Iron Man, he has stayed busy, keeping those who would commit evil at bay. Despite Tony's efforts to uphold justice, the U.S. government isn't too keen on having the Iron Man device in the hands of a private citizen. They are making every effort to get a hold of the technology themselves. Meanwhile, a Russian physicist with a vendetta against the Stark family named Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) develops his own arc reactor and uses it to make his own suit that uses energy whips as its main weapon. When Vanko's first suit isn't enough, he is defeated and arrested. Stark rival and weapons manufacturer Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), impressed by Vanko, breaks him out of prison to help Hammer Industries develop their own Iron Man suit, but working with Vanko may be more than Hammer bargained for. 

Iron Man is back and is as cocky as ever in part two of his story within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Robert Downey Jr. continues his perfect portrayal of Tony Stark, balancing the levels of arrogance and charming likability amazingly, and he even adds a dash of humility from time to time. This time around, there is also the addition of a sub-plot where Tony is battling fatal blood poisoning since his arc reactor is leaking a toxic chemical into his system. This helps Tony with that small bit of humility we mentioned above as he faces his own mortality and whether or not he'll be around to make a difference for much longer. As with most comic book franchises, when a new film is made, a new villain is required, and here, this role is filled by permanent bad guy face Mickey Rourke, taking on the part of Ivan Vanko. Ivan has a past with the Stark family as his father helped Tony's father design the arc reactor many decades ago. When Vanko wanted to sell it for a profit, Howard Stark cut Vanko out of the project. This is where Ivan's want and need for vengeance comes from. Vanko is not alone, though. Sam Rockwell is also a villain in this film, though he is one more out of ignorance and want for respect than anything else. Rockwell is great in the roll as Justin Hammer, cocky in his own right, but uber bitter at Tony Stark and all of his success. In a moment of wanting to destroy Stark, Hammer bites off more than he can chew and hires Vanko to build his own version of an Iron Man suit  for himself, and he quickly learns this was a bad move to make. All of these men clash eventually, and once again, we get a bitchin' ultimate showdown towards the end of the movie, but it's still not as great as the very first "Iron Man" film. "Iron Man 2" is also introduces Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, who will move on from this film and become part of The Avengers. Samuel L. Jackson is able to expand on his Nick Fury role from the after credits of "Iron Man," and again, this is another example of a perfect casting choice for his part. Don Cheadle is a newcomer in that starting now, he takes over the role Lt. Col. James Rhodes from Terrence "Baby Wipes" Howard. Rhodes gets to dawn his own suit, becoming War Machine, the military's response to the Iron Man suit: a fully loaded, weaponized for destruction killing machine way more than Iron Man himself.

"Iron Man 2," though not quite as perfect as the first film, is still quite a fun and exciting movie in its own right. Another great thing this film does is it contains tons of little references to other characters in the Marvel Universe, as well as allusions to past and future movies. Every single one of the main Avengers is referenced to in little easter eggs throughout the film, and we really like the cohesion these movies bring to the universe as a whole. The main detractor here is a big one, and that is Ivan Vanko. Though Rourke looks the part of a grizzled man who has been hardened by life, he is not the best villain and leaves little to be desired as a character. He does have a few cool scenes where he slices some stuff up with his energy whips, but he never really becomes a compelling villain despite him supposedly being the Russian counterpart to Tony Stark. In our minds, he's not Stark by a long shot. Rourke's Russian accent is also quite lacking and sounds more like a stereotypical caricature than an actual human person. Still, we enjoy watching this movie every now and then, and it's cool to watch them all in succession back to back with one another.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 73%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!
For our "Iron Man" review, click here.

For our "The Incredible Hulk" review, click here.

For our "Thor" review, click here. 

For our "Captain America: The First Avenger" review, click here.

For our "The Avengers" review, click here.

For our "Iron Man 3" review, click here.

For our "Thor: The Dark World" review, click here.

For our "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" review, click here.

For our "Guardians of the Galaxy" review, click here.

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