run time: 124 mins
considered: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
director: Jon Favreau
starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Samuel L. Jackson, Clark Gregg, John Slattery, Garry Shandling, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Leslie Bibb, Jon Favreau
movie summary: The world knows that Tony Starks (Robert Downey Jr.) is Iron Man. The electromagnetic arc in his chest is slowly poisoning him while the US Senate is knocking on his door demanding the Iron Man technology to build an army. Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) runs Hammer Industries, a rival to Stark Industries, who recruits Russian Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) to build an evil army of robots to kill Iron Man.
After the events of first Iron Man movie, Tony holds a press conference to explain that he was not involved in the flying machines and explosions incident at Stark Industries. Despite reading from a script prepared by Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg), Tony’s ego gets in the way again and he announces to the world he is Iron Man. Over in Russia Ivan has just watched the press conference with his dad who is dying. No one knows it just yet but Ivan’s father was once an employee of Stark Industries and is dying due to complications from conducting tests for new elements. Ivan digs out his dad’s old plans to build a mini arc reactor to harness electricity just like Tony’s.
Tony, Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow), and Happy (Jon Favreau) head down to the Monaco Grand Prix where Tony decides to drive his own Stark Industries car. Ivan has also made the trip disgusting himself as a pit crew member. After a few laps he walks out into the middle of the course and pulls out two full charged electronic whips that begin to cut race cars in half. Tony crashes his car while Happy runs over Ivan in an attempt to stop him. Tony gears up as Iron Man and rips out the mini reactor to cut the power before Ivan is arrested. Justin has witness all these events and likes what he sees in Ivan so he breaks him out of jail.
On the night of Tony’s birthday party he realizes that the poison in his bloodstream is at 94% which means he doesn’t have a whole lot of time left. He decides to party hard and get drunk in his Iron Man suit, which results in him blowing up stuff around the house. Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) has to take matters into his own hands and don another Iron Man suit to fight Tony until he stops being foolish. Rhodes flies off in the Iron Man suit to a government headquarters where he plans to hand over the suit to be studied since Tony has refused to provide it. The next morning Tony is approached by SHIELD Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Agent Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) at a doughnut shop. He is surprised to see Natasha since she was just brought in from the legal department at Stark Industries, but was actually undercover. They inform Tony that there was a project his dad was working on and the answers he’s looking for are hidden inside the notes. Tony shrugs them off because the poison is killing him, Natasha injects him with an antidote that immediately helps his vitals. Tony agrees to stop being Iron Man for a while and research his dad’s unfinished project.
Justin and Ivan are working in a secret lab with an army of droids that need a power source to operate at the capacity that they are programmed for. Ivan is playing by the rules but has his own personal agenda with these machines and plans to take out Justin and anyone else who gets in his way of killing Iron Man. Tony begins to watch videos of his dad and review project notes when he realizes his dad was on the verge of creating a new element that in fact could save his life. Tony begins to break down the notes and chemical characters he realizes he needs a mega power source, so he destroys his house to get the power lines redirected into his lab. After all his hard work Tony creates a new element that he places inside his chest palladium which gives him more power and is not poisonous for his health.
On the other side of the country in New York at the Stark Expo, Justin reveals his army of droids that were programmed by Ivan. Iron Man shows up to warn Justin that Ivan is up to no good, Justin doesn’t believe him and pushes Iron Man away until the droids come to life and start firing at Iron Man. Rhodes is in Tony’s other Iron Man suit that was also programmed by Ivan which leaves Iron Man all alone to fight this army of droids who will stop at nothing until he is destroyed.
my thoughts: Iron Man 2 picks up from the events of the first movie and Robert Downey Jr. picks up right where he left off as Tony Stark. As the Marvel Universe’s billionaire playboy, Downey Jr. plays by his own rules and steps up his party lifestyle once he realizes he is dying. In the previous movie we see him come back to run the company and create Iron Man, now he has passed everything along to Pepper and focuses more on himself and making Iron Man ever better. The government wants him, bad guys want him, and he doesn’t seem a bit intimidated.
The story for Iron Man 2 is not as good as the previous film but opens up the canvas for an Iron Man enemy to make a go at taking down the armoured superhero. Mickey Rourke is a great villain with his jail house tattoos and thick Russian accent but isn’t really given the opportunity to be the most evil or corrupt villan. The guy is able to create a copy arc reactor and power up some whips but that’s all he’ll be remembered for. Not his brain power to reprogram a whole army of droids and frame Justin Hammer for it. Don Cheadle replaces Terrance Howard as Tony’s side kick James Rhodes but when Rhodes thinks he’s doing the right thing and finding a solution, he ends up becoming part of the program.
Poor Tony/Iron Man, the list of people after him, his suit, and his mind seem to grow by the minute. The SHIELD and it’s agents step in to provide some back up but as we all know this is only the beginning of something even bigger. Iron Man 2 feels just like a bridge movie to something else because Ivan is just a plain non-threatening villan who is easily disposed of in a two-hour movie. This film has numerous moments of action sequences even though the focus of Iron Man 2 is more storytelling and Tony’s discovery to prolong his life.
my star rating: 6 out 10
imdb.com: 7.1 out 10
rotten tomatoes.com: 73% out 100%