In the first movie, Iron Man heroically fought off Afghani terrorists as well as a bigger replica of his iron suit that they’d made. In the sequel – Iron Man 2 – he has more enemies to overcome, bigger battles to fight and of course, ensure that the world remains at peace.
Robert Downey Jr returns as Iron Man Tony Stark. A much anticipated film, Iron Man 2 has a stronger story, a couple of more action sequences and a starrier cast. Joining Downey Jr (as Tony Stark) and Gwyneth Paltrow (as Stark’s secretary Pepper) are Mickey Rourke (as Stark’s nemesis Vanko), Samuel L Jackson (as SHIELD director Nick Fury), Don Cheadle (replacing Terrence Howard as Col Rhodes), Sam Rockwell (as Stark’s business rival Hammer) and of course, Scarlett Johansson (as SHIELD undercover agent Natalie Rushman). The ensemble is stronger in the sequel and it adds depth and substance to the movie.
Six months have passed since Tony Stark publicly admitted to him being Iron Mark, and in the intervening time, he’s managed to make a big enemy in the United State government. A senate committee asks him to hand over the Iron Man technology to the military; they’re afraid that some other country will replicate the technology and use it against them. Without mincing words, Stark tells them to fuck off, what is his will remain his.
On the other hand, Stark’s business rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell, looking a hell of a lot like Tom Cruise) is hell bent on upstaging Stark by creating iron suits of his own. He collaborates with Stark’s third enemy: Russian antagonist Vanko (Rourke, looking a lot like Johnny Depp). Vanko is Tony’s father’s enemy’s son. Vanko believes that Stark Sr was the reason why his father faced ignominy and death, and he wants revenge.
And if you thought Iron Man would have a tough time battling these three adversaries, think again. As we know from the first part, Tony Stark is alive because of a reactor attached to his chest. But alas, the reactor contains a poisonous substance that is slowly but surely killing Stark. Before time runs out, Iron Man has to overcome everything in his path to emerge victorious, alive and kicking.
And that, my friends, is the crux of Iron Man 2. Written by Justin Theroux and directed by Jon Favreau, Iron Man 2 kicks ass. It is one of those few times when the sequel stands at par with the first movie. Downey Jr is the cynosure once again, and the makers have done well to take his character one step further. Tony Stark is a cocky smartass, but this time there’s an element of vulnerability in him that elevates his heroic persona. A hero’s victory is celebrated more when he fights back when all is seemingly lost, that is what happens in Iron Man 2. Everyone around him has given up on Stark, and it’s up to him to redeem himself. And hell yeah he does, and how!
The other actors fit in well around Downey Jr., Rourke, Platrow, Rockwell and Cheadle do well. I wish Jackson had a bigger role, ditto for Johansson. I wonder why she did this movie; it’s like a step down for her. In a miniscule role, Johansson has little to do, she has a few dialogues here and there and one short action sequence towards the end. In fact, her character itself doesn’t have much of a bearing on the movie; the whole undercover agent angle is literally wasted. And consequently, so is Johansson.
But, all in all, Iron Man 2 takes the story forward and leaves you in anticipation for the third movie of the planned trilogy. By itself, it’s a wicked flick; grandly action-packed and dramatic.
I’m not a big fan of superhero movies, but I would still give it 3.5 stars out of 5. If you’re really into superhero flicks, you would easily like Iron Man 2 more.