Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Iron Man II - A Humble Review

I went to see Iron Man II yesterday and thought I would post my own little review. I loved the first movie and found Robert Downey, Jr. to be a terrific casting choice for Tony Stark. Unlike the comic book, wherein Stark kept his identity as Iron Man a secret for decades, at the end of the first movie he admits to being Iron Man and at the beginning of this one about six months have elapsed and he's single-handedly ended wars around the world. Tony's looking and sounding incredibly cocky that he has brought peace to the world and promises to keep the world safe even though the device in his chest is more and more quickly poisoning him and will eventually kill him. The U.S. government wants Tony to share the Iron Man technology with them and a rival arms manufacturer named Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) is secretly trying to steal or duplicate it. There is also a Russian scientist named Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), who I think is supposed to represent the super villain Constrictor with his power whips, who shows up with the technology Stark (and Vanko's father) perfected and Hammer wants. Samuel L. Jackson returns in a little meatier role as Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D. to help Tony out, as does Don Cheadle as LCOL James "Rhodey" Rhodes, who puts on the War Machine armor. Gwyneth Paltrow also returns as Pepper Potts, Tony's long-suffering secretary, who gets herself appointed CEO of Stark Enterprises, and proves herself to be one of the strongest characters in the movie. Scarlett Johansson, who plays Natalie Rushman/Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow (although I don't remember them actually calling her that in the movie), does a very nice job as Pepper/Tony's assistant and superheroine on the side. I didn't used to like Scarlett, but she's been growing on me in some of her more recent roles. I'm not going to give away too much of the plot for those of you who haven't seen it but if you like big superhero movies this is (once again) one you don't want to miss. On top of having crackerjack special effects it has A-List actors and an interesting plot with obligatory twists and turns and a good sense of humor. I highly recommend it.

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