Friday, June 8, 2012

Iron Man 2 (Jon Favreau, 2010) Review

In my Men In Black II review, I mentioned that sequels are generally worse than the original that it takes after. I should have rephrased that. Comic book sequels are generally BETTER than the original. X-Men 2, Spider-Man 2, Superman 2, The Dark Knight. All sequels, ALL BETTER!!! You can probably guess where I'm going with this, Iron Man 2 is better than the first. Honestly, It's not by much but that doesn't change the fact it is a better film.....just.

After the defeat of Obadiah Stane and announcing he was Iron Man, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is kick starting the year long Stark Expo started by his father, Howard Stark. During the Expo, Tony learns that the device used to keep the shrapnel out of his heart is slowly killing him. He has parties, handing the Stark company to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and even falling out with his good friend James 'Rhodey' Rhodes (Not played by Terrence Howard from the first film, he is now played by Don Cheadle) in response to finding out he's going to die. Meanwhile a new threat is emerging in the form of Ivan Vanko/Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) who wants revenge on the Stark family.

The new characters introduced are all excellent and are great to watch. One of the most notable new characters is Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson) who you may know as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, one of the main characters of Avengers Assemble. Apparently she wasn't good enough to get her own film...same for Hawkeye (who is not in this film, I just wanted to make a point). Vanko is probably a worse villain than Stane simply because Stane had a connection to Tony himself while Vanko has it in for the Stark family. Neither the less, his Whipslash weapon makes for some great action and gets more screen time than the Iron Monger suit. The most notable introductions is for Rhodey's new alter-ego, War Machine. We now have two Iron Men flying around...that is awesome. Other new characters include Tony's business rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), a PROPER appearance of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and a much expanded role (which isn't saying much) of Agent Coulsen (Clark Gregg).

With more characters that can only mean one thing, more character interaction. I praised the first film for how well written and performed the interaction between characters was. I feels real and genuine. I really feel that the cast got to know each other (which Gwyneth Paltrow and Scarlett Johannson did NOT!). As always, Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr still work off each other very well (in both films and Avengers Assemble). Now we also get Robert Downey Jr and Sam Rockwell, the characters clearly are rivals so the portrayal .

Iron Man 2 may not be as big of an expansion other sequels might be but it's still better than the first, not by much. With more characters, a slightly different cast and more of the best from the first film, Iron Man 2 proves that comic book sequels are generally better than the original.

An expanded sequel that takes what was great about the first film and makes it slightly better.

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