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Iron Man 2
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281 out of 382 people found the following review useful:

It's solid entertainment, but lacks the class of it's predecessor

7/10
Author: EddyOne from Frankfurt, Germany
28 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Saw the movie in a press screening here are my humble thoughts:

Before I start with my short review of Iron Man 2, I have to say two words about Iron Man 1. I really dug the first one despite of being a little disappointed by the grand finale. Robert Downey Jr. kills it, action, humor, pacing... loved it. I'm not a big comic geek, and not that familiar with the original Iron Man comics, so please excuse if some of the stuff I thought was weird, was actually accurate adapted.

So while the opening credits where rolling and I saw all the big names of actors that I happen to love, I really thought that it might be hard to give all of them a fair amount of stuff to do in the movie. And as it happened to turn out, I was right. I was especially disappointed by Mickey Rourke's part as Whiplash. Don't get me wrong, Rourke was great. He looks mean as usual and I loved every scene he's in. Unfortunately Favreau really pulled a Darth Maul on him. After the last fight I honestly sat in my chair and was like "that's it? you can't be serious?!". Rourke's Character had almost the same potential (at least from his talent as an actor and his looks in the movie) as Heath Ledger's Joker in Dark Knight. But he never lived up to that expectation due to the lack of screen time and, well... a purpose.

But the main problem I had with Iron Man 2 was the lack of a meaningful story and motivation for almost all of the characters. We are introduced to Scarlett Johansson's "Black Widow", and blame it on my lack of knowledge of the graphic novels, but I had no Idea what her purpose in the movie was. The first part of the movie she's just the hot secretary with almost no lines. Eventually she puts on a tight super hero costume and tries to find Whiplash. There is a brief action-sequence, where she kicks some ass, but truth be told, Hit-Girl would wipe the floor with Black Widow. What I really liked though, was Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer. He totally killed it and you can tell he enjoyed his part as the sleazy scumbag pulling the strings in the background.

I also liked Don Cheadle as James Rhodes (he was on par with Terrence Howard on this one), but I felt his character suffered from the lack of time for character development. There is this scene, where Tony Stark is seriously messed up, partying at his home in his Iron Man suit and randomly shooting stuff. Rhodes is tired of the situation and grabs himself another one of the Iron Man suits, battles Stark and than leaves. With the suit. I don't know if that's the way it was done in the comics, but I didn't like it at all. In the first movie we witness how Stark becomes Iron Man, how he needs to learn to use the suit and become one with it, how he builds it and we can understand, that he is the only one, who could use it that way. Apparently we're wrong, because all you need, is the suit. It's like anyone could be Batman, if he just could get a hold of his cape. There is no explanation as to why Rhodes can fly this suit like he owns it, there isn't anything told about the relationship between Stark and Rhodes. I just felt this part was incredible weak.

The whole movie felt like a setup for another movie. Characters are introduced, stuff happens, but nothing really matters, at best it hints, that there COULD be happening something in the future.

Another big problem I had though, was the lack of 'magic moments' and thrilling action, like in the first flick (I still get goosebumps, thinking about how Tony Stark flew in his suit for the first time). Everything just runs too smooth, there is almost no tension, you never think anything could harm Tony Stark, you never feel something bad is about to happen. If I compare this with the incredible Dark Knight, it feels like a kids movie, something like the ranks of Sky High. Plus, there was just to little Iron Man in Iron Man, to little I care about. Iron Man 2 was made to prepare us for The Avengers and Thor, but by being that, it kinda forgot to be something in it's own. That's the biggest difference to the first flick, who was original, fresh and smart.

Sounds pretty much like a bash, but all that being said, I was fairly entertained. The performances of the main characters each were pretty good. The cast was perfect. Of course all the special effects are amazing, with a lot attention to detail. I loved all the 'augmented reality" stuff going on in Starks garage. The movie is funny (actually it felt more like a comedy than an action flick) and when the action happens, it's looking great. The biggest let down is the potential this movie and most and for all the characters had, which wasn't used. However this is only the review of someone who's fairly unfamiliar with the graphic novel.

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253 out of 378 people found the following review useful:

Something's missing

7/10
Author: Ariel Villings from Argentina
30 April 2010

There's RDJ and his immeasurable charisma, there's Rockwell and Rourke rocking their lines, there's classy Paltrow and shallow ScarJo (bait for the horny nerds), there's good action.. and yet, something's missing. Don't get me wrong: this movie is FUN, from beginning to end. Too much talking? No way. Not enough action? Maybe, but there's plenty (2 fights, 1 'friend ruckus'). But the thread that ties it all together don't seem to be that strong (I blame it on Theroux). Anyway, go see it, you won't regret. One more thing: don't believe people telling that this movie talks way too much about the Avengers: a few bits here and there is not too much. And stay for the after-credits scene.

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155 out of 241 people found the following review useful:

"leave your brain at the door" movie ; a "from 6 to 12 years" movie

1/10
Author: bass7-730-880956 from Germany
5 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First, let me get this right; I am a FAN of the first Ironman movie;

the American war propaganda machine looses its hero (the best weapon producer) when the Ironman character realizes after being confronted with suffering and death that peace is guaranteed by "having a bigger stick" than your opponent (good so far,.., but nevertheless fun with a bit of criticism);

"welcome tony stark, the most famous mass-murderer in human history"(Ironman 1)- great;

and so Ironman is created by tony stark, a charismatic, smart genius (very good performance from Robert Downey Jr.);

and here in Ironman2: NOTHING, NO STORY, NO PLOT, EVEN NO ACTION; NO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT; just nothing; the tony stark character isn't even smart anymore; he is just arrogant and sometimes accidentally funny;

when you watched the trailer you have seen ALL the action sequences (and i really mean ALL!) in the whole film; the whole film is filled with senseless dialogues; why replacing Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle??? Terrence did a good job, Don Cheadle doesn't fit in (although he was great in Traitor) Mrs. Paltrow is just annoying, annoying, annoying; Samuel L. Jackson just makes a 2 min commercial for the avenger movie; Sam Rockwell, well.., not so good:)

the only positive thing are the action scenes with Mickey Rourke at the beginning (just at the beginning..so about 5 min)and Scarlett Johanssons scenes ;) If you liked transformers 2, you will be satisfied with this brainless try of entertainment;

My native language isn't English.

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102 out of 153 people found the following review useful:

Rusting already.

1/10
Author: Egg_MacGuffin from Pennsylvania, USA
20 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

.SPOILERS WITHIN. -----------------

Take note, ladies and gentlemen. This is what happens when you rush a sequel into production without first having a quality script...or even a good script. This is simply a poor movie. No doubt that it's fun, but when the fundamentals are not there, you still end up dissatisfied.

What is Tony Stark's goal? This is the most important part of any film story and here, it's missing. How does this happen? You can argue that his goal is to stop Whiplash, but Whiplash is never threatening anybody apart from the Monaco scene and the extreme end of the story, which is too few and far between to function as a proper goal for Stark. You can argue that his goal is to find the cure to his blood toxicity to keep himself alive, but he is only actively working toward that goal for less than 5 minutes, most of which is spent on a gag with Captain America's shield. Then he cures himself with such ease, all tension and conflict is completely killed. SO that can't be his goal, either. Hell, he spent more time driving around for the Audi commercial, which ironically meant as much to the remainder of the story as the new power cell - nothing.

What is the villain's plan? First of all, who the hell is the villain: Whiplash or Justin Hammer? Hammer simply wants a defense contract, which poses a threat of zero to Stark if he succeeds in getting the contract. Whiplash has a pasted-in motivation that is as weak as a wet noodle. He fights Stark at the racetrack and then spends the remainder of the movie sitting in a room on the other side of the country, not threatening anybody at all (until the very end). It's good that he showed up with a security uniform on the off-chance that Stark would be driving a race car that day. Did anybody see where logic went? So with no villain posing any kind of threat to Stark for the entire second act of the story, and Stark having no goal of his own, we're left with a jumbled mess in the middle of the film. Stark acts out and does nothing remotely interesting or exciting because he simply has nothing else to do. His conflict with Pepper was so manufactured, I could almost hear the clatter of an assembly line every time they were together. It was entirely non-emotional, and because of that, I couldn't care.

The hero and villain don't even encounter one another at all in the second act of this movie! They are off on their own doing boring crap instead.

Nick Fury shows up and drops information in Stark's lap instead of Stark actually finding out for himself. Then Fury is basically gone for the remainder of the movie. Whatever the hell Scarlett Johansson's character's name was served no purpose at all. Why were these characters even in the movie? I know Scarlett was in because she got to wear tight leather and kick ass, which I personally loved, but I would appreciate it a bit more if it was somewhat story-related. Of course, you need a story first.

You can argue that Scarlett had to stop Whiplash from maintaining control of the War Machine suit, but I don't even know how Whiplash gained control of it to begin with! We are never presented with that information. And if he can control War Machine, why not take control of Stark's suit? Hello? Logic? Where did you go? Logic, come back! The climax involves an long fight with drones, which becomes nothing more than robots slugging each other. In the first film, Stark was battling the technology that he created and had to learn to outsmart his opponent because he couldn't outgun him. Here, it's just mindless action. There is no threat of danger. The drones pose a threat as severe as a field mouse. Then Whiplash shows up to a scene where a battle was already fought, and they have another battle that is twice as short as the one with the drones. If you blink, you'll miss it. There is no struggle. No reversals. No tension. No anything.

Why can't we have a summer action movie that is both fun and good? You can even site the first Iron Man as an example. What happened here? This movie is a complete joke and a borderline insult.

But I think we all know by now that Hollywood only makes sequels because they want money, not because they have a story worth telling...or a story at all.

If I didn't see this movie for free, I'd ask for my money back on account of a faulty product.

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136 out of 226 people found the following review useful:

Overall, disappointing...

5/10
Author: ddin0 from Croatia
29 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First of all, if you expect to see lots of action in this movie - you will be disappointed!

Basically, all the action you will see in this movie is what you saw in trailer. I know people have different tastes. I prefer action over drama and comedy, some people prefer different. So just so you know, this is written from action lovers point of view. First Iron Man had lots of action and was pumped with adrenaline, that is the biggest reason I liked it. This part just doesn't cut it for me.

Here are few things I disliked a lot about this movie:

- there are a lot of random things in this movie, an example: while there is formula race about to begin, Tony decides to jump in one and race. I don't know if i missed some important part in this movie but I was like "What the hell??? That makes no sense how the hell did they let him???" or Tonies birthday party, man that was some random stuff right there.

- there is this agent played by Scarlett Johansson. To describe her shortly: she is James Bond 2. She can do anything: beat 20 guards? you bet, hack system made by a guy who hacked into important military system in 10sec? no problem. Just an examples, you will see through movie, don't want to spoil it for you.

- I expected 20-30min intro and then some epic action with great special effects, but I had to wait an hour and a half for that and it wasn't even epic!

- OK, movie is coming to an end, time for epic battle! Just kidding, fight is over before you say "cookie"

- stupidity of some scenes concerning highly sophisticated technology and system (also jail) security, an example: guy breaks through pentagon-like security system in 10sec, there are more things I'd like to add but I don't want to spoil it much for you as I mentioned.

- this movie is... boring. Talking, talking, talking, more talking, the worst part is - this talking isn't even interesting! After 30min of talking all I heard was bla, bla, bla... If at least it was something worth listening to, but only parts worth listening to were where Tony makes a good joke.

Now, why did I give it a "high" 5/10 if it was disappointing (overall)?

1. Great special effects

2. This movie made me laugh A LOT

3.Scarlett Johansson looks better then Megan Fox in Transformers.

This movie should be tagged as (in this order) Comedy, Drama, Thriller, Sci-Fi and Action as last if you ask me.

I don't think I wasted 2h on watching this, but I expected more, much more...

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96 out of 153 people found the following review useful:

Clash, Bang, Boom! Tony Stark is back.....

7/10
Author: Madhav Behl from India
8 May 2010

Jon Favreau knew exactly what he was doing with this movie. This is a sleek, no-holds barred superhero movie, with great performances from Robert Downey Jr. and Mickey Rourke. Let's face it, it was almost impossible to top the first one; nevertheless this a good sequel to one of the best superhero movies ever made.

Scarlett Johansson fulfilled her role as the the sexy and cunning agent Natasha Romanoff, and Gwyneth Paltrow is fine as Pepper Potts. Sam Rockwell plays Tony Stark's competitor, and does a pretty good job at it.

The only problem I have with this movie is that too many things have been fitted into 124 minutes. I understand that the movie was meant to be a roller-coaster ride, intended to thrill, but a little more character development would certainly have helped the movie. For example Samuel L. Jackson ans Johansson's characters are underused. Also, the ending was a little disoriented and predictable; something just didn't feel right about it.

All in all, Jon Favreau has made a movie that would please the fanboys and satisfy the critics. This is a movie that entertains, while still complementing the first movie, and setting up a third movie. If you liked the first movie, just go ahead and watch this movie - you won't see a masterpiece, but you'll have a fun day at the movies.

P.S.- Watch out for the after credits scene

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140 out of 248 people found the following review useful:

A worthwhile action-packed sequel

9/10
Author: chrismsawin from United States
6 May 2010

Robert Downey Jr was the best reason to watch the first Iron Man film since he seemed to slide into the role of Tony Stark so flawlessly and effortlessly. RDJ is just as amusing and fun to watch in Iron Man 2. If there were any doubts left over from RDJ's portrayal of Tony Stark from the first film, they're inevitably washed away with his convincing performance in the sequel. Newcomers Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, and Scarlett Johansson are just as impressive. Rourke has been on an incredible streak since The Wrestler and puts in another solid performance here. His Russian accent is pretty spot on and he shows a wider range of emotion than you may not be expecting. Rockwell has been on my "actors to keep an eye on" radar since Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. I thoroughly enjoyed his smarmy performance as Hammer, who has all of the tools at his disposal to make as big of an impact on the world as Tony Stark has only to wind up falling short in the long run. The flirting between Tony and Johansson's Natalie Rushman is pretty captivating, but her crowning achievement is her fight scene in the latter half of the film that practically steals the show. Don Cheadle does have a few humorous one-liners and is great as War Machine, but doesn't really add anything that Terrence Howard already established with the role in the first film. It's slightly disappointing since Cheadle is known for his strong acting roles, but may be a result of the way the Capt. James Rhodes character was written for both films.

While the film is a worthy sequel, it does contain a few small flaws. What is it with Hollywood films lately having the climactic battle during the finale last five minutes or less? Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Clash of the Titans, and Iron Man 2 all share this trait. It doesn't take away from the fact that the conclusion to Iron Man 2 is still pretty satisfying, but my mindset seems dead set on thinking it's more satisfying when the antagonist has the advantage. He or she gains the upper hand and there's that moment where you think they may bring their evil plan to fruition before the protagonist outsmarts the antagonist for the win. When that last battle seems short, it makes it seem like the villain was all talk. Speaking of the action sequences though, they're spectacular and twice as big as the action in the original film. The problem is that the action seemed to get blurry during several of the more hefty action scenes. I'm not sure if it's because it's the way it was shot or what, but it made it seem like there was too much going on in the film to fully process in post-production or something.

Iron Man 2 is an extremely satisfying sequel on all accounts. While the original film is probably slightly better, the sequel does everything right and doubles up on everything in comparison; action, strong characters, teases for upcoming Marvel films, etc. Despite some of its early negative criticism, Iron Man 2 delivers a worthwhile sequel with a fantastic cast and spectacular action.

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122 out of 213 people found the following review useful:

Iron Man 2 is Totally Worth it.

8/10
Author: BwSwim from United States
10 May 2010

For some reason this movie had not been getting the greatest critic reviews. I do not understand that at all. I thought the movie was very enjoyable and a successful sequel in the series.

For anyone who has seen the first Iron Man you can expect much of the same in this movie. Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark like he is meant for the part. He has the same sarcastic wit and self-confidence that is evident in his other movie roles. Gwyeneth Paltrow, as Pepper Potts, has a comes more to the forefront in the sequel. I also personally love that Jon Favreau is the driver for Stark/Potts, and that he gets into the action a little bit. You have to respect the director for that, even though Jon has done plenty of acting himself.

Normally in when they replace someone in a sequel with a different actor/actress I am very upset. However, Don Cheadle replacing Terrence Howard in Iron Man 2 as War Machine/Lt. Rhodes made me happy. This is similar to what happened with Maggie Gylenhal in the Dark Night.

Samuel L. Jackson playing Nick Fury has a bigger role, and it leads all the viewers into wanting The Avengers movie to come out immediately. Scarlett Johansson also showed up with some impressive stunt work, along with her always gorgeous looks.

All in all it was a well done sequel. The plot is not too convoluted to follow. The new villain, played by Mickey Rourke, is very impressive and fun to watch. The action scenes are all entertaining but they do not completely drive the movie. The only thing that I wished for leaving the theater was a longer final fight scene.

Also, make sure to watch after the credits!! It is short, but worth it.

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183 out of 343 people found the following review useful:

Another magnificent superhero sequel.

Author: Romarth from Ireland
28 April 2010

Reading Iron Man 2's plot summary, things sound bleak for our characters. But not at all. This is a breezy, light-hearted, inoffensive affair that saunters at a magnetic pace, with emotional discomfiting a far thought. Which is pretty refreshing, to say the least. In fact, Iron Man 2 is the complete of antithesis of recent comic book movies. For one, it certainly isn't darker than its predecessor, absent its slow-burning first half and latched-on social commentary. It also gives itself the poetic license to stretch credulity. This is a movie about a man who flies around in metal suit, blasting away multicolored-haired Russians with electric whips. Realism simply doesn't apply, and thankfully director Jon Favreau and writer Justin Theroux take affectionate liberty with the bonds of belief. Yes, Ivan Vanko can secretly build super technology unbeknownst to his suppliers. And yes, the only way to incapacitate a drunken Tony is to beat the crap out of him in a Iron Man suit. No complaints here!

Iron Man 2 is also very much Iron Man's superior, although partly by default. The first movie was stuck with a pedantic origin story. However, the sequel had no shortage of possible paths to take. Which did it choose? The way you should always go; the road of characterization. Rather than tediously expand upon its universe, Iron Man 2 simply reprises its dramatis personae and sticks them into situations graver than before, upping the ante but reiterating the overall heart and spirit of its predecessor. The characters are well-etched, each snappy exchange rendered with a mature pathos that contrasts with the spurious scenarios that they feature in between of. Iron Man 2 could easily be called a comedy, but the naturalism of the comedy is seamless; you get the sense that it would be impossible to write this movie without having these vibrant characters joke and jeer.

To bring the clever screenplay to life is the phenomenal cast. Robert Downey, Jr., as always, is effortlessly captivating. Charisma defined and an scandalously unsung master of versatility (he's not just playing himself, people!), it's no breaking news that he's still one of the most watchable actors ever. He is the perfect Tony Stark, and a more-than-worthy representative of the thinking man's action star. His chemistry with Gwyneth Paltrow as the pragmatic Pepper Pots is electric, and she too turns in a fine performance. Wistful, but by no means a damsel in distress, she is probably the realest character.

The baddies, just as essential as the hero, don't disappoint either. Another wrong from last time round successfully remedied is the lack of genuinely menacing villains. Jeff Bridges honored us with his always-welcome presence in Iron Man, but his warm affability was anything but menacing. This time, however, Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell (oddly, both novices to blockbuster attention) are on duty, offering more than enough bang for your villainy buck. Rourke as Anton Vanko/"Whiplash", supplements a composite of the unintentionally hokey showman, supercilious mastermind, and the seemingly unstoppable behemoth. This effectively fends off one-noteness, and Rourke perfectly embodies the duality of Vanko's deceptively boorish visage and surprisingly vast intellect, while still indulging in the welcome irreverence that comes with the comic book villain (his Russian drawl is humorous but gives him an otherworldly conviction).

Rockwell, on the other hand, is flat-out comic relief as Stark's weaselly rival – though not necessarily a threatening one – Justin Hammer. He is excellent in the part; an absolute delight to watch, whether irascibly mugging in a loss for words with his insubordinate partner Vanko or, in one of the movie's best moments, shamelessly accolading his own (faulty) inventions with juvenile zeal.

Unfortunately, with all these characters butting heads for screen time, co-stars Don Cheadle and Scarlett Johansson as Tony's pal Colonel James "Rhodey" Rhodes and eventual partner War Machine and alluring temptress of a new assistant Natalie Rushman, respectively, are given the short straw. Both are more than able of carrying a scene, but while the script lavishes Tony with many moments in which to brood his way into some fine character development, and to convey Pepper's many grievances, neither supporting character is as lucky. Cheadle's moments of potential are all obstructed by the War Machine suit, and everything otherwise requires him to lucidly voice reason as a foil to the devil may care Tony. Johansson is a non-event, her Natalie Rushman an amoral nothing role, and her Black Widow guise is not so much daring femme fatale as listless sex symbol. She acts as merely a vessel for fan service, be it in her skintight suit for the general audience or that she represents another stepping stone to an Avengers movie for esoteric comic book fans.

The movie is inter cut between the scenes of terse characterization and octane action. The latter is a dizzying combination of rapid vicissitudes and toe-to-toe skirmishes, high on CGI, low on genuine peril. In fact, Iron Man 2 could quite possibly have been a masterpiece of the genre had it lived up to its first forty minutes of exuberance and intrigue. But once the clumsy pugilism of Iron Man and Whiplash takes place, the movie falls flat. The power play is nonexistent, because it's hard to believe anyone could stand a chance against ol' Shellhead. And if no sense of alarm can be conveyed when Iron Man is caught in an unusually melee showdown, the flight sequences leave no impression. Yes, the special effects are astounding, but it's all for nothing if there's no dramatic undercurrent.

Otherwise, please, don't mistake my raving for fanboy hyperbole; Iron Man 2 is great. It's well-written, well-acted, and simultaneously a loving throwback to comic book norm and a break from recent tradition. It's a rare occurrence to be thankful for, because God knows if this follows the superhero trilogy formula, the third one will suck. Which would tragically make this movie's thrilling departure from cliché null and void.

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83 out of 146 people found the following review useful:

Time for an Upgrade

8/10
Author: xamtaro from Singapore
4 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The sequel to Marvel studio's surprise hit of 2008 is here, bigger than ever. But is it better? After the surprise success of Iron Man, expectations for the sequel, from both movie viewers and long time comic books fans, were no doubt high.

Picking off where the first film ended, billionaire genius Tony Stark has just revealed to the world his identity as the armor clad superhero, Iron Man. Now he reaps the whirlwind consequences of his actions as both the military and unscrupulous competitor Justin Hammer vie to obtain the secrets of Stark's Iron Man technology for their own gain. Too add to the flames, Stark soon discovers that the very technology that is keeping his heart alive is also poisoning him. As he tries to salvage a life that is slowly falling to pieces and his growing feelings for his long time assistant Pepper Potts(Gwyneth Paltrow), Starks has to contend to with a foreign weapons genius named Ivan Vanko who seems to bear a deep seated grudge against the ailing billionaire; a grudge that stemmed from the legacy of Tony's father, Howard Stark.

Whatever was good in the first movie is carried on in true sequel fashion. The acting and chemistry among the cast is definitely the highlight of the whole film. Robert Downey Jr IS Tony Stark, though less of a playboy following his "change of heart"(figuratively and literally) in the first movie, but still the same wisecracking, smirky eccentric. Everyone is just so natural in their roles including the villains, especially The character of Justin Hammer, played by Sam Rockwell. Hammer had all the makings of a silly one dimensional villainous caricature, but manages to be a well rounded scumbag of a corporate competitor, providing some excellent comic relief while still presenting a credible threat to the hero.

That being said, the script is just littered with witty banter, intelligent jokes and a good number of "Easter eggs" for the long time comic book fans. Writer Justin Theroux had a good number of interesting themes going for this movie, most notable of which is the theme of "legacy", of what people leave behind when they are gone; their impressions on their successors and how the effects of their past actions would echo down the years long after one has passed. Stark himself, faced with his inevitable demise, does not want to leave a legacy of death as a weapons designer. Aside from that, we see how the legacies of both Stark's and Ivan Vanko's fathers have affected their present lives.

Now, Vanko's (played by Sin City's Mickey Rourke) is a truly tragic tale. It is easy to pass him off as a "darth maul" type character with no other purpose than to provide the hero with a powerful opponent for the mandatory climax. But to the more attentive viewers, one can see how Vanko is basically the dark opposite reflection of Tony Stark. Both are geniuses, both are where they are because of their respective fathers yet different circumstances in life brought them down entirely different paths. The parallels between his origin story of creating the "whiplash" powered armor from scrap, getting captured(in a similarly explosive manner) in order to develop weapons for one man to bring down his competitor all the way to his cunning escape plan and his mistaken impression about his dearly departed father are all uncannily similar to Tony Stark's experiences in the first movie that led up to his debut as the hero Iron Man and his mistaken impression about his own father.

The one thing viewers might not appreciate is that this sequel seems to lack that sense of "fun" that the first film had, taking on a more serious tone at times to dish out the more complex themes and even a romantic sub-plot. It really is too bad that the more complex themes are there but not really expanded upon. This leaves a lot of "could have been more" moments hanging by the time the show ends. At least the action is satisfying high octane eye candy as Jon Favreau's steady directing hand brings out the intensity of every battle scene. Special effects are top notch as usual except for a couple of cartoony looking moments that do require some suspension of disbelief, for example the briefcase that transforms into an iron man armor with armor parts seemingly appearing from out of nowhere.

By the time the all too familiar final battle is over and the credits start rolling, one gets the impression that Iron Man 2 could have been a lot more than the sum of its parts. A little longer running time would have fixed most of the story kinks but perhaps Marvel is merely using this movie as a money generator and spring board to something greater.(Blatant teasers are thrown into the narrative itself almost like a running catalog of future Marvel film projects).

Topping the first film is no easy feat and of course Iron Man 2 would disappoint a few here and there. But it is nonetheless one of the most entertaining comic book movies that mixes action, wit, drama and cast chemistry so well. If widespread appeal is its purpose, then Iron Man 2 has fulfilled that function magnificently in that even a newcomer to the franchise can kick back and enjoy the show. Marvel studios has started a new legacy beyond great comics. Here is a legacy of comic book movies, true to the spirit of its source material yet tailored nicely to the tastes of the modern movie audience.

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