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With the current trend of Hollywood movies, sequels have to follow a unique blend of key ingredients in order to make it taste good. First, it has to keep the spirit of the first film alive and well. Next, it has to bigger, better, and stonger than the last. The sequel has to give us that sweet taste that we want to come back for more. Finally, the next movie has to give you more insight of the characters we grew to know from the first movie then wrap it all up with a new story that appeases a newbie. While Iron Man 2 had some ups and downs like a rollercoasters, it still delivers high quality entertainment with its action scenes, less CGI, and solved the problems of the first Iron Man. Truly, this movie is the front runner of the 2010 summer of movies!
Going back to first Iron Man, It was your typical good guy saves the world from the bad guy movie. Intelligent and good looking billionaire Tony Stark (Robery Downey, Jr.) builds the ultimate suit to take down the bad guys. At the end of the first movie, he announced to the world that “I am Iron Man.” At the other end of the world, Ivan Vanko watched his own father, Anton, die on his deathbed. We found out that his father was the one half to the ultimate arc reactor. He decides that it was time to pay Stark a visit one day.
Six months later, Stark has elevated to rock star status. He has brought world peace with the Iron Man suit. Unfortunately, Stark was subpeonaed by the U.S. Government led by Senator Stern . Sen. Stern wants the Iron Man’s suit in government hands because he strongly feels that the suit could be used a weapon. Starks mocks the Senator in true I’m-better-than-you fashionby proving that no one can recreate the suit. While going to an international grand prix in Monaco, Ivan brought his own suit to life with the help of electricfying whiplashes into the mix.
At the same time, Stark is battling a personal demon of his own – his suit. The reactor is poisoning his blood. In response, Stark becomes impulsive, reckless, and lives life on the edge. If you think Stark’s life could not get more complicated, he has to deal with Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) who wants to beat Tony at his game, a new employee who has some hidden talents and a secret identity, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) who wants Iron Man to be part of SHIELD, a budding romance between him and his partner Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and teaming up with Air Force Lt. Col. Rhodes (Don Cheadle) to take down the War Drones as Iron Man and the War Machine work side by side. Talk about the ultimate life of a superhero!
Iron Man 2 has its good points and its bad. As you may have read or skimmed the last paragraph, there are multiple story arcs all in two hours. The good news that it was entertaining to watch. The bad news was that the overall flow of the movie went up and down. One moment you have the best action scenes money can buy. The next you have the minor subplot of Ivan’s father. You couldn’t tell if he helped put the arc reactor together or that Tony’s father and him had a major falling out. In addition, you have the love story of Tony & Pepper. It’s like a normal relationships with its highs and lows. I just wish that director Jon Favreau didn’t save the dynamic kiss after Tony saved Pepper and the day. Make the kiss before he does all that then bring a second romantic kiss.
To me, best parts of the movie were the scenes where Downey, Jr. and Cheadle were together as Iron Man and War Machines. I know that many fans were expecting Terrence Howard in the role but Cheadle is the exception to the recast rule. Cheadle pulled his own as Lt. Col. Rhodes and delivered a superb performance. It was thrilled to see the Iron Man and War Machine battled against each other and the Drones in the fake forest scene. Be sure to look out for Tony’s red beam weapon. It blew me away! Another action scene was with Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow. Who knew that Black Widow can some kick ass and take names? You put Black Widow and Hit Girl from the movie Kick-Ass together, we have the perfect female crime-fighting duo. Every action scene in the film was worth every penny. The one-liners and jokes are so hilarious!
Iron Man 2 underperforms in the natural flow of things but delivers great action scenes! I recommend that you stay until the end of the movie for a sneak peek. What else can I say except… I am Iron Critic!
FINAL GRADE: A