Movie Review: Iron Man 2

>> Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On the surface, Tony Stark is enjoying his new rock star or even god status after revealing to the world that he is indeed Iron Man, but secretly Tony is slowly dying of palladium poisoning from that electromagnetic mechanism that's keeping his heart beating. The stress of his deteriorating health and his country questioning his possession of the ultimate weapon, Tony is living everyday like his last and not particularly in a good way.

Meanwhile, the son of the forgotten physicist/engineer, recently deceased Anton Vanko co-creator of the massive electricity generator of Stark Industries has taken upon himself to exact revenge on Tony Stark. After being recruited by Stark Industries' major competitor, Ivan Vanko developed an army of mechanic drones to battle Iron Man.

Ivan Vanko, played by Mickey Rourke, was introduced as this episode's villain. Not only was he able to build robots, he's also able to write programs for them as well as develop mechanisms to manipulate electricity. A hybrid of Crimson Dynamo, Whiplash in a robotic shell like Iron Man. While Mickey Rourke is engaging, I'm not too sure how the son of a world class inventor would be with a full cast of tattoos. I'm also unclear why he waited until his father's passing to scheme on Tony Stark.

I also have mixed feelings about Don Cheadle replacing Terrence Howard to play Lt. James Rhodes, they are two very different actors and they seem to be portraying two different characters. In the first installment, Terrence Howard showed that Lt. James Rhodes has a deep friendship, almost a soft spot for Tony Stark. Don Cheadle however demonstrated a resentment from the very start, plus Cheadle's portrayal was a bit one dimensional.

With the S.H.I.E.L.D side story, we see Samuel L. Jackson playing Nick Fury the leader of the organization. What's exciting to see was Scarlett Johansson playing Natasha Romanoff aka The Black Widow. While Iron Man, War Machine and Whiplash's fighting style is more of a demonstration of strength and fire power, the Black Widow's athletic combat showcase was refreshing and exciting. The decision of not giving Black Widow a Russian accent provided a more updated version of the character and a contrast to Whiplash.

I'm none too pleased by the downward turn of Tony Stark's character at the beginning. It was tough to watch the supposed protagonist of the story acting like an asshole. I realize that it's the story but what can I say? I like my superheroes to uphold morality. I can't look to Pepper Potts for moral guidance now, can I?

Of course, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, the visual effects were great, just look at how many companies and staff were involved with it during the credits. I simply can't wait for the upcoming Thor movie, Captain America movie as well as the Avengers movie. (Of course, there's also a new X-Men and Green Lantern, woohoo!) Score: B

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