Not Iron, But Still Bronze

Iron Man 2 movie poster | Photo by

Sammy Warshaw ’12
A&E Editor

Iron Man 2 movie poster | Photo by

Two years ago Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man” shocked audiences and critics across the country. It had everything, great performances, great action and surprisingly snappy dialogue. As for the sequel, “Iron Man 2” it does not disappoint, but does not exceed expectations either.

Of course I am recommending “Iron Man 2” for its entertaining pace and constantly intriguing dialogue. However, if you were to be stranded on a deserted island and could only take 10 superhero movies, I’d think twice before grabbing this one.

Robert Downey Jr. is back in the title role, playing Tony Stark (Iron Man) in another wonderful and clever performance. Downey really captures the wit and intelligence of Stark, never making the audience question the character’s legitimacy (see George Clooney in “Batman and Robin” for an illegitimate superhero).

Back again is Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Tony’s love interest and co-worker. While Paltrow is strong in her role, Favreau seems to favor the drama between Stark and Potts too much, and does not focus enough on other story lines. What made the first “Iron Man” so great was the limited plot line, and this new movie has a little too much going on.

Another contributor to the film’s over plotting is the two villains, played by Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell. Rourke plays a brilliant Russian inventor, Vanko, with a familial vengeance to the Starks. After a brilliantly staged attack involving Vanko and Tony battling in Monaco, Vanko gets locked up in a prison for life. Instead, a billionaire military executive played by Rockwell (who steals the show) frees Rourke and forces him to design copies of the “Iron Man” weapon for the military.

This movie tries to have it every way, a slam bang action picture, a smart and deft character study, and a breezy summer movie. Tony faces drinking issues, political problems, relationship obstacles, and a snarling Rourke, all issues that most people couldn’t handle.

On top of all of this, throw in a subplot with Samuel L. Jackson as a one eyed superhero leader, and Scarlett Johansson as a mysteriously sexy business women turned hero and you got yourself some sequel set ups rather than plot development.

While “Iron Man 2” may be a cinematic mess, it is also a supremely entertaining ride. While it may not be a game changer, “Iron Man 2” is certainly worth your ticket purchase.