[It doesn't take much for me to enjoy a superhero movie. Have them fly around blowing stuff up and I'm happy. Even better, dress a cool chick in a skin-tight outfit, have her kick some serious bad guy butt and I'm yours. A. on the other hand actually grew up reading comic books, so his review of Iron Man 2 is a lot more critical than mine. Still, here's my take...]
I finally watched the first movie last weekend and it was so good that I couldn't wait to catch Iron Man 2 the following day.
You know how some characters that moonlight as superheroes go through great lengths to keep their alter-ego a secret? Yeah, not billionaire playboy Tony Stark. He is loving the spotlight, feeding his ego with over-the-top expos and stunts to show off his power. When the U.S. government wishes to confiscate his suit for military use, he goes on to say that instead of criminalizing him, they should be thanking him for the longest stretch of peace the world has seen; that there is no one in the world with the ability to do what he does...until someone drops in and attempts to push him off his pedestal.
Robert Downey Jr. as the semi-pompous/impulsive Stark is entertaining to watch; you don't always know what move he'll pull next. There are moments when he starts getting slightly annoying - actually, the whole drunken battle against his buddy Lt. Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes (now played by Don Cheadle) seems a bit pointless - but you can tell that deep inside he just wants to do what's right. After years of promoting and developing weapons of destruction for Stark Industries, he wants to undo the damage his inventions caused.
I did feel that the first film could have used a stronger female counterpart as Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts, organized and motivated as she was, needed more oomph. Enter Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), an undercover superhero sent in to work for Stark Industries by the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcements and Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D.). She proves to be quite the asset later on and looks damn good doing so. Her fight sequence (too orchestrated perhaps) made me want to yell out, "You go, girl!" It also made me want to run out of the theater and karate chop some strangers, but that's neither here nor there.
In the end, I enjoyed the movie even though the final battle was a bit too quick and easy for some. Yes, there are several acts of genius that seem completely impossible regardless of how smart these characters are supposed to be, but it's a superhero movie. Some suspension of reality is necessary in order to buy into any of it and I just take it for what it is.
Also, I think I've developed a slight crush on RDJ and Scarlett Johansson.
Iron Man 2: 3.5/5 Toasties