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IRON MAN 2

General Release

The man of iron himself



General Release 2010
126 minutes approx
Certificate 12A




Tony Stark -
Robert Downey Jr

Pepper Potts -
Gwyneth Paltrow

Jim Rhodes -
Don Cheadle

Natasha Romanoff -
Scarlett Johansson

Ivan Vanko -
Mickey Rourke

Justin Hammer -
Sam Rockwell

Hogan -
Jon Favreau

Nick Fury -
Samuel L Jackson

Senator Stern -
Garry Shandling



Directed by -
Jon Favreau

Written by -
Justin Theroux


Official Site
Iron Man
Animated Iron Man
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Review

Tony Stark is even more famous than he was before thanks to his sideline of being Iron Man, a superhero thanks to his armoured suit that allows for flight and awesome destruction. There is only one problem, the power source of the suit is slowly killing him. Also intent on killing him, only a good deal faster, is Ivan Vanko, son of a man who worked with Stark's father on the original power source before being deported back to Russia. Vanko builds his own suit and becomes Whiplash. After doing serious damage to Iron Man in Monaco, Vanko is taken on by arms magnate Justin Hammer to create a suit like Iron Man's, but instead created an army of drones who exceed Iron Man's destructive potential in every way.

The original IRON MAN was a bright, breezy romp with a slight edge to it courtesy of Stark's involvement in weapons manufacturing. This sequel is also bright and breezy and continues to benefit from having Robert Downey Jr at its centre as the playboy who enjoys life to the full and a bit further Tony Stark. However, the fact that the suit has him under a death sentence means that there is a bit more darkness to deal with in the character, making him somewhat less fun than the first time out. There are still flashes of that character, but he is definitely muted.

Gwyneth Paltrow returns as faithful pa Pepper Potts, but the relationship between the two is more strained with Potts becoming more of a nag than long suffering assistant. Don Cheadle's arrival as Jim Rhodes Mk 2 gives that role a bit more heft than is actually written into it. The friendship between him and Stark is at the core of the movie, but is underwritten. Mickey Rourke's Ivan Vanko is also underwritten as the main villain. His motivation is clear, but once he arrives in Hammer's employ he all but disappears and his arrival at the climax in a super suit is more of a damp squib than one of Hammer's super missiles. Sam Rockwell's turn as the slimy arms manufacturer Justin Hammer, always in the shadow of Stark, is another nicely judged performance that fits nicely into the spirit of the thing. Scarlett Johannson crops up as the Russian superspy who fans of Marvel will come to call the Black Widow, though she has very little to do beyond one well-executed action sequence and Samuel L Jackson's Nick Fury appears in little more than an extended cameo advert for the mooted Avengers movie.

The special effects are, of course, flawless and the level of destruction is amped up following the success of the first part. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot of innovation when it comes to the plot. The Villain in the first movie was basically a man in a suit that was bigger and badder than Iron Man's. In this sequel, the finale is a face off between a whole load of suits that are bigger and badder than Iron Man's. If there is to be a third movie in the franchise then someone is going to have to come up with something a bit more original.

IRON MAN 2 is fun, but suffers from the sense of deja vu that comes from treading over old ground and it the wake of the recent KICK ASS does seem just a little bit formulaic.

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