Iron Man 2 (2010)

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Iron Man 2 (2010)

Post  BoG on Wed Oct 29, 2014 3:51 pm

Only the 3rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (after The Incredible Hulk-2008 and preceding Thor-2011) and sequel to Iron Man (2008) returns Robert Downey, Jr. to the role of eclectic genius and rich guy Tony Stark, who became a super-hero in specialized armor in the first film.  This sequel lacks a focus and even comes across as pointless for much of the time, but mostly it's just flashy. Only 6 months after the 1st film's events, Stark has become something of a showboat with his ego and his armor - rather predictable. But then, he finds out he has even more problems with the injury that created his unusual situation in the previous film - the gizmo in his chest that keeps him alive is also poisoning him, so he seems destined to die soon. The new villain is Whiplash, a disgruntled, moody Russian named Vanko (Mickey Rourke), who is also a scientific genius and constructs his own super-weaponry, but becomes more of a secondary villain after it's shown that industrialist Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) is the true main villain (this plot structure is mirrored in the other Iron Man films).  This version of Whiplash is a combo of two famous villains in the books - Whiplash & Crimson Dynamo.

Most of the characters return - Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) is promoted to CEO of Stark Industries (again showing Stark's daft approach to corporate policy); Don Cheadle replaces Terrence Howard as Rhodey, Stark's buddy and the 2nd guy to become an armored hero; director Jon Favreau again has a small role as chauffeur Happy Hogan; and Clark Gregg is back as the SHIELD agent Coulson.  Samuel L. Jackson also has a small role as Nick Fury, to be expanded in The Avengers (2012). The big new addition is the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the first appearance of the female superspy who goes on to co-star in the Avengers films.  She starts out as undercover here at Stark's company and soon joins in on the action. This film lacks the spark of the first one and is mostly by-the-numbers, as well as being downright dull, despite the fancy structure of switching to different locales around the globe (Russia, Monaco, etc.). Whiplash strikes one as an unusual villain and Rourke tries to lend a soulful quality to the vengeance-minded character, but he's also visually inelegant, what with the combo of tattoos, long hair and odd gadgetry. Iron Man next appeared in The Avengers (2012). BoG's Score: 5.5 out of 10
Iron Trivia: this had a larger opening weekend than the 1st film - the biggest of the 2010 year in fact - but didn't quite match the total domestic gross of the first one, reflecting the dissatisfaction that most people have with such sequels, which do not have staying power and are front-loaded; cameo by Stan Lee, who plays himself but is mistaken for Larry King; Bill O'Reilly also pops up as himself on TV; Cameo by Kate Mara delivering a summons to Stark - she would play the latest version of the Invisible Woman in the 2015 Fantastic Four film; the end credits scene serves as a preview to Thor (2011), featuring the reveal of Thor's downed hammer
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