Rating: **** out of *****
The world is aware that billionaire inventor Tony Stark is the armored Super Hero Iron Man. Under pressure from the government, the press and the public to share his technology with the military, Tony is unwilling to divulge the secrets behind the Iron Man armor because he fears the information will slip into the wrong hands. With Pepper Potts, and James "Rhodey" Rhodes at his side, Tony forges new alliances and confronts powerful new forces.
This was one of my most anticipated movies of 2010, especially since I'm such a HUGE fan of Robert Downey Jr., and the first movie was pretty spectacular, again mostly because of him. I'm not a big fan of some of the super hero movies out there - they tend to be weak on plot and relationship-building - but RDJ has a charisma that really breathed new life into the character of of Tony Stark and Iron Man. I also really liked his relationship with his right-hand woman, Pepper Potts. She was poised, unflappable, super intelligent, and not fooled by his charm, though it was evident she was rather in love with the player anyway.
This time around, Tony Stark believes he has he world by the balls, and he's not about to give that power up and share his secrets with the government. According to Tony, HE is the protector of the world, and responsible for world peace, and the government can go screw itself. Yeah, he's got a bit of an ego problem. But while to the world he presents a face of confidence and arrogance, what he's hiding is that the implant he has is killing him. He's tried everything, but he just cannot find a cure, and time is running out.
Meanwhile it's revealed that the current technology Stark Industries uses may not have been solely created by his father, Howard Stark. There's a Russian man who worked with the company decades ago who may have been responsible for many of these discoveries, and now his son wants revenge....
Robert Downy is once again his unforgettable self in this movie, and worth the price of admission alone. I can't help it, I have a weakness for the man. Even when he's being a jerk, I still love him. And yeah, especially in the beginning of the movie, and in a few parts throughout, he's not at his best. Of course dying can bring out the worst in a person, but what makes it worse is that he takes it out on the people that care about him, most notably Pepper Potts. Yes, because it's obvious he has feelings for her, but it still wasn't his smoothest move.
It's funny how the second Scarlett Jo appears onscreen that I cringed. There's something just so skanky about her. I know the guys in the theatre were probably all drooling and having dirty thoughts, but in my mind she's one step up from Megan Fox, only I have to admit that she can act better, and I gotta give her credit, she was pretty good in this movie. She makes a fabulous kickass chick. But I just don't like her. Give me Angelina, give me Jessica Biel, hell, give me Tina Fey, just don't give us Skanky ScarJo.
I like Don Cheadle a lot, but they could have given him more a sense of humor here. Still trying to wrap my head around him replacing Terrence Howard, and DC coulda pulled it off if he hadn't been quite so serious in the role of Rhodey. But I think he makes a good foil for RDJ, and stands up to him quite well. He's smaller in stature than Terrence, but he doesn't let that stop him. I just kept imagining his character from the Ocean movies, with that British accent. Now that would have been fun *g*
Mickey Rourke, and what has plastic surgery done to you? I cringed when he came onscreen too. I remember a steamy movie he was in years ago (no, not 9 1/2 weeks, though I did see part of that movie too) called Wild Orchid, and I thought he was kinda hot, if a bit deranged, back then. Now, ick. But he was convincing as a Russian bad guy, and he does have a flamboyant sense of parody that worked well for the character.
Sam Rockwell also has a way about him that is highly entertaining. But I just wasn't convinced that he was quite the adversary against Tony Stark much less Iron Man. He had a horrible spray-on tan and tacky jewelry and a boatload of money, but he had no balls until he partnered up with Mickey Rourke's character. Still, he's fun to watch.
Biggest disappointment: what they did to Pepper Potts! She was such a wonderful character in the first movie - intelligent, poised, efficient - but here they make her the cliche'. She's shrill, emotional, whiny, and unsure of herself. I hated what they did to her character. Plus, with everything else going on in the movie, she's not really around a lot, so we have to fall back on the fact that she's been with Tony for a long time, and that they have a long history, but we don't see much of it. I thought their whole storyline was weak and dissatisfying. Totally typical of most superhero relationships. At least they didn't have her walking around in skimpy, suggestive outfits. The heels were bad enough.
However as disappointing as all that was, I still got my RDJ fix, and that alone was worth it. If only we could have seen more of him without a shirt. I'm seeing that they will make a 3rd Iron Man movie scheduled for release in 2012. If they do, I hope to God they do a better job of it this time around.
Rating: **** out of *****