Iron Man 2

Viewed – 29 October 2010  Blu-ray

Back in a packed summer season, Iron Man #1 stood out as the surprise superhero gem despite tough competition from The Dark Knight and Hellboy 2.  I loved it, mainly down to the perfect casting of Robert Downey Jr but also some superb action scenes and a tongue-in-cheek rule breaking attitude that kept it fresh and exciting.  Naturally I was hyped for the sequel, but sadly missed it at the cinema.  So it was high time I made up for that on Blu-ray.

Tony Stark, newly outed as the indestructible super weapon that is Iron Man is the world’s poster boy, a charismatic arms dealer and tycoon, who despite blood thirsty rivals, maintains his crown as the first point of action against the U.S.A.’s enemies.  That is until a Russian offspring to a Soviet rival of Tony’s father arrives on the scene in the midst of a charity Grand Prix and sporting twin electrical whips … causing Tony Stark and America to wake up. 

Mickey Rourke steps up to the mantle as the resident bad-ass villain, sporting a thick Rusky accent that is often hard to understand, and this time we also get a couple of hired helps for Iron Man in the shape of War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).  Now as a movie this delivers some stunning special effects, plenty of bravura and eye-catching scenery (Iron-Man’s entrance to the Stark Expo just made me want to stand up and cheer), but gets bogged down in a rather dragging plot, where more screen time is given to a bickering Stark and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) or drunken navel gazing than seeing things blow up and men in robot suits lay down a can of whoop-ass.  Which is a shame, because when this movie kicks off,  it delivers great action and adrenaline fuelled chases.  Scarlett Johansson, whilst a little side lined makes for a very sexy and credible action star, and Don Cheadle makes for a great (conflicted) side-kick.  Yet ultimately it’s Rourke who underwhelms, all build up and little pay-off and back story feels almost none existent.  Thankfully Downey Jr doesn’t disappoint with great one-liners, charisma and genuine screen presence.

In the end this is a movie lacking focus.  The plot seemed all over the place and like many sequels, too many characters were fighting for screen time (Sam Jackson, what are you doing here?).    If like me you loved Iron Man, then this is still a no-brainer.  But if you’re expecting this to surprise you and leave you thirsty for more (like the last one did)  – you’ll be very much disappointed.

Verdict:  3 /5

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