Thursday, October 7, 2010

DVD--Iron Man 2

or: Sequels do work. Sometimes.

One word to sum it up: Awesome.

I'm a huge fan or anything and everything that Robert Downey Jr. is in. So it was only natural for me to be a huge fan of Iron Man. But sequels always worry me, as the only sequel I have ever seen that is better than the first is The Dark Knight (my favourite film of all-time). Iron Man 2 isn't as good as the first one. However, it manages to keep the coolness of the first (which is probably because of Robert Downey Jr.) and is actually a really good sequel. Honestly, you couldn't really top the first Iron Man, no matter how hard you'd try.

With the world now aware of his dual life as the armored superhero Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from the government, the press, and the public to share his technology with the military. Unwilling to let go of his invention, Stark, along with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and James 'Rhodey' Rhodes (Don Cheadle) at his side, must forge new alliances--and confront powerful enemies.

The Iron Man franchise really would be nothing without Robert Downey Jr. He makes the unlikeable character of Tony Stark somewhat likeable, and also takes great pleasure out of mocking the character and the billionaire image, which is where the film gets most of it's laughs. The first film was explosive, and this second installment is even more explosive. That's what is to be expected of an action sequel, but Iron Man 2 dares to set itself apart from other action sequels. It has a smart script, a wonderful cast and inspired direction to thank for that.

The film isn't really just about a superhero trying to make the world a better place. It takes a look at someone trying to make world peace, someone trying to make more war, and also the lives of the rich and famous. Jon Favreau, while not as technically talented as Christopher Nolan in making action films, does a fantastic job of setting up busy sequences and sends the viewer on an adrenaline rush easily. Iron Man 2 has an enlargened ensemble supporting cast. Gwyneth Paltrow and Clark Gregg are still there. Don Cheadle takes over Terrence Howard's role as one of Stark's closest friends. Scarlett Johansson comes in for a role which basically meant nothing and I'm pretty sure she was just there for eye candy. The two biggest stand outs were Sam Rockwell (the brilliant, underrated actor from Moon) and Mickey Rourke (the scariest fossil-looking man I have ever seen), who played great villains, making this movie different from the first (the only villain was Jeff Bridges, really).

THE VERDICT: Iron Man 2 is an action packed and explosive sequel, which doesn't disappoint. Robert Downey Jr. makes the film worthwhile, along with an awesome cast and script. Can't wait for the next installment, The Avengers to come out in 2012.


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