Friday, May 7, 2010

Iron Man 2

Six months after Tony Stark revealed his alter ego to the world, he is more famous and more alone than ever. His party-boy lifestyle enhanced by his new fame, Tony finds little time for the running of Stark Industries and turns the empire over to Pepper, and takes on a new assistant named Natalie. However, this new level of fame comes with consequences – the government wants to take the Iron Man weapon away, Rhoadie is pulled between friend & country, rival Justin Hammer is the new government weapons man and an old secret from the Stark family past surfaces in the form of Ivan Vanko. Vanko is set on proving Tony Stark is a fraud and invents a rival technology and alter ego bent on destroying Iron Man & Tony Stark.

Jon Favreau has done it. He’s proven that he and his franchise have the stuff; he’s turned out a quality movie that isn’t just a great sequel to a fantastic first part, but it’s a great movie on its own. Iron Man 2 is a sequel that lives up to its original and helps to make what we love about that world even better than it was before.

One of the elements that makes Iron Man 2 such a spectacular film is that while being a summer blockbuster, and an action film Favreau and writer Justin Theroux managed to remember that the effects and action are meaningless unless there is a story behind all of it. There is a story in Iron Man 2, a great one and what makes it great it exactly what made Iron Man great – it’s story about a flawed man that decides to do better.

Tony Stark is and always will be an amazing character, and in Iron Man 2 Stark ends up on a free fall, rushing towards rock bottom as he deals with fame, life and the monster in himself. Stark has the entire world at his fingertips and yet he is living completely out of control, drunk on power and fame. Robert Downey Jr. again takes a powerful turn as Stark and lends the role great gravitas, centering Tony’s arch which is one that is eerily similar to a spiral he was on earlier in his life.

Don Cheedle is also notable as Col. Rhodes and had one of the hardest parts in the film as he took the role over from the ousted Terrence Howard. However, by the end of Cheedle’s first scene you will forget Howard completely and be glad for the grounded air Cheedle gives Rhodes and his relationship torn between his country and Stark.

Perhaps what is the most comforting about Iron Man 2 is the obvious care shown throughout the film to create the Marvel Universe. This is a film about Tony Stark, but woven throughout the film are subtle hints that perhaps there are other things going on there as well, things that Nick Fury & SHIELD aren’t telling Stark or any of us.

This is a movie that will be seen multiple times by most audience members, and I urge you that when you go, especially if you are a fan of the Marvel Universe – stay until the end of the credits.

Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: Justin Threoux
Tony Stark: Robert Downey Jr.
Rhodey: Don Cheedle
Natalie Rushman: Scarlett Johansson
Pepper: Gwyneth Paltrow
Ivan Vanko: Mickey Rourke
Nick Fury: Samuel L. Jackson
Agent Coulson: Clark Gregg
Howard Stark: John Slattery
Happy Hogan: Jon Favreau
Jarvis: Paul Bettany

Ivan Vanko: If you could make God bleed, people will cease to believe in Him. There will be blood in the water, and the sharks will come. All I have to do is sit here and watch, as the world will consume you.

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