“In “Iron Man 2,” the world is aware that billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) 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 (Gwyneth Paltrow), and James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) at his side, Tony forges new alliances and confronts powerful new forces.”
Iron Man 2 the sequel to the 2008 film represents the latest entry in Marvel’s grand vision of films that are slowly taking audiences towards the eventual Avengers film. This latest instalment in the Marvel universe has Robert Downy Jr return to the role of Tony Stark along with Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, and Don Cheadle steps into the role of Lt. Col. James Rhodes. Scarlett Johansson joins the cast as does Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke.
Robert Downy Jr as you would expect puts on a great performance easily sliding back into the role he owned in the first film, Sam Rockwell gives an excellent performance as rival billionaire industrialist Justin Hammer while Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson and Mickey Rourke all manage to deliver a strong screen presence despite not having a huge amount of materiel to work with.
From the opening scene till the credits roll, Iron Man 2 displays high quality production values, great looking sets, and for the most part excellent visual effects. Consistent with the first film Iron Man 2 also plays out to a great soundtrack.
Between some explosive action sequences as the film plays through director Jon Favreau gives plenty of room for the film to breathe as we follow Tony Stark’s personal story arc among the other events in the film. In fact Iron Man 2 displays very similar pacing to the first film as it spends time building up and expanding the characters throughout without feeling the need to rush through events in order to get to the next scene.
Without getting into spoiler territory there is some disjointedness as to the way some events come together, though the film gives the audience little time to dwell on such moments as it rolls into some fun actions scenes shortly thereafter. The action slowly escalates as it moves towards the finale before delivering some sequences which Iron Man fans will hopefully love.
Audiences with a keen eye for detail (and some knowledge of the marvel universe) will pick up on some references to the wider marvel universe that pop up throughout the film though they are done so in a very subtle way as this remains completely an Iron Man movie.
There are multiple comedic moments and in some parts longer sequences which provide some laughs without getting too out of hand though depending on how dearly you hold the source material opinions are likely to differ on this.
Jon Favreau has ultimately delivered another great film, opinions may differ whether this is a step up or a step down from the first film, though no matter how you look at it the quality has been maintained resulting in another great superhero film.
I’m giving this 3.5 out of 5 stars, the film opens in Australian cinemas on Thursday 29th April and American screens on the 7th May.