Reviewed by: Daniel Thompson
How did Jesus greatly humble himself for us? Answer
Drunkenness in the Bible
DEPRESSION—Are there biblical examples of depression and how to deal with it? Answer
What should a Christian do if overwhelmed with depression? Answer
REVENGE—Love replaces hatred—former israeli soldier and an ex-PLO fighter prove peace is possible-but only with Jesus
Anger in the Bible
Armor in the Bible
Death in the Bible
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
|Featuring:||Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Mickey Rourke (Ivan Vanko / Whiplash), Paul Bettany (Jarvis—voice), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), Sam Rockwell (Justin Hammer), Kate Mara (Bethany Cabe), Olivia Munn (Melina Vostokoff / Iron Maiden), Jon Favreau (Hogan), Don Cheadle (Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes / War Machine), Leslie Bibb (Christine Everhart), Helena Mattsson (Rebecca), Stan Lee (Larry King), Clark Gregg (Agent Phil Coulson), John Slattery (Howard Stark), Gina Cantrell (Ironette), Tim Guinee (Major Allen), Jack White (Jack!), Natalina Maggio (Model), Garry Shandling (Senator Stern), Ayelet Ben-Shahar (Beautiful Women / Model), more »|
|Producer:||Paramount Pictures, Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Studios, Fairview Entertainment, Victoria Alonso, Louis D'Esposito, Susan Downey, Jon Favreau, Kevin Feige, Alan Fine, Eric Heffron, Jeremy Latcham, Stan Lee, David Maisel, Denis L. Stewart|
Sequel to “Iron Man” (2008)
In 2008, Paramount Pictures had an unknown commodity in the “Iron Man” franchise. Sure, the time was right for superhero movies, but “Iron Man” wasn’t nearly as well known as “Batman,”, “Spider Man,” or “X-Men.” With Robert Downey Jr. as the star and a director whose only big budget film was “Elf,” the film was a risk. Its success was unthinkable, as the movie earned over $300 million just in the US. There was good reason for its success. “Iron Man” was an excellent superhero movie with a great redemptive tale told with wonderful acting, effects, and humor. The question now became: could this success be replicated? For most fans, the answer to that question will be a resounding ‘yes,’ as “Iron Man 2,” while lacking some originality of the first one, mostly delivers on the promise of the 2008 smash hit.
When we last left our hero, he had done something that superheroes generally don’t do: reveal his secret identity at a live press conference. This does several things. It sends shockwaves throughout the world, starting millions into production trying to create their own Iron Man weapon (without much success). It leads to the US government demanding the technology used by Stark be turned over to the authorities. It also feeds Stark’s ego, the ego of a man who can already fly and shoot lasers out of his hands.
There can’t help but be problems, beginning with Russian physicist Ivan Vanko whose father was deported by Stark’s father years ago. Vanko has successfully developed his own weapon based on Stark’s work and has come to America to avenge his father’s death by killing Tony. Add to that Justin Hammer, head of a weapons manufacturer that is continually embarrassed by Stark. Hammer wants nothing more than to show Stark up, and he recruits the villainous Vanko to help him achieve his goal. With Tony drunk with power and no longer listening to his trusted friends Pepper Potts and Colonel Rhodes, things aren’t looking too good.
While all of this sounds a lot darker than the first “Iron Man,” the filmmakers manage to keep the same fun, lighthearted tone that made the original film so memorable. With enough comic touches and dry wit, the palate established for the series isn’t altered.
The main detriment of “Iron Man 2” is an ailment that plagues most sequels. Because of the success of the original, filmmakers feel the need to make the sequel with more of everything. More characters, more plotlines, more explosions. The problem is that bigger doesn’t always mean better. The plot of “Iron Man 2” is overstuffed with multiple villains, as well as a side story that is nothing more than a long preview for “The Avengers” film coming out in 2012. While this portion of the plot featuring SHIELD leader Nick Fury will make serious comic book fans drool, it doesn’t deserve this much screen time in a movie that’s supposed to be about Iron Man. Because of this, the story suffers in places, and the pacing isn’t quite as quick or breezy as the first.
The good news is that when they overstuffed this sequel they did so with an all-star cast. Joining the returning cast are the likes of Don Cheadle as Colonel Rhodes (replacing Terrance Howard from the first film), Samuel L. Jackson as SHIELD director Nick Fury, Scarlett Johansson as the mysterious Natalie Rushman, Sam Rockwell as weapons manufacturer Justin Hammer, and Academy Award nominee Mickey Rourke as the menacing Russian villain Ivan Vanko. The performances are uniformly great, but the star of the show is Downey Jr. It’s possible that he plays the part of Tony Stark so well because it reflects a lot of his own life. A talented actor who once was a slave to his addictions was given a second chance and has taken full advantage of it. Regardless of the reason, Downey’s mannerisms and line deliveries make him ideal for the role.
Similar to the first “Iron Man”, there are some positive redemptive themes in the sequel. What’s great about the character of Tony Stark, in comparison to other superheroes, is that his powers aren’t given to him through a spider bite or the planet Krypton. but through his own machinations. Because of this, his struggles with identity are more in line with how an actual human being would handle them. He is overtaken with pride and arrogance, as he ascends to national and worldwide prominence. He doesn’t struggle with the weight or responsibility of his powers; he struggles with humility, narcissism and selfishness. Just because he had a serious turning point in the first film doesn’t mean our hero is perfect. He needs to be held accountable by his friends, just like the rest of us. He needs forgiveness.
Fortunately, “Iron Man 2” doesn’t pile on objectionable content in its sequel. The foul language is kept to a minimum, with the worst coming in the form of two “bleeped” out profanities during a congressional hearing that’s being aired on C-Span. Violence is prevalent throughout, but it’s almost completely bloodless and portrayed in classic comic book style. There are no sex scenes or sexual situations, but there are plenty of scenes with women in somewhat revealing attire, as well as the occasional sexual innuendo. Its content is mild, comparatively, for a PG-13 rating and is consistent with the content of the first film, if not an improvement.
While it doesn’t quite meet the standard set by its predecessor, “Iron Man 2” is fun and entertaining and will no doubt please diehard fans of the comic as well as the first film. For good escapist fun, “Iron Man 2” gets the summer started off right.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.