Iron Man 2 (2010) Directed by Jon Favreau. With Robert Downey Jr., Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Sam Rockwell and Scarlett Johansson.
I’m at odds with how I feel about Iron Man 2. For the most part, it’s enjoyable, but mostly enjoyable in a disappointingly throwaway fashion. Jon Favreau returns to the directors chair for this second instalment, which feels increasingly like a set-up film for future Avengers adventures.
When it isn’t laying franchise foundations, this outing specifically deals with Tony Stark and his response to being known to the world as Iron Man, as well as his ongoing research to find a cure for his own blood poisoning, which is accelerated by usage of his own technology. That, and the daddy issues that cause an angry Mickey Rourke to attempt to rain on his parade.
Rourke is a fine presence in any film, and brings a strong air of physical authority, yet disappointingly, his character isn’t given nearly enough consideration (or screen-time) to impress much other than ‘mad, angry Russian’.
In truth, there’s a lot of stuff whizzing around in Iron Man 2. The trouble is, little of it amounts to as much as it should. On the plus-side, the script by Justin Theroux offers more sharp, funny exchanges of dialogue – perfect for the likes of Downey Jr. and Sam Rockwell (a Stark wannabe) to deliver in their typically quick-witted comedic styles. On top of that, Scarlett Johannson’s Black Widow is introduced to the world, and although the gist of her role is mostly ‘sexy-girl-in-a tight-costume‘, her presence adds an intriguing layer, teasing more development as this Marvel business model unfolds.
That’s partly the problem with Iron Man 2. While it’s fun in chunks, as Samuel L. Jackson pops up again to remind us, it feels like it’s a pre-cursor to something that Marvel studios are far more interested in – The Avengers. In the meantime, we have to make do with what we have. That said, Downey Jr. doing his thing is more than enough to put us on. 3.5/5
Totally agree, there’s lots to enjoy but there’s something missing that holds it back from being as awesome as it could’ve been! Ah well, they all can’t be Avengers or Captain America: Winter Solider’s!
Thank you for commenting. Yes, the bar is pretty high for superhero films now. Funtional fun is no longer an acceptable standard. We want smart, funny, exciting, sexy and sophisticated. Tall order.
My biggest gripe with IM2 is actually some of the humour. Robert Downey Jr is great but I’m preferring his turn in more recent Marvel ventures like Age of Ultron where they seem to be taking the character a bit more seriously and balancing that against little beats of humour.
It’s a shame Rourke wasn’t given more focus but the action packed finale I actually enjoyed and had fun with.
Can’t wait for Civil War next month.
Oh, me too, the trailer has me stoked, although I’m trying to keep myself as uninformed as possible. I live to save sum surprises for the cinema. I agree on Rourke, he’s a great actor and could have brought a lot. In the end, he’s just a bit of a useless thug. Big shame. Also, considering there was such a big emphasis on set0up, during Iron Man 2, why did we have so much Sam Rockwell? I love the guy, but it seemed like a strange move.
Yeah I’m fond of Rockwell too but he only added to the overly comedic tone IM2 slides towards to at times. Guess I just like my superheroes serious haha.