“I have successfully privatized world peace.”
Director: Jon Favreau
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke
Screenplay: Justin Theroux
Plot: The world now knows that Tony Stark is Iron Man and as such is facing pressure from both the government who wants his technology, the press who is holding him to the ideals of what is a super hero, and himself who wants to leave a legacy. It is at the height of this pressure Ivan Vanko enters the fray, a man intent on destroying Tony Stark and his family name.
The first Iron Man was just awesome with Robert Downey Jr turning in a performance that embodied Tony Stark. Without Downey the movie would have probably failed as I can’t imagine Stark being played by anyone else. It was of course an origin movie so the central character was important, but in the sequel there is some room to let other characters flex themselves and it is with joy that this is exactly what this movie did.
Everyone in this movie is bringing their A game. Mickey Rourke is just awesome as Ivan Vanko. Every scene he is in just oozes with presence. Maybe the one problem would be there doesn’t seem to be enough Ivan Vanko but it’s a very minor complaint. Don Cheadle takes up the role of James Rhodes from Terrence Howard and while I dug Howard in the first film Cheadle just rocks. It was nice to see the relationship of Rhodes and Stark developed further and also of course War Machine. Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts really brings not only some class but a great counter point to Tony Stark. The two really share a great chemistry that reminds me of some of the older romantic comedies Hollywood use to produce. And one final shout out to Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer. Justin Hammer is the sleazy opposite of Tony Stark, in the hands of Rockwell a memorable character is developed that I hope to see in later films. There are other great actors here but that is what is impressive with this comic book movie, it’s done a Dark Knight and stuffed the entire movie with wall to wall good actors.
When Jon Favreau isn’t playing Starks chauffeur Happy Hogan he’s behind the camera and boy does he know what he’s doing. You would think that after the first movie the studio would trust Jon, but as the movie was starting to get made it wasn’t clear if Jon was coming back. Thankfully he got the nod and if there is any message that Marvel needs to understand is for the love of god just let Jon keep making Iron Man movies. It would be safe to say that Batman is currently Nolan’s baby; well this is Favreau’s. He’s got a great eye for what needs to be shown; Jon can joke around with the audience and at the same time get serious for the more intense scenes. From beginning to end he had me by the balls. I would also like to add that a lot of maturity was shown by not just going bigger action wise but allowing for time to develop character. The fact that Happy Hogan got more screen time and a little character development shows a man who is having fun but at the same time cares about what he is creating.
I can remember Iron Man being on my top ten of the year when it came out. I wouldn’t be surprised if this also manages to get onto my top ten. What we have here is the lighter side of comic books but just done in a way that proves the comics aren’t just for kids. People have been going on about Kick Ass but damn it for my money this is the best comic book adaptation this year. See it or Tony Stark will cry.