Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle
Director: Jon Favreau
Running Time: 124 mins
Iron Man 2 is an American film and the third film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After revealing that he is Iron Man, Tony Stark comes under fire from threats that aim to bring down Stark Industries as a result of his father’s legacy.
Well, this definitely doesn’t have the surprising realism of the first film, but it’s still a pretty solid sequel. It’s still an entertaining film, with improved action in comparison to the first, and Robert Downey Jr. continues on his run as an excellent superhero, whilst there are better supporting performances all round too.
Let’s start with how this develops on the first film. It’s a very swift transition into the story here, almost as if it’s all one movie together, and because of that, it’s very easy to get back into the swing of things right from the off. We get to learn a bit more about Tony Stark’s past, and a new villain comes about, which is all initially quite exciting.
The other interesting thing about this film as a sequel is that it doesn’t do the generic sequel job of being simply bigger and darker. Yes, there are a lot more Iron Men in this film, and the action is a lot bigger (with one absolutely fantastic fight scene set in Monte Carlo), but it isn’t really that much darker, with the continued wit of Tony Stark continuing strong into this film, as well as a lot of decent comedy that keeps this as by far Marvel’s funniest film series.
In terms of the performances, they’re all still very strong, with Robert Downey Jr. doing an equally good job as in the first film, whilst we also get to see a bit more from the supporting cast, as Gwyneth Paltrow gets a bit more involved in the story, whilst new additions Don Cheadle (as a replacement for the relatively lacklustre Terrence Howard) and Scarlett Johansson add a lot more width to this whole saga, and just make it a whole lot more entertaining.
However, the one aspect that this does fall down in in comparison to the first film is its realism. Of course, that’s not something actually necessary in a superhero film, but the way that the first Iron Man managed to do it so well was just a huge surprise that helped to make the story a whole lot more interesting and appealing to follow.
Here, on the other hand, the villain is a little more generic and two-dimensional, whilst the whole story does get blown a little bit out of proportion in the latter stages of the film, whereas the first film managed to keep it quite down-to-earth and in keeping with the whole idea of military secrets that just made it so convincing.
Overall, then, this gets a 7.6, because despite losing the realism of the first film, this is still a lot of fun, with improved action and strong performances all round.