Iron Man, the original, was an astounding example of super hero storytelling so it was with anticipation that i went to watch the sequel. The result was mixed feelings. Billionaire playboy and inventor, Tony Stark is again played by Oscar nominee, Robert Downey Jnr. He is one of the most talented actors on the market and his recent endeavour in Sherlock Holmes serves only to bolster that fact. Although he plays dysfunctional well in Iron Man 2, he doesn’t add much depth beyond that. The fault lies not with him but probably with the script and returning director, Jon Favreau. The latter replaces the exploration of humanity with special effects. The latter is not without merit e.g. the car destruction in the Monaco Grand Prix scene is spectacular. But there reaches a stage where action is so non-stop, and so reliant on special effects, that, although good individually, as a collective, they remove some of the heart from the story.
One solid improvement is Mickey Rourke being cast as the villain, Ivan Vanko. He is far more gritty and convincing than his predecessor, Jeff Bridges. Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Pots) isn’t given any leeway but the introduction of Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) adds some relief.
This one won’t keep the adults fully satisfied but for holidaying teens it is a winner. Iron Man 2’s $200 million budget and a soundtrack by AC/DC is bound to reap some reward and ensure that the trilogy is completed in 2013.