“I’ve successfully privatized world peace.”
– Tony Stark
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is back, six months after announcing to the world that he is Iron Man. This announcement was not taken lightly, and as much popularity as Tony has gained, he has made enemies, and the American Government is getting slightly antsy by his unwillingness to turn over his Iron Man technology to the military. Lieutenant Colonel James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes (Don Cheadle) steps up to assist Tony, who has other plans.
Tony has discovered that the mini arc reactor that he built to keep the shrapnel from the explosion in Afghanistan from reaching his heart is slowly but surely killing him. The palladium, to be precise. That which is keeping him alive will also cause his slow and excruciating death. Tony appoints Virginia “Pepper” Potts (Gwenyth Paltrow) to be the new CEO of Stark Industries, which she finally accepts. Naturally, her position needs to be replaced, and Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johannson) steps up to the plate. Rhodey knows that Tony is dying, a fact that he is not willing to share with anyone, and soon he is off the rails, thinking like a dying man, and a selfish one at that. A Russian by the name of Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) builds his own arc reactor to power his very own version of a suit… one with whips. He enters the States, not to kill Tony, though it surely would have been a bonus, but to prove that gods, too, bleed. He wishes to shake the faith of the nation.
Hammer Industries CEO, Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), assists Vanko is escaping authorities after his capture in hopes that he can make a deal with him: perfect his useless Iron Man suits. The two come to an agreement, and Vanko begins work immediately, all the while everyone outside of Hammer’s immediate crew think that Vanko died in a bombing in his prison cell. Hammer hopes to present the new suits at the Stark Expo as soon as possible. Vanko, however, has plans for automated drones, not suits. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) of S.H.I.E.L.D steps in to tell Tony to get his act together and to do so, soon, and puts Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) on the case to keep an eye on him. Tony finds out that Natalie is actually Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow. The Avengers Initiative is brought up again, but more so to prove to Tony that his father was a greater man then even Tony gave him credit for. Delving into the past, Tony discovers new things about his father, who gives him the technology to create a new element. This element will save Tony, and stop the poisoning of his body while simultaneously keeping the shrapnel from reaching his heart.
Will Tony be able to hang onto the Iron Man technology without sharing it with anyone, including the military? Will Vanko build Hammer the suits he so sorely wants, and what will Tony do with his new found health, step up to the podium as Iron Man successfully, get the girl and put a stop to the weak imitations of his suit that are rapidly gaining momentum?
A 7/10 for Iron Man 2. It was so damn entertaining. I laugh all the time at how Pepper can royally freak out at Tony, but he does not seem to mind (let’s chalk it up to the textbook narcissism, shall we?). But she doesn’t even do it lightly, either. Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) is absolutely brilliant, sweet and crazy all at once, and it is nice to see him have a larger role in this film. I was very sad to see Terrence Howard replaced as Rhodey, but Don Cheadle does a fine job. I really loved the way the whips looked in this movie, they were done so well. Was a pretty cool concept, I will grant that. I was particularly amused by the court opening in the beginning, and could not stop laughing at the Monaco Grand Prix track, the reactions were simply stunning. The humour was pretty sharp in this one again, and Gwenyth Paltrow is such a perfect fit for Pepper. The cast is really put together well, and I like the way you get a little inroads to War Machine. Pretty cool. Two down, one more to go as soon as it touches down here!