Iron Man 2

Stars: ★★★☆

Summary:  A fun, funny, big comic book movie that matches the success of the first.

Review: Superhero sequels tend to go in two directions.  Either they are two steps up from the original or two steps down.  It’s a rare moment when the same level of quality is delivered twice, and ‘Iron Man 2’ is just such a rarity.  It’s got all the fun of the first — perhaps more — and though it lacks the pure dramatic strength of the origin story, it’s got a great cast, amazing action and a better villain.

This time around, Tony Stark — having revealed his identity as Iron Man — is now more popular than ever.  Though it’s obvious he still struggles with ego, he’s also trying his best to create a heroic legacy for others to follow.  Legacy is foremost on his mind because the element that powers the miniature reactor in his chest is poisoning him, and he doesn’t have much time left.  On top of this, the government is demanding that he hand over his suit, creating a rift between him and his friend Lt. Colonel Rhodes.  The secret organization S.H.I.E.L.D. is keeping tabs on him.  Lastly, a mysterious Russian inventor is out to destroy him for reasons of his own. Will Tony Stark find a way to stop the poisoning?  Will he keep his suit?  Will he repair his relationship with his friends?  Will the Russian guy get him?  Will there be a sequel!? I can’t stand the pressure!

Anyway, it’s obviously not as focused as the first, but the strength of the cast holds it together.  Mainly, of course, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, who plays the exact opposite of Bruce Wayne.  He’s a popular rich guy who enjoys the hell out of being a superhero.  There’s no major brooding here.  I have a theory about the AC/DC songs that introduce us to Stark in both films.  In ‘Iron Man’, it’s ‘Back in Black’, a song about defying death, which is of course the central theme of that film.  In ‘Iron Man 2’, it’s ‘Shoot to Thrill’, a song about, well, thrill-seeking, which is arguably the central theme of this film, as it is Stark’s real Achilles Heel.

Though it kind of drags in its second act, it never lost my interest.  For all the dramatic material, it’s a hilarious script and the gags hit their marks most of the time.  It’s a great crowd movie.  It’s a good superhero movie.  It shot to thrill, and hit its target.

Buy It From Amazon:  Iron Man 2 (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)

James’ Five Most Anticipated Films Of 2010

Hey folks.  Here’s the five movies due to be released this year that I am most looking forward to.  Pretty much what the title said.  Oh, and they’re in no particular order.

The A-Team

Here’s the why. I haven’t seen any of director Joe Carnahan’s stuff, but I like the look of this. I’m a massive fan of the old show, and I sure hope Joe is too. At least he picked the right actors. I think. TBR June 11th.

Tron Legacy

Here’s the why. The original ‘Tron’ was strangely awesome, mostly due to its leading cast. That’s why the new one has my attention, as they brought back Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner. The User abides.  TBR December 17th.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Here’s the why. Jerry Bruckheimer, producing, knows what makes a genre movie work.  Judging by the trailer, they went as all out on this one as they did on the ‘Pirates’ movies, in terms of casting and visual impact, so it may be the first really decent — or good — video game adaptation.  Well, I’ve heard some decent things about other video game adaptations, but if this is one is really fun, it will probably be the benchmark. TBR May 28th.


Here’s the why. It’s Christopher Nolan’s latest “mid-Batman” movie.  ‘Cuz, you know, he made ‘Batman Begins’, then ‘The Prestige’, which was quite good, then ‘The Dark Knight’, now ‘Inception’, then ‘Batman 3’ or whatever.  I’m thinking it’s going to run along the same kind of quality. TBR July 16th.

Iron Man 2

Here’s the why. ‘Cuz it’s just so cool. TBR May 7th.

Yeah, I know these are all action movies, and most of them have a sci-fi/fantasy bent.  I’m an 18-year-old male who enjoys things like shooting guns, smoking pipes and wishing I had a girlfriend.  Sue me.