Time: 124 Minutes
Age Rating: Violence
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
Gwyneth Paltrow as Virginia “Pepper” Potts
Don Cheadle as James “Rhodey” Rhodes
Scarlett Johansson as Natalie Rushman/Natasha Romanoff
Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer
Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
Director: Jon Favreau
With the world now aware that he is Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from all sides to share his technology with the military. He is reluctant to divulge the secrets of his armoured suit, fearing the information will fall into the wrong hands. With Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) by his side, Tony must forge new alliances and confront a powerful new enemy.
Iron Man 2 has been given the reputation of being one of the weakest Marvel movies, if not the weakest Marvel movie but it’s by no means a bad movie. It still has good action and some of the subplots are interesting. The biggest problems is that there are too many subplots in this movie and a lot of them don’t really tie together, and overall not much comes from this movie and it feels unnecessary. Still, if that’s as bad as a Marvel movie gets, I think that’s a great sign.
This film felt like an expansion pack for Iron Man, there is some interesting things like Rhodes becoming War Machine, a subplot involving Tony’s arc reactor which is slowly killing him as well as some more SHIELD information including as the introduction of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow. The problem is that there are too many plotlines, all of these plotlines feel separate and for the most part they aren’t really that interwoven well together. I do feel like Iron Man 2 could’ve been much more relevant to the Marvel universe. There are plot points in Iron Man 2 that makes it worth watching for continuity with The Avengers and other Iron Man appearances after that, aside from those couple plot points however, the film didn’t feel like it needs to happen. The story still isn’t bad, it’s just not as strong or as interesting as other Marvel movies, it is a little messy.
Robert Downey Jr is once again really good, he really is Iron Man and was as good here as he was in the previous movie. As I said in my Iron Man review, Don Cheadle replaced Terrance Howard as Rhodes and he does a much better job. It was also nice seeing him become War Machine, which was one of the better elements of the film. Mickey Rourke is the main villain of the film and although that sounds like a great idea as Rourke can have a good screen presence, the film doesn’t use him effectively. There are really only two times when he poses a threat to Iron Man and the rest of the time he’s just doing some other nonthreatening stuff. Justin Hammer is not a very interesting character but Sam Rockwell really made the role and seemed to be having a whole lot of fun. Scarlett Johansson is decent as Black Widow here, if a little underdeveloped but as later film appearances went on, she does get much better, stronger and much more interesting as a character.
The action scenes are once again really good, like in the previous film. The only real issue that I might have with the action scenes here is that there aren’t that many of them. I also do feel like the final fight with Mickey Rourke was a little underwhelming, like in the previous movie with Jeff Bridges, only this time it was even shorter and less entertaining.
Iron Man 2 is one of the worst movies in the MCU series but it isn’t bad by any means. It’s got some good acting, some good action scenes and its nice watching all these plotlines unfold. But at the same time there’s too many subplots that don’t tie in well together, a lot of the payoffs aren’t very satisfying and there wasn’t much purpose for this movie to really exist. However I still think it’s worth watching, it just wasn’t as good as it could’ve been.