Iron Man 2 is the continuation of the Iron Man series, again directed by Jon Favreau, Tony Stark is now more renown and even more popular for inventing his remote controlled suits of armour, which he plans to weaponize and sell off, though the US government obviously has its’ objections to that. You’d think Tony would have learned his lesson from Iron Man but of course there are problem with his vision, Tony is also declining health and has to come to terms with that, while the rising threat of a vengeful man out for Tonys’ blood in Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) comes into play.
The cast from Iron Man returns with RDJ, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jon Favreau, Paul Bettany, while the actor playing James Rhodes is switched to Don Cheadle, with the additions of Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff, Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer, a longtime tech rival to Stark and Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko/Whiplash. Just off the bat, the cast is brilliant and they all play off well with each other, Tony in relating to and interacting with other characters makes the film a great watch, especially with his scenes with Nick Fury, Potts and Rhodey.
Tony gets an interesting arc (pun totally intended) in Iron Man 2 but not one as compelling or interesting as in Iron Man, his change in health is an interesting turn for the story but it doesn’t exactly make him any more grounded, he’s as cocky as ever and makes more armoured suits for his personal use. Which isn’t to say he’s bad in the film at all, he just lets his ego go a bit out of control, resulting in his remote controlled suits getting taken over later in the film. The writing in the film is good, mirroring Iron Man and some of the exchanges between Tony and Potts, Tony and Rhodey are pretty hilarious, Favreau knows how to write good, entertaining films and Iron Man 2 is no exception. And as far as the visuals go, it looks great with ever more armoured suits in play, including Rhodes War Machine suit, Whiplashes’ own suit and several others which look great in high definition as they fight it out in action scenes.
And as awesome as Mickey Rourke is, his character doesn’t get the best run out in the movie, Whiplash is defeated fairly easily on both occasions that he confronts Tony and yeah, he just wasn’t a good villain in the end with more of a focus on Tony and a slight set up to The Avengers. Also Tony is never really in that much grave danger in the film which got rid of any major tension, though Pepper is, but then she’s saved quickly by Tony and his quick thinking. Though the final battle scene does look great, it’s far too short and anti-climactic, sort of a nice summary of Tonys interaction with Whiplash as a whole. Iron Man 2 does sort of fall flat as a whole, not being as compelling or good in terms of an interesting plot arc for Tony and the villain this time around is worse than Obadiah by a stretch, though the visuals look good and the plot is still fairly engaging.
Iron Man 2 is by no means a bad movie but it falls in the lower end of the spectrum in the MCU in terms of quality.
. Good but overly short action scenes
. Great writing, one of the funniest Marvel movies
. Plot definitely lacks a compelling villain or threat to Tony