Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


IRON MAN 2 (2010). Director: Jon Favreau.

Antony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) returns as the armored hero in this sequel to Iron Man. The plot doesn't really matter, but Stark mixes it up with the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Whiplash (Mickey Rourke), and Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), all of whom first appeared in the Iron Man comic books. The Widow pretends to be an employee of Stark Industries, Hammer has a sinister plot afoot involving dozens of Iron Man clones, and Whiplash is really Ivan Vanko, a Russian scientist who uses electronic whips to slash automobiles in half. However, the best sequence has a drunken Iron Man [Stark is a reformed alcoholic in the comics] battling his pal Rhody (Don Cheadle) as the latter is dressed in his own armor as War Machine. Iron Man 2 is colorful and has some exciting sequences, although it's too long and drags at times. Downey is fine as Stark; ditto for Gywneth Paltrow as his assistant Pepper Potts [whom he makes head of Stark Industries] and the rest of the supporting cast. Mickey Rourke looks fairly grotesque but he nearly steals the picture with his intense portrayal of Ivan Vanko. Nice theme music by John Debney.

Verdict: Noisy and splashy and at times entertaining. ***

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