Iron Man 2 (2010)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Directed by Jon Favreau
Starring Robert Downey Jr, Mickey Rourke and Gwyneth Paltrow
Plot: With the world now aware of his identity as Iron Man, Tony Stark must contend with both his declining health and a vengeful mad man with ties to his father’s legacy.
Movie Trivia: Not being tech literate, Rourke found that the most challenging part about playing Whiplash was pretending to know his way around a computer.
Rotten Tomatoes: 57%
This second installment of the Iron Man sub-story successfully moves the story along, albeit with a little less snap than what we were given in Iron Man (2008). I understand how this can be a turnoff to many people but I believe it works well for the Tony we are meant to have at this point of his story. By now, the world knows who he is, he has unbelievable pressure from the world and himself to succeed, he is being investigated, and to top it all, he is dying. The sarcasm he delivers now is not the cool man with a sharp with, this is a dying man trying not to be terrified and give up. This is a man who uses his humor as a shield from feeling anything that might hinder his progress forward.
Rourke was great in this movie. It still doesn’t top his performance as Marv in Sin City, but this is a solid second place to that role. The visual effects with him particular really struck me. The reveal of his weapon at the race is visually stunning and emotionally gripping. You realize the game has changed and they did a wonderful job conveying that. The little touches that Rourke added to his personality were so fun. He feels almost like a “Norman Bates” villain. He is crazy, he is broken, he is loveable, he is evil. Somehow he can embody all of that, and it makes you want to root for him sometimes despite yourself.
Overall, this is a sequel… as in it is the dip where things go dark, it is the slow down after the first big bang, it is the connector to a much bigger picture. That seems to be true for many long running film franchises, and it is the case in this film for me. It doesn’t make it bad, but it is my least favorite of the Iron Man movies. But that is also like saying, “My least favorite way to travel is to drive.” You are still taking a vacation, you are still having fun, but you would have a little more fun if you were getting there a different way. That is this movie to me.