Friday, 18 December 2015

Iron Man 2 (2010)

I wasn't all that thrilled by Iron Man 2 when I saw it at the cinema, but on the re-watch it proves to be a better film than I gave it credit for back then.  It's certainly got its flaws - which I will get to - but there's plenty to enjoy as well.

Some months after revealing himself as Iron Man, Tony Stark is facing two main problems: the first is the efforts of the US government to seize what they deem to be his new "weapon".  The second is that the technology is slowly killing him.  Stark's reaction to both troubles is perfectly in keeping with his swaggering ego: he tries to brazen them out.

What Tony doesn't know is that a third problem is just over the horizon.  A Russian physicist named Anton Vanko has access to technology similar to that which powers the Iron Man suit, and he has his reasons to hate Tony Stark.  The clash between the two men will be an explosive one, to say the least, especially once Vanko has the backing of Justin Hammer, a wealthy rival of Stark.

I mentioned that this film had flaws, and I think Vanko is one of them.  Mickey Rourke is a fine actor, but the role doesn't give him as much screen time or dialogue as it probably should.  A lot of the time he could have used instead goes to Justin Hammer, who ... well he's amusing, but he's never presented as a credible threat to Tony Stark and I think that undermines the film's efforts to build tension.

Despite that, this is a fun film.  There are some genuinely funny moments, plenty of exciting action sequences, and the same strong performances that marked the first entry in the franchise.  Iron Man 2 also introduces Black Widow to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while she doesn't get to do as much as I might like in this film, Widow is definitely one of the ongoing MCU's star players.

If you have any interest in superhero films in general, this one is worth your time.

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