SciFi Japan

    Review: IRON MAN 2

    Author: Kim Song-ho Official Movie Site:

    SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details for a new movie. IRON MAN 2 begins from the final scene of the previous film, where Tony Stark revealed his secret identity of Iron Man and made the press conference panic. However, this time we see it again not from where the film exactly ended, but from a different place - a shabby, small room in Russia. There lies an old man on his deathbed and his son, who keeps drinking vodka to get over sadness. At last, the old man dies and the son`s grief turns into rage. It`s the birth of Ivan Vanko/Whiplash, the new enemy of Tony Stark/Iron Man. But in this sequel, Whiplash is not the only enemy. The US government tries to confiscate the Iron Man suit because it considers the suit as a threat to the country`s security. Justin Hammer, a rival arms dealer, keeps trying to bite a chunk out of Stark whenever he has the chance. Later, he wins Whiplash over to his side and makes a formidable threat to Stark. To make matters worse, Stark`s company declines and Stark himself suffers from poisoning caused by the arc reactor. He begins to fuddle between narcissism and self-destructive eccentricity. He must face not only the enemies out there, but also the enemy - a very hard to defeat at that - in his own mind. At this point, the audience become anxious. With twice as many characters and plot points than the previous film, this sequel might crash. Fortunately, IRON MAN 2 does not repeat mistakes that many sequels do. It does not meaninglessly rehash the same formula as the original film. Director Jon Favreau and writer Justin Theroux faithfully succeed in delivering a solid sequel to IRON MAN, which received unexpectedly positive reviews as a superhero film. Characters still have enough charm as with the original film thanks to the fantastic casting, including the always reliable Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow. Newcomers like Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle and Sam Rockwell effortlessly blend in. Plot points work well, especially the one involving Stark`s struggle with his inner enemies and eventual victory over them.

    There is some stalling and repetition in the middle part, but they are easily offset by the eye candy on display and THE AVENGERS references both subtle and direct. The action and the visual effects are above-average, showcasing splendor and diversity in an already tightly established fictional universe. The only drawback is the character of Black Widow played by Scarlett Johansson. Her potential is eclipsed by a character that has little room to develop. IRON MAN 2 generally maintains the strength and appeal of the original film without breaking down a good story. If you enjoyed the first IRON MAN, you will hardly be disappointed. And here is the good news: THE AVENGERS is much closer than before.

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