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Second time around

We interrupt this offseason to bring you a brief movie review of Iron Man 2.  Though not a fan of Marvel comics specifically, I do enjoy comic books outside the Marvel Universe.  I loved the original Iron Man, specifically because of the outstanding performances by Robert Downey Jr. and Gweneth Paltrow.

Iron Man 2 hasn’t had the same stellar reviews as the first, but frankly I’m surprised.  I thought the second movie, while lacking the same spark that came from the origin story in the first movie was just as strong overall.  The movie was rife with strong acting from Downey and Paltrow who once again display great chemistry.  I thought several times how I actually miss Paltrow in movies.  She’s long been one of the few actresses I could tolerate, and she looks great with red hair.  Of course, I have a thing for red heads, so I admit my bias.

The biggest weakness of the first movie was the interminable ‘robot battle’ at the end.  Though Iron Man 2 came down to a similar clash, it was shorter and more entertaining.  Mickey Rourke was excellent as Ivan Vanko, and proved a more interesting villain than Jeff Bridges did in the first movie.  Ultimately, the climatic fight was not the real point of the movie, as Iron Man 2 is basically a set up film for the coming Avengers movie (you have to love Sam Jackson as Nick Fury).  Bearing in mind that this movie was not an end unto itself and therefore lacked the same satisfying conclusion as the first, it was still entertaining.

The only slow part of the movie came when Downey and Don Cheadle (who pointlessly replaced Terrance Howard) did battle against one another in their respective Iron suits.  Seriously, CGI robots fighting each other was what made Transformers suck so much.  Yawn.  Sam Rockwell was over the top in his role as well.

If anything, Iron Man 2 improves on the original.  The raw material was not quite as strong, but the final result stands up quite well.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Anyone who enjoyed the first Iron Man should enjoy the second as well.