Let’s cut right to the chase: Iron Man 2 was an awesome movie. If you haven’t seen it, go see it. Now.
Before I go into any details, let me say that while I won’t spoil the entire movie in this review, there are a few points that I’ll touch on that may spoil bits and pieces of the movie. Consider yourself warned.
As much as I liked the movie, I still have to admit that it had a slow start. In fact, it was such a slow start that I began to worry for the movie. But, then it got all awesome all over the place, and all of the exposition started to bear fruit. I really enjoyed the movie’s take on Whiplash (the guy with the electric whips)…though, I don’t remember him ever being called by that name in the movie. Don Cheadle was excellent as Jim Rhodes. Don’t get me wrong, Terrence Howard did a good job in the first movie, but Cheadle is simply a far better actor, and I’m a huge fan of his.
SHIELD plays a pretty big part in the movie as well. I was happy to see that Sam Jackson is still Sam Jackson (that’s a good thing), but it occurred to me at the end of the movie that anyone who hadn’t seen the post-credit roll scene from the first movie would have no idea why Sam Jackson was even there. I mentioned this to my wife, who said that everyone in the world had seen Nick Fury’s sole scene from Iron Man 1. A compelling argument to be sure, and yet three quarters of the theater emptied out before the Mjolnir (Thor‘s hammer) scene after the credits in Iron Man 2. In fact, the couple that we saw the movie with hadn’t seen the “hidden” scene from part 1. So, yeah…they pretty much had no idea why Sam Jackson was there, and why he was talking about the Avengers all of a sudden. Hopefully, this will give people not in the know a reason to see part 1 again, rather than a reason to say that part 2 had spotty storytelling. Either way, it seems that a cool Easter egg from the first movie became a calculated risk in the second.
Black Widow (again, never called by that name) also made an impressive showing in the movie. I usually have a huge problem when I see some skinny Hollywood chick kicking the hell out of 225 pound men, but for some reason I totally bought it in this movie. I think that’s because she wasn’t using brute force to defeat the guys coming at her, but cunning and guile. And mace.
One of the things a lot of movie-going comic geeks wanted to see was the Demon in a Bottle storyline play out on the big screen. I may be the only geek who didn’t want to see that, so you can imagine my fears when drunk Tony Stark made an appearance in full armor. But, drunk Tony was gone within ten minutes or so, and it worked in well with the plot. He was drinking because he was depressed, and doomed to die a painful death…it was more understandable than him just drinking because alcohol is delicious (which it is, but still…).