Iron Man 2, quite obviously the sequel to Sherlock Holmes, is fun, smart, and fast paced. Robert Downey, Jr., plays the titular character and his alter-ego, Tony Stark, with the same aplomb and swagger, tinged with a bit of newly discovered resignation and sadness. This film is about legacy, and it does a good job of showing how both the protagonist and his antagonist view their own individual legacies. While not quite as light-hearted as the first film, Iron Man 2 is an excellent middle chapter in a superb trilogy.
The Good: Tony Stark’s chemistry with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts. Jon Favreau’s Happy. ScarJo’s Natasha Romanov and her kick ass martial arts moves. Mickey Rourke’s Ivan Janko. Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer. Don Cheadle’s Rhodey. The action scenes. The fight scenes. The inside jokes. The fast dialogue that wasn’t dumbed down.
The Bad: Paul Bettany’s Jarvis is a little too human and acted as too much of a narrator at times. Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury is kind of annoying, and I fear for The Avengers if he can’t tone down the cheesy “Snakes on a Motherfuckin’ Plane” attitude. I hope his role is minimal in that film. The climax felt a little subdued. A few of the jokes were a little too referential to the first movie, unnecessarily.
The Ugly: Garry Shandling. Man, has he just gotten uglier in his old age or is it me?
I give it three and a half out of four War Machines.