"I have successfully privatized world peace"
Six months after announcing that he was Iron Man, Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) now considers that he has brought World Peace to the planet. Nothing can compete with the Iron Man suite and the government wants him to turn it over to the armed forces before any other country copies the technology. With the rest of the world struggling to compete technologically but the treat doesn’t come from outside of the US but from within because Stark Industries nearest competitor, Justin Hammer (Rockwell) wants to beat the Iron Man armour and he is asking criminal scientist Ivan Vanko (Rourke) to do it but he has his own agenda.
After launching Marvel Studios with the first movie, Tony Stark and his Iron Man suit of armour are back.
Back in 2008 Marvel Studios was launched with the first big screen, live action outing of ‘Iron Man’. The movie became a worldwide smash and opened the Marvel Universe to the silver screen. While there have been many adaptations of Marvel Comics in the past, such as ‘Daredevil’, ‘Fantastic Four’, ‘Spider-Man’, ‘Ghost Rider’, ‘Blade’ and the ‘X-Men’ franchise, none of them were connected to the same Universe or timeline. When the studio followed ‘Iron Man’ up with ‘The Incredible Hulk’, Robert Downey Jr. made a cameo as Tony Stark to link the two films together. With the announcements of ‘Thor’ and ‘Captain America’ next on Marvel’s Studios slate, fans started to get excited but it was the introduction of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson, at the end of the first ‘Iron Man’ movie that really got the comic book fraternity going wild with excitement because the character revealed Marvel Studio’s big plan, a superhero team up in ‘The Avengers’.
Before we see the big screen team up of some of Marvel’s greatest superheroes, more of the story of how these characters come together has to be told. With Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark announcing ‘I am Iron Man’ at the end of the first film and Nick Fury introducing S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers programme, the story of the millionaire playboy and engineering genius wasn’t at the point were he would become one of the major players in the superhero match up. Now he was lapping up the life as superhero that privatized World Peace, making the American people and the World safe from harm but this would also create new enemies and bring vengeance to the fold.
With the Iron Man armour technology shown to the world, governments and armed forces around the world wanted their own version of the technology. The US Government bring Tony Stark to a congressional hearing to ask him to turn over the Iron Man weapon to the American armed forces, Stark’s biggest competitor Hammer Industries wants to get their hands on the technology but it is Ivan Vanko, a Russian physicist, who will use Tony Stark’s own invention against him. While the rest of the world plots against him, Tony has his own problems to face and they could have dyer consequences for his company, the protection of the world and his own life. The story allows the character of Tony Stark to grow and while he is still as arrogant as ever, the middle act of the film allows him to face some demons and his own mortality.
With the plot carrying on from where the first film finished, the major characters from the first film get the chance to grow also but there are some changes. Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Bettany, Clark Gregg and Jon Favreau return as Tony’s long suffering assistant Pepper Potts, the voice of Jarvis, Agent Coulson and Tony’s driver Happy Hogan. Each have a little more screen time than before and, especially with Gwyneth’s character, get the chance to grow. The returning character that has the biggest change however is Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes. Fans always knew that he would become ‘War Machine’ as some point during the second movie but what they didn’t expect was that the actor playing him would also change. After Terrance Howard made the character his own in the first film, he was replaced by Don Cheadle for reasons that have never really been explained but the good news is that Cheadle makes an impact straight away and Howard is quickly forgotten about. It is the presence of Robert Downey Jr. that makes this movie standout from the rest of the Marvel comic book adaptation. There is no one better to play playboy scientist Tony Stark and Downey Jr. revels in the role again, mixing his superhero status with an arrogance suited for the character but he also gets to show the more tender side. This is a role made for him and one that shows how good an actor Robert Downey Jr. can be.
The film would be nothing without its villains and ‘Iron Man 2’ has two men vying for that title. First up we have the head of Stark Industries main competitor, Justin Hammer. Played by the always-excellent Sam Rockwell, he is the arms manufacturer who will do anything to create technology that will compete with the Iron Man armour. The second is Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko, the son of a Russian physicist who blames the Stark family for the death of his father. Using the same technology as Tony uses to power the Iron Man suite, he creates armour that uses energy whips that will cut through anything, making him the most formidable opponent that Iron Man has ever faced. As well as the villains we have more screen time for Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury and Scarlett Johansson dressed in tight fitting leather and kicking butt and taking names as Tony’s new assistant Natalie Rushman, better known to comic book fans as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow.
With the first and final act filled to the brim with action and a middle act expanding the character of Tony Stark, the second movie in the Iron Man franchise is more of the same. While it certainly isn’t ‘The Dark Knight’, never coming close to the writing and acting of the Batman sequel, Iron Man is a fun piece of superhero entertainment executed extremely well by Jon Favreau and his creative team. With more superheroes come (stay to the end of the credits to see a little introduction) and the promise of ‘The Avengers’, Marvel Studios continue to provide excellent box office entertainment.
Includes the feature on Blu-ray, DVD and a Digital Copy
Commentary by John Favereau
Ultimate Iron Man: The Making of Iron Man 2 (HD)
Easter Egg (HD)
Deleted Scenes (HD) with optional commentary by Jon Favreau
Concept Art Galleries
Theatrical Trailers: Mr. Stark (HD), World (HD), IMAX Kids (HD)
Other Marvel Trailers: SEGA - Iron Man 2 Video Game (HD), SEGA - Iron Man 2 Video Game Prologue (HD), Avengers Animated Trailer (HD)
Music Video: Shoot To Thrill (HD)
Usher Home | Hush, Hush... | The
Big Story | The Usher Speaks
@ Home | Coming Soon | Links | Contact the Usher