More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 5.13%
Worth A Look: 26.92%
Pretty Bad: 30.77%
Total Crap: 1.28%

8 reviews, 30 user ratings

Latest Reviews

To the Ends of the Earth by Jay Seaver

Wood Job! by Jay Seaver

News of the World by Rob Gonsalves

Promising Young Woman by Rob Gonsalves

Wonder Woman 1984 by Rob Gonsalves

Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone by Rob Gonsalves

Mank by Rob Gonsalves

Wander Darkly by Rob Gonsalves

Stand In, The by Rob Gonsalves

MLK/FBI by alejandroariera

subscribe to this feed

Iron Man 2
[] Buy posters from this movie
by MP Bartley

"Tony Stark Gets Rusty."
2 stars

Iron Man was the surprise hit of a couple of years ago, mainly due to the inspired casting of Robert Downey Jr as the titular superhero. He's still great in the sequel - but ultimately it lacks that great leap of innovation or spark of genius that elevates workmanlike sequels into great sequels.

Tony Stark is unique in the superhero world in that the whole world knows who he is - he is a superhero with no secret identity. In fact, he's under pressure to divulge the technological secrets of his alter-ego over to the US Army who are asking the question, what will happen when, or if, Tony Stark is no longer around to protect us? This causes friction between not only Tony and best friend Colonel Rhodes (Don Cheadle stepping into Terence Howard's shoes), but also Tony and his assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) who is growing increasingly exasperated at Tony's lackadasical approach to Stark Industries. But other problems are surfacing in the form of Russian scientist Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) who blames Tony for the death of his poverty-stricken father and thus teams up with rival arms contractor Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) to bring down Stark Industries and Iron Man. On top of all this, Tony has also discovered that the suit is slowly but surely poisoning him and limiting his effectiveness.

There's a heck of a lot going on in Iron Man 2, but director Jon Favreau never figures out how to gel it all together, to the extent that everything feels underdeveloped and cluttered, instead of flowing as one concise story. Take Tony's conflict with the US Army for example. Tony takes great pride at telling everyone (and the army back him up on this) that as Iron Man he has brought peace to the world and negated hundreds of conflicts around the globe - but we never see any instances of that. Contrast to the very first Superman film or the first two Spiderman films, when they made a conscious effort to show the superhero's efforts affecting the world around them; whereas here almost everything is locked within Tony's little world and we never venture outside it. That's why his battle with the poisonous suit never grips us like it should. Presumably his fall from grace is meant to mirror a fall in the fortunes of a world without Iron Man - but again, that's not seen and all we are given is Stark battling a poisoning that is seemingly no worse than a hangover, while the only person seemingly affected by his behaviour is the increasingly pissed-off Pepper. The fact that the army are, in fact, right to question what would happen if Tony were to die is never particulary explored. Instead, we're left to assume that Tony is always right, no matter how much of a dick he can be, which also means Rhodes' conflict between friendship and duty doesn't have the emotional sting that it should.

If Favreau fails to make this epic that it should be, coming off a fine origin story at it did, then Justin Theroux's bitty screenplay doesn't help either. The first showdown between Iron Man and Ivan, complete with deadly electric whips, at the Monaco racetrack is a belter of an action sequence - but savour it, because the next action scene is a long time coming. Instead, time is taken up with a confusing subplot with Samuel L Jackson's Nick Fury, that will be all but incomprehensible for anyone who didn't sit through the first film's closing credits, or who doesn't have any knowledge as to who The Avengers are.

This drags the middle of the film out and drains precious time away from Rockwell, who is fine, but underdeveloped (there's that word again...); and worst of all, Mickey Rourke. With his hulking frame, and thick accent, he makes a great villain - which makes the decision to keep him locked up in a cell for the vast majority of the film all the more baffling. Downey Jr is as good as ever, Paltrow makes her little time count with a sparky performance, but as fetching as Scarlett Johansson is in a figure-hugging catsuit as a spy for Nick Fury, her presence is yet another ingredient this film just doesn't need (although Favreau, making an on-screen appearance as Tony's chaffeur makes sure that his head ends up between her legs in one scene. Director's privilege, I guess).

Favreau does tease us towards the end that the final set-piece of the film is going to be spectacular, but when it comes down to it, it's simply a replay of the first film's end with Iron Man smacking seven bells out of someone in a slightly better suit of armour. Apart from the fact that with Rhodes beside him in another suit, it's over twice as quick.

Perhaps the worst thing of all about Iron Man 2 is that there is nothing inherently wrong with the film - it has a great concept and a great cast and there are no flaws to it that couldn't have been fixed without another polish of the script. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and we're left with a film both flabby and too filling. If there is to be an Iron Man 3, then hopefully Favreau will find something to give it a bit more of a shine and ultimately make it different enough from the first to make it worth bothering with.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 05/06/10 01:37:18
[printer] printer-friendly format  
Marvel Characters: For more in the Marvel Characters series, click here.

User Comments

2/21/17 morris campbell dull dissapointing sequel 1 stars
3/29/16 Aj wales Underated but not a gem though. Ok. 3 stars
10/02/14 Horror Lover An oversaturated mess. 2 stars
9/02/14 Jeff Worst Marvel movie 2 stars
4/07/13 Charles Tatum Vastly entertaining, don't understand the hate! 4 stars
11/19/12 Sean Harrison Probably the weakest of the Marvel cinematic universe. 3 stars
10/19/11 Magic A movie that tries to bite off more than it can chew. RDJ saves this movie, barely. 3 stars
5/26/11 Glenn Laurence Hardy Junior i thought it was worth a look....... friend me on facebook! (my pic. is sonic) 4 stars
1/22/11 Jeff Wilder Fun overall. But overstuffed. 4 stars
12/22/10 Sean M Favreau and theroux bit off way more than they can chew. RDJ and Mick should've been epic. 3 stars
12/12/10 terri The movie should have focused more on the villains and not the Avenger crap. 2 stars
12/01/10 Simon Verhoeven This critic has no clue whatsoever about the process of writing and filmmaking. Great movie 5 stars
10/05/10 action movie fan tony stark is great but this movie seem like a viedo game-the action particularly 3 stars
8/07/10 naewar Not the first one, but still a great movie. 4 stars
6/22/10 Ken Kastenhuber AIS decent sequel, not enogh substance, but decent popcorn fare. 4 stars
6/09/10 Eric Olsen First was substantially better, more action, more exploration. 3 stars
6/08/10 Jack Frost David Cornelius -- paralysis by analysis. Watch it before it leaves the big screen. 5 stars
5/29/10 Koitus Very disappointed; loved IM1. Only 1 decent-length action scene?!? Wait for the DVD... 3 stars
5/21/10 Man Out 6 Bucks Downey just riding the crest of a wave. Most non-Angelinos don't get it. 4 stars
5/17/10 mr.mike Feels more like Iron Man 5 , stale and lacking action. 2 stars
5/13/10 damalc nothing special; not nearly enough action for a superhero movie 3 stars
5/12/10 KingNeutron Some of the CGI was sloppy, but overall a quite enjoyable summer action movie. 4 stars
5/11/10 g. maybe not quite as good as the first, but still a good time. 4 stars
5/10/10 Abs it's a meh movie...lacked the consistent humor that made IM1 great 3 stars
5/09/10 Flounder An ENORMOUS disappointment. Dull, vacuous and pointless. I'm shocked. 2 stars
5/09/10 Dan Great for what it was meant to be-an installment in an overarching Avengers storyline 5 stars
5/09/10 JC Pierce I liked it 3 stars
5/08/10 "Big Brother" visually stunning (as expected) but ultimately flat & empty; Cheadle lacked T.H.'s charisma 2 stars
5/08/10 Darkstar Awesome! Much better than the first one. Stay till after the credits for a surprise! 5 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  07-May-2010 (PG-13)
  DVD: 28-Sep-2010


  DVD: 28-Sep-2010

[trailer] Trailer

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast