I’m not going to say too much about it, plot-wise, because I think you really need to go into the film untainted. Furthermore, you must see it in the theater–don’t wait for the small screen. There are some movies that should just be seen on the big screen.
There are some great action scenes throughout. The one that, I thought at first, was basically shown in its entirety in the trailer was the Monaco Racetrack scene where Whiplash reveals himself. However, it’s more than that, and it does a lot to show that Tony Stark is not untouchable. There are some other great scenes with Iron Man and Rhodey, but I’ll let you experience those for yourself!
Robert Downey Jr. does an excellent job–as though we’d expected something else–at playing a quirky, arrogant, rich dude, but he also adds a level of depth to the character. He really does not have it all together. We do get to see drunk Iron Man, which is great fun!
Pepper Potts is also not simpering as much as she was in the first. She really gains some strength, remaining Tony Stark’s conscience, but she’s firmer with him as he struggles with the pressures of his role as Iron Man.
Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow (Natalia Romanova) was well done, but not overdone. She has a great fight sequence and some good scenes, but doesn’t detract from the rest of the story–she’s a good secondary character, not trying to overstay her welcome. Don Cheadle replaces Terrence Howard as Rhodey, and he also has a good storyline and some good moments, stepping into the role of Tony’s friend and brother’s keeper, in many ways.
While I personally believe that Mickey Rourke is the scariest human being on the planet, he isn’t as terrifying in this as I thought he’d be. Actually, while his character is pretty bad, he’s at times a teddy bear compared to what I imagined.
However, the one who came out of nowhere was Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer. He received about 5 seconds in the previews, and I really paid him no mind. However, he has the best story arc in the movie. Hammer grows throughout the story. He’s charismatic, yet unsure of himself, clearly jealous of Stark, but not as great of an inventor or businessman. It was a joy to watch him, and I hope to see him in Iron Man 3.
Speaking of Iron Man 3, I found a list of suggestions for Iron Man 3. I agree with this list, and you can read about it on the original site, but I’ll just comment on a few bits that I feel particularly strong about. As much as I love the Iron Man franchise, I don’t want it going down the tubes at all.
1. Kill Pepper Potts in the Opening Scene
This sounds harsh, I know, but it’s been done before, and it would work again. The Dark Knight got real when the Joker killed off Rachel Dawes. The article does suggest that Rhodey could be killed–but it needs to be someone important to Stark. There must be something for which Tony must fight.
2. Avoid the Clutter
Let’s think of all the excessive, flabby third films in a franchise. While they may be merely fun, they are not generally credible sequels. In order to top themselves, sequels generally just pack more and more on top of what came before, rather than clearing the table and continuing the story. Iron Man 2 avoids this, but it comes close. It’s just one Mr. Freeze and Batgirl away from overdoing it.
Take a look at the rest of the list, as it’s a good one, but I really think these are the key elements that Marvel and Jon Favreau should consider when putting together the next Iron Man film.
All that being said, I can’t wait for the rest of the Marvel films coming out soon, like Captain America (I have faith in Chris Evans after Sunshine and Push), The Avengers, Thor (directed by Kenneth Branagh!).