Iron Man 2 (2010)
Director - Jon Favreau
PG-13; 124 min
Robert Downey Jr. – Tony Stark
Don Cheadle – ‘Rhodey’ (no, seriously, Cheadle did this film)
Scarlett Johansson – Natalie
Gwyneth Paltrow – Pepper Potts
Sam Rockwell – Justin Hammer
Mickey Rourke – Ivan
Jon Favreau – Happy
Garry Shandling – Senator Stern
Iron Man 2 never really stood a chance at succeeding in the ways which the original film did, but putting all that aside I will say that I found the new incarnation of the flying Robocop to be better than expected and in no way a waste of my time.
Clearly the cast is gigantic in pop stature and it would have taken a monumental fail of epic proportions for this film to not be at least somewhat enjoyable. How can anyone not at least find something to like between the uber-arrogant Robert Downey Jr. reprising his role, or the out of this world sexy Scarlett Johansson, or the subdued but always a comical genius Garry Shandling, or the re-invented Mickey Rourke as the ‘villain’?
With all that said, the movie falls flat in comparison to the first, and unfortunately I didn’t find too much to care for about the Rourke character – the role pretty much could have been filled by any number of actors – I didn’t feel that his particular essence brought anything to the film.
What really sealed this film for me as at least an average summer blockbuster (and not as some ridiculously awful piece of garbage like The Losers (2010)) was the part of Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer, the foe of Tony Stark. What a remarkable, snarky performance. This guy nailed every single line and even when you were not expecting it he pulled out a comic piece of genius. His positioning and movements enhanced the lines he was delivering and in a movie full of somewhat ho-hum acting and humor he took the bull by the horns and rode away with the show. If you’re on the fence about seeing this one I suggest you do so for no other reason than Sam Rockwell – if there was an Oscar for best comedic performance he would win hands down.
*** out of 5