Fueled by the success of Marvel’s new franchise Iron Man 2 works intently to build upon its predecessor and while it is entertaining, it struggles to capture the same glow as the first film.
Iron Man 2 continues the story of Tony Stark as he faces a dark part of his families past being dug up and a deadly infection that plagues his body.
Directed again by Jon Favreau, Iron Man 2 works at laying out a satisfying sequel while simultaneously probing if the MCU is something worth investing heavily in. The first most fundamental feature that the first Iron Man film had provided was a fresh approach to Hollywood superhero films en masse – and while this film doesn’t remove many of the impressive gadgets and gizmos that the first film had supplied, it certainly had difficulties providing fresh material for viewers to gleam at. The introduction of Mickey Rourke’s character was acceptable and doesn’t force any eye-rolling from me. While not devoid of character development a flaw is just how little Tony Stark’s character develops in this film in comparison to the first, this sheds light onto where this film ultimately lacks in the grand ark of his character’s journey.
Downey Jr. works wonders in recapturing his character; cocky, brazen, and full of charm, it’s clear that these films hit the jackpot with Downey, and he seems to have a fantastic track record with consistency. Gwyneth Paltrow and Mickey Rourke both leave a soppy and bland flavour in the mouth, offering little in the way of intensity or intrigue.
Much of the visual aspects are nearly identical to the first film, you do get some fresh changes and new approaches with character design, but still are provided with solidly well crafted visual effects that work with the production design seamlessly.
While this film is ultimately a story about Tony fighting his father’s past and his own memories – you just don’t get the same impact felt from his later performances and even the first film. While not traditionally bad, the villain offers enough to work with to make battles and interactions entertaining and the film as a whole, acceptable.