Iron Man 2 is the much-anticipated sequel to 2008’s Iron Man, with Robert Downey Jr. reprising his role as Tony Stark / Iron Man. Tony announces on television that he is Iron Man, and it grabs the attention of Ivan Vanko, played by Micky Rourke. Mickey’s character has a long time grudge against Iron Man which is explored in the film. He creates a suit for himself and goes into battle with Iron Man as the supervillain Whiplash.
If you have seen the trailer for Iron Man 2, you would have already seen the shot where Whiplash is walking towards an injured Tony Stark at a race track. He is holding two giant whips, one on each arm. There is a back story to this character and it portrays him as a man of hatred towards Iron Man. Whiplash is extremely menacing in that scene and I don’t think I’ve seen a superhero encounter a supervillain for the first time with such intensity before. I like how the scenario shows that Tony’s actions affect his life and he has to pay the price for his mistakes.
I won’t reveal how that race track scene ends, but it was definitely the highest point in the film as far as fight scenes are concerned. Later on, Mickey Rourke spends most of his time in a secret lab rebuilding his suit. There is not much focus on him for the rest of the film until he suits up once again in the final fight.
My friends tell me that the final fight itself was too short, and I half-heartedly agree. More importantly, I felt that the design of Whiplash’s final suit could have been more innovative. However, I liked the way Iron Man deals with Whiplash at the end, which shows the heroic side of the otherwise drunk Tony Stark.
There are a few interesting side characters in Iron Man 2, most notably Black Widow and Nick Fury. Black Widow is played by Scarlett Johansson, who has a brilliant action scene where she’s beating up everyone in her path. It’s very well cheographed and I wonder what Hit-Girl of Kick Ass thinks of her.
Nick Fury is played by Samuel L. Jackson and those who stayed after the credits of the first Iron Man were already treated to a peek at this mysterious coordinator of superheroes. In Iron Man 2, Nick Fury appears in the film itself and has a slightly bigger role. He seems to have some connections with Tony’s father, which is interesting and makes you wonder what other secrets he is hiding behind that eye patch.
If I had to choose a character to nitpick, I would say I was a little disappointed by War Machine. I love War Machine from the comic books and was excited to see him and his shoulder mounted machine gun in live action. He is played by Don Cheadle in this film, who puts on the grey Iron Man suit because he has to subdue a drunk and dangerous Iron Man. The idea looks good on paper but isn’t executed very well, resulting in a character that is forgettable for non comic book fans.
Although Iron Man 2 isn’t the big masterpiece that everyone was expecting it to be, it does have its moments. For newbies, watch Iron Man first, then go on to this sequel if you are interested enough. And if you want more superhero fun, check out the underrated The Incredible Hulk. Marvel Studios has big plans for their comic book characters and I am looking forward to whatever they have to offer.