With a small change in cast, new characters and a better villain than the first one, Iron Man 2 proved to be just as successful as the first one. Released in 2010, the sequel to Iron Man showed another side of Tony Stark and we got to see the debut of characters, or new actors, we have come to love over the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Spoilers ahead as usual. I DO NOT OWN THE PICTURE.
After announcing to the world he is Iron Man, Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) refuses to give in to government pressure to sell his suit or tech, despite encouragement from his best friend James “Rhodey” Rhodes (now played by Don Cheadle). However what the world, Rhodey or even new Stark Industries CEO Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) doesn’t know is the palladium core in the arch keeping Tony alive is also slowly killing him. Deciding “well I’m gonna die” Tony becomes more reckless (aka really stupid), and it may soon cost him. While competing at the Monaco Historic Gran Prix Tony is attacked by a man named Ivan Vanko aka Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) whose father has a history with Tony’s dad, with electric whips, not caring who gets in his way. Tony manages to defeat Vanko, not without damage to his suit, but Vanko later escapes thanks to Tony’s business rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), to make suits that would put Tony’s to shame; Vanko agrees to continue his revenge on Tony. Rhodey eventually gets his hands on one of the suits for the government (after a very good fight with Tony) but soon realizes what they have planned for it. Meanwhile Stark meets with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the agent assigned to him under the guise of his new PA Natalie Rushman, now known as Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson) and they basically give him a wake-up call along with some information about his father that may reverse what is happening to Tony. When Tony realizes Vanko’s plan he teams up with Rhodey to stop him, along with Romanoff, bodyguard Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), Pepper and of course J.A.R.V.I.S. (Paul Bettany) to save the world once again.
Now I will admit I did not like the sequel as much as I did the first one, but I still enjoyed it. Robert Downy Jr. is still amazing as Tony, even when I was annoyed with him (I get the man was dying but did he have to be such a jerk about it). Gwyneth is still great as Pepper as she and Tony constantly bickered which made the scene where they finally got together all the more satisfying. I will admit part of me will always be curious what would have happened if Terrance Howard continued with the franchise, but I think Don Cheadle is fantastic as Rhodey. Mickey Rourke is a great actor and I did enjoy him as Vanko, a man whose only goal is revenge against Tony, he is actually more intimidating when he doesn’t talk but that’s just my opinion. When I heard Black Widow would be making her debut in here I was thrilled to hear it would be Scarlet Johansson, and was even more impressed when I saw her on the screen; seriously can we get this woman a stand-alone movie already? Samuel L. Jackson is so perfect as Nick Fury; I actually cannot imagine anyone else playing the part. Writing might have been better in a few places, visual effects were just as awesome; overall Iron Man 2 was a pretty good follow up to the first one. If you haven’t seen the sequel I would recommend it especially if you are just getting into the Marvel Cinematic universe, but if superheroes are not your thing than no.