MOVIES: Iron up!

2010-05-01 09:22

Film: Iron Man 2 (UIP)

Jon Favreau

Featuring: Robert Downey Jr,

Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke and Scarlett Johansson



Wouldn’t it be peachy if more millionaire

playboys were civic-minded and champions for world peace? It would help if they

could master physics and kick ass too. But real life seldom mirrors comic book


In the Iron Man sequel, eccentric millionaire and pacifist Tony

Stark (Robert Downey Jr) has the US military on his back. They are trying to get

their paws on his Iron Man suits.

He is also facing

death as his body rejects the palladium-fuelled engine that keeps his heart


Plus there is a

mysterious Russian out to get him (Mickey Rourke), a competitor Justin Hammer

(Sam Rockwell) with a homicidal case of envy (Sam Rockwell) and bodacious Black

Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is very distracting.

However, while Stark

is still a playa in his head, his heart belongs to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth


The sexual tension

between Stark and Potts works as well in this film as in the first. It provides

the promise of romance without getting in the way of the action.

And there is lots of

action – bigger, better and more CGI-wow than ever before.

Continuing his rise

from the ashes, Rourke’s boxing-battered face makes him the perfect villain, and

he injects his role as Whip Lash with equal measures of malevolence and


Johansson’s part-shy

secretary, part-tough biker chick act adds the lust factor and Downey Jnr adds

class to the superhero set.

Like Batman, created

by DC Comics, Marvel’s Iron Man represents the

best of humanity, both in technological skill and in his desire to make the

world a better place.

When the first movie

was released in 2008, America was the world’s pariah, thanks to then-president

George W Bush.

The film reflected

that, pointing inward for an enemy and admonishing US foreign policy. Two years

on, with Barack Obama in the White House, the film is less harsh on the

military. Don Cheadle takes over from Terrence Howard as Rhodey and represents

the army. He becomes War Machine, whose first loyalty is to Stark, though he is

faced with difficult choices.

As in the first film,

the message is still anti-war and Hammer’s proud display of his arsenal shows up

his character as the ambitious, glory-grubber he is.

Unlike the recent

violence-for-violence-sake film Kick-Ass, Iron Man

2 is a rock-solid superhero action flick worthy of its predecessor.

After the credits have

rolled, look out for the promo for the next Marvel hero to exit the


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