PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some language.
Sci-Fi Thriller and Action/Adventure
May 7, 2010
Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Garry Shandling
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Iron Man 2
By Hannah Goodwyn
- As comic book-based action movies go, the original Iron Man (2008) has been one of the most successful -- with almost $600 million in box office sales. If we're basing the projected sales of the sequel on how the movie experience compares with the first one, then it will likely surpass that mark.
While the first film gave audiences a look at the comic book hero's origin, Iron Man 2 continues Tony Stark's story revolving around his new found fame as a superhero, an inquisition by the U.S. government, and a new enemy called Whiplash. Actor Robert Downey Jr. dons the red and gold metal suit once again, giving fans a sequel that's even better than the original. Though it's sure to become one of the best popcorn movies this summer, Iron Man 2 does contain some questionable content.
The Movie in a Minute
Billionaire inventor Tony Stark is Iron Man. Now that the world knows, Stark is relishing it -- in his usual ego-driven, witty way. Refusing to hand over his super suit to the U.S. military, Stark defends his right to keep the details of his inventions secret, arguing that he has "effectively privatized world peace" and that humanity should be grateful. New enemies, namely Justin Hammer (who owns a competing weapons manufacturing company) and Whiplash (the evil "iron man"), challenge that proud statement, leaving Iron Man and the world vulnerable.
Iron Man 2: Good or Bad?
Now the toast of the town, Tony Stark is living the high life - even higher than what we saw in the first film. Iron Man 2 starts where the 2008 box office hit left off and then quickly jumps to six months later when Stark Industries is trying to reassure the world that it's safer with Iron Man around. This is where screenwriter Justin Theroux begins his storyline. After seeing his scripting talent on Tropic Thunder, Robert Downey Jr. convinced Marvel to hire Theroux. And it was the right call. Theroux wrote such a fantastic part II for the Tony Stark/Iron Man movie series. The story flows remarkably well, each character (even the new ones) are adequately developed, and it's just plain funny, hilarious even. Besides being blow away by the action, moviegoers will be laughing their heads off.
The Cast and Crew
Robert Downey Jr. What can be said? He and the Iron Man really are one. Whoever cast him for the first film should get a bonus. Once again, he makes the film believable. He brings the flawed superhero to life to the point that you start to think this guy actually exists.
His co-stars aren't so bad either. Gwyneth Paltrow returns as Stark's assistant, Pepper Potts, while Lt. Col. James Rhodes looks a bit different, with Don Cheadle taking the role this time around (Terrence Howard played Rhodes in Iron Man). Love Howard in many movies, but Cheadle out acts him in this role. A few new faces join the cast in Iron Man 2, including Sam Rockwell as the conniving exec Justin Hammer, super-talented Mickey Rourke as the supervillain Whiplash, and Scarlett Johansson as assistant Natalie Rushman -- who seemed a little off during some of the non-action scenes. Of the new actors, Rourke matches Downey's power on the screen, making it a stronger hero vs. villain story compared to the first movie.
Director Jon Favreau, along with the film's music team (headed by composer John Debney, who did the score for The Passion of the Christ) and special effects and stunts teams, created a great action movie that kicks off the summer movie season right. Favreau not only directed the film, but he was also one of the producers and acted in it as well; he plays Happy Hogan, Stark's bodyguard, chauffeur, and friend.
The drawback to Iron Man 2 is its offensive content. Rated PG-13, the film includes some foul language, scenes of action violence, and scantily clad women. At one point in the film, during a televised Senate hearing, two F-bombs are semi-bleeped out. And true to the human nature of the comic book character, Tony Stark consumes a large amount of alcohol, leaving him in a drunken, impaired state in one scene in particular.
Parents should know that there is a bit of up-close violence even beyond the explosions and fighting usually shown in action films, including a moment when Ivan Ranko is seen talking on the phone with fresh blood on his hands and two dead men hanging in the background.
Although the sexual content is kept to a relative minimum, it still needs mentioning. Expect a few innuendos and revealing attire, including a scene where the Ironnettes dance at a Stark Industries event wearing skimpy NFL cheerleader-looking uniforms, a close-up of a woman’s very low-cut top, and Natasha Romanoff’s form-fitting superhero costume.
In the End
Iron Man 2 offers audiences an action-packed movie with plenty of laughable moments, which is sure to thrill fans the world over. However, caution is advised. Be aware that the questionable content in the film may be too much for kids.
Special Note: Iron Man 2 has a post-credits secret ending. So if you do end up seeing the movie, wait for the last bit after the credits are finished.
Hannah Goodwyn was surprised when "Iron Man", the "theme" song from the first film was featured in the sequel.
Hannah is the Family and Entertainment producer for CBN.com. For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.
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