As usual a place holder post until I can sit down and parse out my thoughts on the film. In short, spoiler free review. It’s awesome, Don Cheadle is a much better Rody and Iron Man + War Machine = kick ass comic book/buddy movie. As usual stay for the end of the credits. Full review under the cut. SPOILERS AHOY

So I’ve seen Iron Man 2 twice now. Once in IMAX with all the painstaking detail in my face and 40 feet high. Saw it again yesterday with in Evanston in HDX. Still awesome. Overall I liked this movie more than I expected, even though Roger Ebert’s review gave away a plot point (that I considered a SPOILER IMHO) but if you’ve ventured beyond the cut, then you have already been warned for spoilers.

It seems as if the Arc Reactor core that’s keeping Tony alive is also poisoning him slowly. Each time he suits up as Iron Man it accelerates the process. So he’s got this whole trying to make the best of his remaining time plot over his head, while he’s got Ivan Vanko on the other end, who’s seeking revenge for his father Anton, apparently the other half of the brains behind the elder Stark’s arc reactor tech. Of course Tony knows nothing about it, and is shocked when Ivan shows up to slice and dice him in the Monaco grand prix.

On the other end of his soon to be very bad day(s), he’s got Justin Hammer who’s the biggest pussy of a villain I’ve seen in a while. He’s supposed to be the CEO of a company dealing in weapons and has government contracts as well as illicit deals. He’s after Stark Industries since they are his biggest competition in the arms race (at least at the end of the first Iron Man). I really hated the measly, pitiful villain that he was pictured as. As someone who deals in weapons, especially gov’t military weapons, he was the most nervous, pathetic and whinging “villain” I’ve ever seen.

For example, he takes away Ivan’s bird, and pillows in an attempt to show him that he’s angry with Ivan for failing to deliver the goods (droned battle suits based off of Iron Man). Did he forget that Ivan grew up in Siberia? He didn’t give a shit about the pillows, the bird maybe but Hammer makes serious mistakes in underestimating someone that almost took out Iron Man with his own TECH! Considering that Ivan takes out the two guards and proceeds to take over all the drones in about 10 minutes, HE isn’t the one to be trifled with.

The appearance of Black Widow seems to be for a bit of intelligent eye candy and to have a woman who can actually kick ass (albeit in slo-motion but there’s no gratuitous boob shots or nudity from Johansenn, which I appreciated) Pepper Potts just annoyed me once she was named CEO of Stark Industries. I know she was the sensible one, and Tony gave her the company because he felt like she was most qualified, but how can someone supposedly so astute fail to pick up on Tony’s change in demeanor or the fact that he just hands her the company?!

I mean other than Hammer as one of the weakest “villains” ever in film that I can recall; Iron Man 2 delivers on the summer block buster requisites: explosions, witty banter, a bit of predictability, bigger explosions, action and the buddy cliche. Don Cheadle is SO MUCH BETTER as Rody! You can actually believe that they are good friends, rather than the nagging asshole he was when Terrance Howard played him in the first IM. There is a real chemistry between RDJ and Don Cheadle and it makes for a much better dynamic between them.

Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury is perfect, and for all of the CoH players, Iron Man hanging out in the donut reminded me immediately of Founders Falls and the badge to be found by passing through the donut. Apparently this is a real stand in CA, and its gotten some needed business by being in IM2. The one scene that was in trailers that didn’t make it to the cinematic release was Pepper kissing his IM helmet as he popped out of the plane to land at the Stark Expo.

Tony of course sees things in the ordinary that others would miss. I.E the globe in the pavilion of the Stark Expo gives him the building blocks for the “new element” that could power him and NOT poison him. There’s also the matter of realizing his father did actually love him, despite what he thought all his life. Throwing in the bit about Howard Stark being a founding member of S.H.E.I.L.D really seemed odd and something they tossed in to make the elder Stark’s genius useful other than to have left a legacy for the world and most importantly, Tony.

Of course, stay for the end of the credits, as it gives you a brief set up on the next Avenger member film due out. Overall I give it a B+ and looking forward to the DVD so I can see all the little bits that didn’t make the final cut.

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