Iron Man 2

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle

Director: Jon Favreau

I loved the first Iron Man movie. Robert Downey Jr. was an inspired choice to play egocentric genius Tony Stark, the metal-clad supertoy, and director Jon Favreau perfectly mixed the comic book’s more serious themes with a great sense of fun. And surprisingly, fun is something that has gone missing with many comic book adaptations lately, with darkness becoming de rigueur for superheroes, and that is Iron Man 2′s main problem. Where’s the fun gone?

Don’t get me wrong, I totally enjoyed Iron Man 2. It’s not a bad movie at all. Downey Jr. is as entertaining as ever. Mickey Rourke is the perfect mumbling bad guy, as Russian-physicist-with-a-grudge Ivan Vanko. Sam Rockwell is the perfect shouting bad guy, as weapons-developer-with-a-grudge, Justin Hammer. The plot touches on many of the original comic’s storylines, if only very briefly in the case of Stark’s descent into alcoholism. Yet somehow, it just isn’t as much fun as Iron Man’s original outing. Iron Man 2 also suffers from that common second instalment issue – trying to cram too much into one story. Where Iron Man was a streamlined, efficient piece of storytelling, Iron Man 2 gets bogged down in the attempt to tell several stories at once, while also squishing in some prep for the forthcoming Avengers movie. There’s just a little too much going on.

Robert Downey Jr. practises safe sex.

One more thing. Sooner or later Iron Man’s enemies are going to have to start evolving beyond other iron men. That will tire very quickly. Iron Man 2 is not the worst sequel ever made, not by a long shot, but it does fall short of its predecessor.

Rating - 3 Stars