MOVIE REVIEW: Iron Man 2.
What do you want from your summer movies? I'm asking because if you want laughs, solid action scenes, likable characters, pretty girls, robots, explosions, a few things you’ve not exactly seen before, and just enough smart ideas that you don’t have to feel like you just ingested a Happy Meal brain-first, then you don’t have to read any further: Iron Man 2 is your movie. This is a double-decker bacon cheeseburger grilled up with particular care. This is a good ol’ American summer movie. It’s fun with a chocolate shake and a side order of fries, and anything critical I have to say about it would be a quibble. Robert Downey Jr., as Tony Stark/Iron Man, rules the court as a manic, anarchic presence who, along with returning director Jon Favreau, sets the freewheeling tone – and how welcome a tone that is, for a genre that is usually either too serious or not nearly serious enough.
Rockwell would run away with the movie if Mickey Rourke wasn’t already charging forward with it, and with the movie’s last new major character, it becomes a three-way duel for the best kind of upstaging. Scarlett Johansson plays the assistant to the assistant (she’s helping out Gwyneth Paltrow’s character, which gives Downey twice as much opportunity for flirtacious banter), although as the posters and trailers already show, she’s also a super-character in disguise, called The Black Widow. The Black Widow is in turn assisting Sam Jackson’s character, appearing here occasionally in an expanded role from his original cameo as super-spy Nick Fury. That’s a lot of assisting. Scarlett really doesn’t get much to do except to stand around and to look unbelievable (and to get ogled by most of the characters in the movie), although she does get one terrific fight scene – where she teams up with director Jon Favreau, himself appearing in an expanded role from the first movie as Stark’s bodyguard.