Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as Tony Stark in this sequel to 2008's Iron Man. The first film ends with Stark announcing that he is Iron Man to the world and the second film begins pretty much where the first one left off. Stark is having to deal with the fallout from his revelation to the public about his alter ego. We find Stark on a bit of a downward spiral. His health is in jeopardy and there is more than one person trying to destroy him for reasons of their own.
The villains in the film are refreshing. Mickey Rourke is convincing, intense and up the challenge of playing opposite Downey. Another baddie is played by Sam Rockwell (Frost/Nixon). He serves his purpose in the film as owner of a failing competitor to Stark Enterprises, but he is borderline annoying.
Scarlett Johansson joins the cast this time around as Stark's new assistant. There is more to her than meets the eye, but she fits in well and doesn't take away from the story. Another newbie is the brief introduction of Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson. People who follow the comics will understand the significance of this character, but the rest of us may not have a full understanding until The Avengers hits theaters in 2012. Don Cheadle was also new to the franchise, but unlike the others, he took over the role of Tony Stark's best friend, Lt. Col. James Rhodes aka War Machine. With all the new faces, the film was very close to crossing the line between fun characters and chaos.
Iron Man 2 is missing something that the original had, (a bit of closeness to the characters maybe), but overall the movie was worth the price of a ticket. The best relationship in the movie is the one between Stark and his assistant/CEO Pepper Potts, Gwyneth Paltrow, so I would have loved a little more of their famous banter. The action is in full swing and Downey's humor is welcome. Iron Man 2 is the epitome of a summer popcorn movie. B