Iron Man 2


Downey Jr’s back in his full metal jacket…

Iron Man 2 review

Iron Man 2 review - Around 40 minutes in, Iron Man 2 is shaping up to be the best comic-book movie ever.

Robert Downey Jr is nailing every scene as returning hero Tony Stark, Scarlett Johansson has made a slinky impression as his new assistant Natalie and Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash – a heavily tatted Russian with a grudge against Robert as big as his biceps – has brought the Monaco Grand Prix to a devastating halt with his electric cat o’ nine tails.

So far, director Jon Favreau and Tropic Thunder scribe Justin Theroux have not put a foot wrong. If this keeps up, you think, we may just have another X2 or Dark Knight on our hands.

But that’s about to change. Because the next hour of Favreau’s follow-up to his 2008 hit is surprisingly dull – a wasteland of nothing much that makes you wonder if the dodgy mechanics imperilling Tony’s life have somehow spread to the camera.

Yes, there’s a mildly diverting metal-man smackdown between a drunken Downey and army pal Don Cheadle that reduces Stark’s Malibu pad to rubble.

And there’s a tidy jail break that allows Rourke’s terrific villain to team up with Sam Rockwell’s annoying defence contractor and build a legion of robot soldiers.

Mostly, though, it’s just endless talk. Tony talking to loyal aide-turned-Stark Industries CEO Gwyneth Paltrow. Tony talking to Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) in a donut shop.

Tony talking to his sentient computer, voiced by Paul Bettany, or being talked to by his long-dead dad (Mad Men’s John Slattery) via some old home movies. It’s as if Favreau has forgotten how to make an action blockbuster and has defaulted to Swingers.

Things rally in time for an all-out finale, with a power-suited Downey and War Machine Cheadle taking on Rockwell’s droids and Scarlett’s SHIELD vixen dispatching goons in a figure-hugging cat-suit.

For all that, you’re likely to leave feeling short-changed – not only by that frustrating midsection slump, but also because you won’t have had nearly enough Mickey for your money.


A hugely entertaining first act is let down by a lacklustre second in a sequel often more concerned with setting up future Marvel efforts than delivering on its predecessor’s promise.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • fortunesfool

      Apr 27th 2010, 11:30

      Sounds to me like they've attempted to make a movie about the characters and the world they inhabit as opposed to a mindless, CG cartoon for ADD sufferers. Which is about bloody time if you ask me.

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    • ChrisWootton

      Apr 27th 2010, 11:37

      Have to say that it's very refreshing to get an honest review and not just a 4 star love fest which i'm expecting to see elsewhere

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    • Interceptor

      Apr 27th 2010, 11:42

      it wasn't great was it? it was..ok, but given the hype I was disappointed - a clear case of cramming too much in I reckon...

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    • rxqueen2410

      Apr 27th 2010, 12:25

      I wasn't a massive fan of the first film anyway - thought it was rather over-rated. Ed Norton's Hulk was much better but just sort of fell behind the Iron Man juggernaut.

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    • MrPeaut23

      Apr 27th 2010, 13:14

      didnt really like the first, so had no expectations but looks like its just the same, a lactluster ending! nd yea Hulk was better. And i really do prefer Downey's Sherlock!

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    • kaz2y5

      Apr 28th 2010, 15:40

      I disagree with rxqueen: Ed Norton's Hulk (and Ang Lee's) both sucked! With the Hulk, they should have got a huge, unknown WWE/UFC fighter and paint them green (it worked wonders on TV for Lou Ferrigno didn't it?) I have high hopes for IM2, but it's weird how no-one has commented on Scarlett's Ruskie accent? Still wished Emily Blunt had accepted the role.

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    • senver232

      Apr 28th 2010, 17:00

      Well after reading the gushing drivel that was Avatar's 5 star review for a film which featured dreadful, dialogue no story, no character development, and no anything apart from 300 million dollars of special effects, I can safely say I will never trust a total film review again. So i take everything written about this with a truckful of salt.

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    • fuzzydunlop1

      Apr 30th 2010, 5:50


      Well, I've seen it and I really enjoyed it! Sorry, no Russian accent for Scarlett, which is a bit of a cop-out I admit, but who cares? This could've easily been Transformers 2. It isn't. It isn't perfect by any means, but what is? Just switch your brain off, enjoy the banter and the fireworks, and stay til the end of the credits. You won't be disappointed!

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    • ashspear

      Apr 30th 2010, 10:28


      I agree with fotunesfool - some of the best moments of the first and second outings of Iron man are the verbal sparring (especially between Tony and Pepper). It felt like a good continuation of the story, and considering all the extra characters (and big names) involved this time the main focus was still Tony - this is no Spider-man 3! It feels like part of an ongoing Iron man story, aswell as the larger Marvel saga. As for Scarlett's accent - she's undercover as an american - why would she speak with a russian accent?

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    • nigellockett

      Apr 30th 2010, 11:56

      Come on everyone, its still great entertainment and it has to make the bridge to Avengers... Keep the faith and give Shellhead a break!

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    • filbert77

      Apr 30th 2010, 16:49

      Guys, those of you saying that the Hulk films were better, need to sort your lives out. They were dismal, disappointing and dull. As For Iron man 2, yes they are just trying to set-up shop and start some Avengers hype, and they did somewhat lose track of what made the first film great a bit, but they're a lot better than the other marvel movies to come out recently (spider-man one not include). Plus, Marvel is not DC, the Characters aren't that dark and shadey so just sit back, enjoy the film,don't over think it, and Enjoy it. Let them find their feet.

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    • James87

      May 1st 2010, 1:29


      Iron Man 2 was an enjoyable comic book movie and a good kick off for the Summer of 2010. Whilst it may never reach the genre highs or indeed depths of The Dark Knight it also does sink like The Punishers or Fantastic Fours of recent years. Since the bar of excellence in the comic book film genre was raised by Chris Nolan in 2008, some fans who have over inflated hopes for Tony Stark and Co. will find themselves viewing Iron Man 2 as a let down. But in all honesty fans shouldn't feel let down at all. Iron Man 2 despite it's flaws is better albeit marginally than it's first installment and leaves film goers wanting more. As I witnessed when almost an entire screen waited throughout the long credit sequence in hope for a bonus clip at the end. If anyone wants to know more about whether there is or isn't a clip at the end check out this week

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    • fuzzydunlop1

      May 2nd 2010, 6:24


      @ashspear Yeah, you're right, though she was far from undercover in the donut shop. Would've been nice to hear s'all...

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    • MCdLyte

      May 2nd 2010, 12:08


      Iron Man 2: Full Throttle was so awesome! It was like the all time best sequel Charlies Angels: Full Throttle but like at least two times better than that. How is that even possible right? Charlies Angels was so awesome. Well Iron Man 2 is even more awesomer.

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    • totalgoatboy

      May 4th 2010, 12:49


      'Aw, give em' a brake... they tried their hardest...' 'It's alright... for what it is' and 'Woo-Hoo... they're making 'The Avengers'' are poor fanboy blockbuster excuses of the very lamest order. It'd be bad enough if this was the third part of a franchise but it's not, it's the follow up to the breathlessly energetic first movie. As that this sequel is almost a complete failure collapsing within minutes of the jawdropping events catalogued in the trailer. I too am generally warey of magazine summer event reviews that blow hot when the films are cold but having seen the movie this review is spot on. Although in saying that TF could do with shaving a star: the blu-ray review perhaps? (prays to Odin that a meatier coherant Fav Director's Cut exists) I worry that if Marvel's rush to go down the studio route was a mistake and Iron Man mark 1 was a fluke. On the strength of this and last summer's extended L'Oreal advert 'Wolverine', campy misjudged thump-a-thon superhero schtick is returning to the genre faster than a speeding bullet. I mean, even 'Clash of the Titans' was more thrillingly enjoyable than this and perhaps less uneven.

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    • filmgurl

      May 9th 2010, 17:04


      This film was very entertaining - I liked how they mixed in a lot of comedy with the action - the comedy definitely helped kept it going. It definitely felt like it was worth it. I enjoyed seeing some references to some other comic book characters. I especially enjoyed Scarlett Johansson's scenes near the end, very awesome! p.s. My "Iron Man 2" review: Thanks!

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    • axelcheese1

      May 10th 2010, 8:54


      This film illustrates why sequels shouldn't be made but still make money. People are attracted to a star studded acting line-up and watch the film and realise how terrible the film is. Only gd point i can mention is the effects looked decent

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    • thedarkknight

      May 12th 2010, 0:09


      It must have taken a lot of effort to not make the amazing film this could have easily been. Nice one, Fav. And the limited Mickey time earned this film another star from me.

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    • TheDMeister

      Jul 24th 2010, 2:17


      Arrogant and unforgivably lackluster; Iron Man 2 should have been so much more. It feels like it has capitalized on the success of the first one and delivered a sequel which feels like it's pulling its punches and lacking a bold vision. The story itself is multi-stranded and every character has their arc but unlike the first one it tries to be funny but isn't (mostly) and there really isn't any part of this film that's spectacular. A robotic brawl in Stark's mansion, which should be a highlight, comes across as a bad joke with some questionable special effects and worse still is that the two villains (though both played brilliantly by Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke) never feel like a credible threat. Robert Downey Jr. is fantastic and only his performance makes this worth watching but otherwise I couldn't help feel that they thought 'it's gonna be a hit so why bother?'

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      Oct 8th 2010, 3:46


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    • jimb45

      Jan 23rd 2011, 3:25


      Robert did an amazing job in this movie. The movie was so good from beginning to end. It is so action packed. This is a must see movie. whistleblower lawsuit

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      Feb 8th 2011, 8:23


      character has their arc but unlike the first one it tries to be funny but isn't (mostly) and there really isn't any part of this film that's spectacular. A robotic brawl in Stark's mansion, which should be a highlight, comes across as a bad joke with some questionable special effects and worse still is that the two villains (though both played brilliantly by Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke) never feel like a credible threat. Robert Downey Jr. is fantastic and only his performance makes this worth watching but otherwise I couldn't help feel that they thought 'it's gonna be a hit so why bother?' 642-467 \ HP0-J41 \ HP0-M36 \ HP0-S30

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    • MaggieSimpkins

      Feb 16th 2011, 15:22

      Iron Man 2 was the best comic book movie ever! I downloaded it on my iPod on my summer trip to Europe. I was watching it on the train to a small town in northern Italy on the west coast. That's when he used the purest colloids silver to make the ultimate suit. What an amazing movie. I could watch it again and again!

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    • TonyS

      Feb 16th 2011, 22:33


      As always the original exceeds the later. Maybe three will be a hit. We will have to see I guess. Business Cash Advance

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    • williamsmith61

      Mar 7th 2011, 17:19

      Then it's Bond in a crowd-chase, Bond in a speedboat, Bond in a sewer pursuit (underneath a horserace)... Bond leaping over rooftops (like in Hulk), Bond on a motorbike, vaulting onto a boat... Bond in a dogfight, Bond in a fist-fight (in a lift, handcuffed, nailing a quadruple-captor takedown). värdera bostadsrätt

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