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ecksmanfan reviews Iron Man 2

I'm a bit behind, as I was out of town when this came out, but here is my review of the much anticipated Iron Man 2
After much anticipation, the sequel to the surprise 2008 hit "Iron Man" hits the screen. Needless to say, expectations for the sequel were quite high. Add to that the list of actors they acquired for the film and said expectations went even higher. The first film gave us one of the best "origin stories" we've ever seen in the comic book movie world and surprised us with a great over-all story and action scenes. Enter "Iron Man 2." Marvel continues to give us fun and entertaining films, but also continues to fall short in one particular area.

After Tony Stark (Downey) reveals that he is Iron Man, Ivan Vanko (Rourke) wants to seek retribution for the decades of pain and suffering that the Stark family pushed onto the Vanko family. Along with Vanko, another blast from the past for the stark family comes to the forefront to enter the "arms race" of sorts. Tony decides to take some time off from the business world to embrace the new world he has created for himself and in turn creates more chaos for himself and those around him. Not to mention a new threat to his life he must deal with.

The story is actually pretty good and pulls from the original source decently, although Favreau does tweak some things to update them and make them more acceptable for the big screen, which I'm ok with. The film flows well, but it lacks a bit of character development with a couple characters, but I am positive we haven't seen the last of them yet.

Naturally, RDJ does a great job as Stark and brings to life the character we've been reading for years like no one else could. He embodies the conceit and cockiness of Stark with ease. When it comes time for the more serious action sequences, he transitions well. Paltrow has a more prominent role in the sequel and handles her role very well and continues to create great chemistry with RDJ. Samuel L. Jackson makes the best of his few scenes here, but doesn't really have to do too much with the role. Rourke did a lot of homework for this film, going as far as visiting a Russian prison to understand how the people lived and how it effected their life. His accent was spot on. Don Cheadle, who replaced Terrance Howard as Rhodey, is OK in the role. I've never really been a fan of his, but as the film goes on, he gets better. I think he'll be fine as he progresses with the character of War Machine. The real winner in this film is Sam Rockwell; he steals the show every time he's on screen. Unfortunately, he's one of the two characters that needed more back story, along with Johansson's role as Natasha Romanoff, AKA Black Widow, who has some pretty kick-arse scenes! As I stated before, we haven't seen that last of either if these characters.

Where this film falls short is the final action sequence. This one was an improvement over the first film, it still lacked the action that matches the rest of the film. The same can be said for Marvel Studios other two films, "Iron Man" and "The Incredible Hulk." They are learning though, and I think by the time we see films like "Thor" and "Captain America: The First Avenger" they will have figured this formula out.

There are a lot of "Easter Eggs" or hints at other Marvel characters and films, through out the film, including Captain America, Thor, Black Panther and Namor, among others, if you know what to look for. This is a fun film, with a good story and some pretty good action sequences. This could have been an amazing film, but the lack of a real "peak" brought this one down a notch. I'd definitely go check this one out!

Grade: B+
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