Iron Man 2; science-fiction action, USA, 2010; D: Jon Favreau, S: Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson, Jon Favreau, Samuel L. Jackson
After the world find out he is Iron Man, Tony Stark is under double pressure: not only is he denying his technology to the government, but the palladium core arc reactor which keeps him alive is, ironically, slowly poisoning him. He places Pepper to run his industry. His new assistant, Natalie Rushman, turns out to be a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. and her boss Fury gives Tony a new element that prevents further poisoning. After that, a new nemesis shows up, Ivan Vanko, who thinks that Tony's father stole the armour invention from his late father.
Among the several movie adaptations - including "Thor", "Captain America" and "Hulk" - covertly planted by Marvel Comics over a span of several years in order to prepare the ground for their all-star gathering in "The Avengers", "Iron Man" was one that enjoyed the most favorable reception among the viewers and critics, even though it was severely overhyped by some reviewers. Its sequel is different, but almost equally as fun and well conceptualized, again showing that the untypical choice for the director, Jon Favreau, proved to be a refreshing experiment since he managed to again deliver a good product. It is a dynamic, fun and fluid action adventure, even though nothing new was added to the genre while the second part drags behind, whereas Mickey Rourke is very good as the expressionistic (though one-dimensional) bad guy as well as Scarlett Johansson as Tony's helper Natalie Rushman, situating herself somewhere on the verge between fan service and useful plot point (at least in the wider context later on in "The Avengers"), yet she is charismatic either way. The storyline seems slightly standard, with the audacious finale on the Expo borrowing a little bit from "RoboCop 2", but overall this is an accessible and amusing sequel.