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Director Jon Favreau, perhaps better known for his acting career, returns with a sequel packed full of action, romance and comedy. This second installment takes off six months from where the previous film ends. Engineer and billionaire Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), adored by the population for peacekeeping efforts through the use of his Iron Man suit, faces trail against the US government for withholding weapons technology. Meanwhile, Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) escapes from prison and begins creating a suit of his own, to avenge his father by murdering Stark. Returning to a life of drinking and partying, much to the annoyance and despair of employee Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Stark displays increasingly reckless behaviour.
Iron Man 2
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Robert Downey Jr
The first bust-up occurs during the Monaco grand-prix, when the car Stark decides to drive on a whim is sliced in half by Vanko’s own version of the Iron Man suit, a machine with whips containing electric currents. After taking some time to develop better weaponry, during which Downey discovers a video from his deceased father with the information he needs to continue, the battle resumes. The film culminates in a major fight between Stark, his companion James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and Rourke’s army of new-and-improved Iron Men.
Having agreed to see this film primarily on the basis of Robert Downey Jr’s appearance, it was a pleasant surprise to find a film that was sweet, funny and capable of exciting those least likely to pick up a comic. If you can ignore the sniggering of physics students (something about atoms), the plot is believable. It also raises a number of interesting philosophical questions, such as the nature of legacy, how to define a moral action and the danger of trusting those in authority. With excellent performances, including a small role by Samuel L Jackson and Scarlett Johansson kicking ass in a tight black costume, along with a rocking soundtrack featuring music from The Clash, Queen, AC/DC and Daft Punk, Favreau’s sequel proves to be a hit.