, the sequel to the 2008 blockbuster, , had the seventh-highest opening day ever and with good reason. Among so many movies based on comic books, the franchise is a breath of fresh air. It combines action, comedy and charisma in a way that pleases fans and raises the bar for other summer blockbusters.
starts almost immediately after Tony Stark announced he was in fact Iron Man at the end of . There is nothing in the sequel that cannot be inferred, so watching the original recently or even at all is not all together necessary. Throughout the film, Tony Stark and Pepper Potts try to handle the situation and the company now that the cat is out of the bag. The two constantly butt heads and war with words to get the other to see just how ridiculous they are being.
The cast is really quite fantastic. Robert Downey Jr. brings so much to Tony Stark, making him someone the audience can actually sympathize with. Gwyneth Paltrow also breathes life into the typical “over-stressed assistant,” as Pepper Potts. She is the voice of reason, saying the things the audience wants to scream at Stark. Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer is so easy to dislike and feel sorry for at the same time. It is a pleasure to hate him. Watch out for his dance moves and spray-tan-hands, both of which are sources of several laughs.
The cast is really alive and is one of the main reasons is so enjoyable. No actor gives the impression of just doing it for the money (but if they are, then they are great actors) but rather for the greater good of the story. Each actor fits into the plot perfectly, neither feeling like the sole focus of the movie nor ignored.
What is definitely not ignored is the action; there is plenty of action and excitement and all of it is presented well. There is never confusion over what the audience is watching.
Thinking back to , which also had a lot of action (but made it very difficult to focus and understand what was going on) or , which presented many vague, shiny figures, has clear, easily understood and exciting action. It is very pure and matter-of-fact with the way several scenes are presented. There is no fancy camera work or mind-bending angles. It is just the good guys versus the bad guys.
is a great movie, but it does not quite live up to its predecessor. It was almost hurt by the success of , which had the advantage of having no expectations attached to it. only falls short when compared to its predecessor, which was slightly more funny and original.
However, this comes with the territory of introducing a new superhero. Once the honeymoon is over, it will not be quite as good as when it was new.
is a fantastic blockbuster, especially when compared to many other similar comic book summer movies. It is exciting, funny and wholly entertaining. Extant fans and newbies alike can enjoy the film.