Cast:Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Don Cheadle as Lt. Col. James Rhodes, Paul Bettany as JARVIS, Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko/Whiplash, Scarlett Johansson as Natalie Rushman, Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson, John Slattery as Howard Stark, Garry Shandling as Senator Stern
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some language
Notes:Takes place before the events of Avengers. Images taken from IMP Awards and Rotten Tomatoes and belong to Marvel.
Pros:Mostly good acting. Several good characters.
Cons:Justin Hammer's portrayal. An ultimately pointless subplot. More dates and pop culture references.
If you thought becoming Iron Man changed Tony Stark that much, you'd be wrong. He still parties. He still has got a huge ego. He still hits on pretty women. And he still doesn't like it when someone tells him he should give up his weapons (this time his suit). Come on, he says. Nobody else will be able to make anything like this for another 20 years. Well, nobody except a guy who would love to see Stark destroyed...
They replaced Terrence Howards as Rhodes this time around. While some will complain, I enjoyed Don Cheadle's performance. And as always, the women in the film are well acted. Scarlett Johansson added to the film, even if her character was a little robotic. Clark Gregg and Samuel L. Jackson were also fun to see.
Another thing I'd like to address is a subplot regarding the arc reactor.
As it turns out, the core is poisoning Tony's blood and will soon kill him. But of course he's not going to actually die. At the time this review was published, they already made more movies with him in them. This makes the whole facing-your-mortality thing seem pointless.
My thoughts on this film are much the same as the were the first time:Entertaining, but not great.
Sex:As I said about the first movie, Tony's reputation as a womanizer is well-deserved. He repeatedly ogles and hits on a new employee, causing Pepper to warn him that could create an expensive sexual harassment lawsuit. He finds out she modeled in Tokyo, showing a picture of her in a bra. He also cracks several sexual jokes.
A woman changes clothes in the back of a car, telling the driver not to look. Her torso, bra, and bare leg are shown. She also wears a tight-fitting catsuit. Women dance suggestively in just bras and tiny shorts. Tony lifts up his shirt to examine the reactor.
When in prison, Ivan appears in just his shorts. Tony is almost hit in the crotch. He tries to kiss Pepper while drunk. Justin Hammer hopes to have sex after a big expo. A one-night-stand of Tony's shows up. He and Pepper speak of her brief relationship with him in double entendres. JARVIS remarks it's refreshing to finally see Tony in a video with his clothes on. Tony and Pepper start to enter a serious relationship. They kiss on a roof near the end, with Rhodes looking on and telling them to "get a roof."
Violence:Whiplash uses his electrified whips to slice a TV, and later race cars. He goes after Tony with them. One hit just barely misses Tony's crotch and another sets his sleeve on fire. Happy drives a car onto the track and rams Ivan with it repeatedly, who then slices the car into pieces. Happy and Natalie fight guards; she beats up a number (spraying one in the face with his own pepper spray) while he spars with one, biting his ear.
Robot soldiers and missiles threaten Iron Man and bystanders. As you might expect, things blow up. Ironmen get into fights in the air and on the ground. Lasers cause fires and slice through objects.
Happy fights Tony and Natalie (separately) in a boxing ring. A drunken Iron Man and a sober War Machine fight, trashing Tony's house.
Stark is warned an agent sent to keep an eye on him is required to keep him from leaving the house, even if it means using a taser. Ivan kills his cell mate and snaps a guard's neck. He later kills two guys left to watch him. Videos of attempted recreations of the Iron Man armor show crashes, blood splattering the camera, and a 180 degree twist at the waist with a test pilot (who survived) inside.
Tony pulls smoking cores from his chest and gets a cut on his face. Ivan spits blood. Pepper threatens to throw something at Tony's head.
Drugs/Alcohol:Characters drink alcohol throughout. Anton Vanko is said to have lived in a vodka-fueled rage. Tony gets drunk at a party, which his friends are not pleased by. Ivan gives his pet bird wine. Tony threatens to turn one of his robots into a wine rack. Natalie injects him with something.
Language:"Pr**k", "crap", "sh*t", "a**", "b**ch", "h*ll", "G*d", and "J*sus".
In a song, it sounds like the singer is saying "S**t, yeah." Ivan says something in Russian, which he translates as meaning "Your software is s**t." Someone says "f**k you" to Tony twice (because it's on TV, the first word is bleeped out both times). The AC/DC song Highway To Hell plays over the credits.
On the more minor side, a guy on TV calls Pepper a pinhead. A missile is called The Ex-Wife.
Gross stuff:Tony pees in his armor, which apparently turns the urine into drinking-quality water. Justin Hammer says he wants to (metaphorically speaking) take a dump on Tony's front lawn. Tony tells Pepper not to say wind because he's feeling gassy. He also says he has a "Hammeroid" attack.
Spiritual:Ivan says "If you make God bleed, people will stop believing in Him." Apparently, he's never heard of Christianity. Someone says "God bless Iron Man and God bless America." He's also impressed Ivan stood up to Tony "in front of God and everybody."
As mentioned, the song Highway To Hell plays over the credits. Tony tells Natalie to enter the church (which means come into the boxing ring). He also refers to footage as his father visiting from the great beyond.
So what were your thoughts?
If you want to get out a few of your crazy theories, go here.
For my review of the third movie, go here.
© 2014 by M.R.R.