I didn’t feel like writing my review last week, so here it is now.
Iron Man II picks up where Iron Man left off: with Tony Stark’s admission as the identity of the armoured superhero at a live press conference. Then it gets awesome. The end.
No seriously. I’m struggling to write this review. Because while Iron Man was a very sexy, kick-ass, successful film, Iron Man II is also extremely awesome. It’s just not as awesome as the first one. I can’t figure out why. Is it because the villain isn’t as scary as Obadiah? Is it because the other ‘bad guy’ is a serious prat who just wishes he was Tony Stark? It’s like they took Obadiah and split him right down the middle and gave all the charm to the idiot and all the scariness to the Russian guy.
The addition of War Machine is totally cool. I don’t read the comics so I didn’t know who he was. I love Rhodey’s relationship with Tony, and Tony’s obvious growth throughout the film – he goes from insisting he can do everything himself to handing over his business to Pepper and accepting a sidekick, and ends up curing himself with the help of his deceased father. The inclusion of Natalie Rushman/Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow was particularly nice, considering Iron Man was an extremely masculine film and Pepper and Natalie actually talk to each other, therefore Iron Man II passes the Bechdel test! Yay, Marvel!
I think the film moved very smoothly throughout its resolutions and even though Tony is annoying as a hero sometimes – I don’t particularly like drunk superheros but I understand the motivation behind it and accept it – he is still overall an enjoyable character and lead. He accepts his own flaws on one hand while espousing his own glories in the other – as evinced at the end of the film when SPOILER Nick Fury says Iron Man is a welcome addition to the Avengers but Tony Stark is not, but they would like him to be a consultant, and Tony, who has just accepted that he displays ‘textbook narcissism’ informs Fury that he couldn’t afford Stark.