Iron Man 2 Review

Iron Man 2 - Movie Poster

Iron Man 2 (2010)
Director: Jon Favreau Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L Jackson

Certificate: 12 Running Time: 124 Minutes

I don’t think too many people would argue that the first Iron Man was a surprise hit. It had all the right ingredients to be one, but was still a gamble – rookie director, risky casting, unproven draw power of character – but happily it payed off; Iron Man proved to be one of the most enjoyable comic-book adpations to date, thanks in no small part to Jon Favreau’s sublime direction and the irresistable charisma of Robert Downey Jr. Thankfully, they both return in this well-timed sequel. But herein lies the problem… The first film ended up such a hit, Iron Man 2, unlike its predecessor, had a lot to live up to. The weight of expectation has killed many a film, but did it kill this one?

Iron Man 2 - Movie Screenshot 1
Picking up six months after the first film, Tony is fresh from his revelatory press conference and is soon being hounded by the Government to hand his Iron Man suit technology over to them for mass production. However, between outsmarting them in court, humilating his newly prevalent competitors (including Rockwell on top form as Justin Hammer), and of course, continuing the good fight against bad guys, Tony is also starting to suffer – use of the arc-reactor keeping him alive is also slowly poisoning him. As a result he is becoming despondent and acting more and more recklessly, including handing Pepper the job of CEO of Stark Industries (filling her former position with Natalie, played by Johansson), while he entertains revellers at his newly ressurected Expo, larking about at the Monaco Grand Prix, and getting drunk in the Iron Man suit at what he believes to be his last birthday party.
Iron Man 2 - Movie Screenshot 3
While all this is going on, a former close colleague of Tony’s father, Anton Vanko, is spending his final few days in poverty in Russia, leaving his son, Ivan (Rourke), to seek revenge against wrongs apparently committed by Stark Snr. Turning up in the middle of a race at the aforementioned race circuit, it’s soon apparent that Ivan has a few tricks of his own, resulting in possibly the movie’s grandest set-piece. Despite barely scraping through this first encounter, Tony’s reckless behaviour continues, to the increasing concern of Pepper (Paltrow) and Rhodey (Cheadle), culminating in a house-destroying rumble with the latter whilst wearing the silver Mark II suit. Before long, however, Nick Fury arrives, expanding on his cameo from the first film, to give Tony a good hard kick in the behind! Newly invigorated and with a fresh sense of purpose, Tony sets out to stop a similarly determined, not to mention Justin Hammer-assisted, Vanko once and for all.
Iron Man 2 - Movie Screenshot 5
For a film driven by a tale of revenge, Iron Man 2 had the potential to be much darker than its predecessor, much like Empire Strikes Back was to Star Wars, but it’s surprisingly bereft of negative emotions, instead presenting most scenes in a light-hearted, sometimes comedic way. Fair enough, the first film did this too, but the effect is more noticable here due in no small part to Rourke’s imposing performance as scruffy, tattooed Vanko (an amalgamation of two villians from the comics), a.k.a. the aptly-named Whiplash. Downey Jr is once again on top form as Stark, especially when he’s out of the armour, verbally sparring with all and sundry, and Cheadle takes over from Terrence Howard as Rhodey. Whilst both are great actors, I personally always find it annoying when different actors play the same character (except for older and younger versions or something). Nonetheless, Rhodey remains as likeble as ever, although also somewhat more conflicted than in the last film too.
Iron Man 2 - Movie Screenshot 2
Iron Man 2 is pretty much more of the same. It gives our hero more to do, introduces a few new characters like the slimy Justin Hammer and the mysterious Natalie, expands some existing characters (Favreau’s own Happy Hogan, for example, gets a lot more screen time, as does Sam Jackson’s Nick Fury), and even adds a dollop or romance. Overall, it could’ve been a very different kind of movie than it is, in different hands, but would that’ve made it better or worse? It’s hard to say, but as it stands, despite a slightly disappointing final battle, it’s a good film and a good sequel, and I’m not sure you can really ask for much more.

RKS Score: 7/10

Games Coming Out May 2010 For Consoles

Coming Soon sign
Coming Soon sign

May can bring many things, flowers, a step closer to summer break and your girlfriend getting the marriage itch. Let’s focus on games being released for consoles, after all, if you don’t get your girl flowers and marry her you will be spending your summer break alone.

Iron Man 2 (May 2nd)

The two is for double the action as you can select Iron Man or War Machine. Some of the major changes in the game are centered around Iron Man’s suit. In part 2 your suit A.I. (Jarvis) will automatically switch between power modes. For example, when you are flying more power will be given to boosters and when walking your weapons and shields will have more power. In addition the game has a lot more detail, Iron Man can destroy multiple parts of buildings and the environment before it comes crashing down. Finally the bosses are bigger than ever giving you a true comic book fighting experience. Overall, IM2 looks to be a great improvement over the first one.

Lost Planet 2 (May 9th)

It’s summertime on the Lost Planet, in part two of this shooter you move away from the ice and snow of part one and find yourself in a lush tropical paradise, well, maybe not a paradise unless you call being surrounded by huge hulking monsters and killer lizards paradise.

One of the coolest things about LP2 is the new four player co-op, now you and four of your buddies can venture out together to take down your enemies. Team work is key because you can kill each other with your weapons and general splash damage, but together you can also lay some real hurt on the local inhabitants.

In the co-op mode you have your own life bar and a team life bar. When you die you can spawn at specific points and rejoin your team, but as your time members die the team life bar drops as well. When the team life bar is empty its game over.

Lost Planet 2 has kept everything that the fans liked in the game including the various weapons, mech suits and vehicles. The grapple is still in the game and even more useful than ever as you can use it to climb on to the large bosses and ride them to death.

Alan Wake (May 16th)

Alan Wake is an adventure/horror/thriller/action game. The game looks and plays very much like a television series complete with recaps and cliffhangers between levels or “episodes”. In Alan Wake you play a struggling writer who takes a trip to the country with his wife (can you already see where this is heading?) His wife disappears and Alan begins his search for her believing she is being held for ransom.

Soon Alan discovers this sleepy little town is engulfed in an evil “darkness” that can not only posses anything it comes in contact with, but it can manifest itself into various shapes and creatures. For the most part the name of the game is to stay in the light. Light is not only used for protection, but offense as well as that is the only thing that hurts the darkness. However, you are not just running from shadows, as the body count rises the police will show up to investigate and guess who they will want to question first?

This game looks pretty cool and if you liked games like Silent Hill, Fatal Frame and Alone in the Dark then this is definitely a title to pick up.

[added by Honorabili] Red Dead Redemption, May 18th

This game looks like a much more modern and epic version of Gun, one of my favorite western games, ever. Hopefully it will also have the same kind of level of action and in-depth storyline, and incredible soundtrack.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 (May 23rd)

If you suffer from vertigo this game will kill you, in Super Mario Galaxy 2 Mario continues his planetary tour with his pal Yoshi and this time you can control his tongue and inhale pretty much anything in sight. A brand new move available to our favorite plumber is his drill that allows him to dig into and through planets to collect coins and traverse from one side to the other.

Now of course all the puzzles, jumps and characters are still there and the visuals are still as colorful and vibrant as ever. Simply put if you are a Mario fan you need to pick up this title.

So there you have it, there are more games being released in May but these are the ones we are most interested in. Feel a game should be on the list, let us know.