Summer Is Back

6 May

Iron Man 2 begins with a bang.

Or, perhaps more appropriately, with a zip, zoom, swish, and a bang — not to mention a rockin’ song by AC/DC playing over the action.

Those are the sounds we hear as our hero flies through the air amidst fireworks and then lands to wild applause. “Oh, it’s good to be back,” exclaims Tony Stark, after shedding his Iron Man costume.

The expression could go many ways.

In my world, it applies not just to Stark, but also to Robert Downey Jr., the Iron Man series, and summer movies in general. Yes, IM2 kicks off the summer season in high style; this movie is a great big ball of fun.

The action picks up six months after the original left off.

Stark has gotten cockier and more self-involved, partly due to the fact that he’s given the world the longest stretch of peace ever, and he’s done it all by himself with his own invention.

As he says when called in front of Congress to turn over his weapon, “I’ve privatized world peace!”

Meanwhile, across the world in Russia, Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) is duplicating Stark’s weapon and plotting revenge against him because Stark stole ideas and credit from Vanko’s recently deceased father.

I don’t want to minimize the plot details, because unlike most other summer blockbuster type films, this story isn’t paper thin. But I’d rather tell you how good the movie is.

Downey Jr. is at his rakish, charming best, and he’s surrounded by a cast that’s equally fun to watch — including Don Cheadle and Scarlett Johansson.

Rourke, our villain, doesn’t have much to say, but he certainly commands the screen. When he confronts Stark for the first time at the Monte Carlo Speedway, on the attack with his whips of energy, it’s awesome.

The screenplay, by Justin Theroux, is solid and funny. Director Jon Favreau (more an on-screen presence here than in the first film) keeps the action moving, and the story grounded in an almost-real reality.

Yes, there’s probably more I can say, but when you enjoy a movie, generally it’s not because one thing or another sticks out. It just all works well together. Such is the case here.

In short, as noted, IM2 is a perfect kickoff for the summer movie season. It’s great fun and it’s actually well made. Will it be just the first in a fantastic string of movies over next few months?

Wait and see.

I’m giving Iron Man 2 a B+.

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One Response to “Summer Is Back”

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  1. Plays Well with Others « Martin's Musings - May 6, 2012

    […] the past few years now, films like Iron Man (the original and the sequel), Thor, and The Incredible Hulk have been laying the groundwork for this one, with each including a […]

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