Robert Downy Jr.
Samuel L. Jackson
With the world now aware of his identity as Iron Man, Tony Stark must contend with both his declining health and a vengeful mad man with ties to his father’s legacy.
Iron Man 2 starts with a giant celebration of Tony’s, Robert Downey Jr.’s, awesomeness. There are Iron Man Rockettes dancing, a massive adoring crowd, followed by him giving a speech about how truly amazing he is. The whole thing is outside because no building could hold his ego and that is ultimately why I don’t like Tony. He desperately needs therapy, he’s gone through some hugely traumatic shit at this point, on top of daddy issues, and yet he doesn’t seek help because who could possibly help him? His diagnosis of narcissism is not a surprise later in the film.
One of my least favorite tropes is conflict due to lack of communication, which drives most of this movie. Tony talks a LOT but it’s mostly without substance and refuses to open up to the people that love and support him. Eventually, Nick Fury, Samuel L. Jackson, forces his help upon him and Tony is finally able to solve the issues he’s facing. If there’s a lesson to be learned here it’s that you should talk to the people in your life, share your troubles, and maybe they’ll be able to help you. At the very least they could point you in the right direction.
There are a lot more hints at what’s to come in the Marcel Cinematic Universe. We’ve got allusions to Captain America and Thor in one scene alone. S.H.I.E.L.D. is also more of a presence with Phil Coulson, Clark Gregg, and Natasha Romanoff aka. Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson, having more prominent roles. We’ve seen Coulson before, but Black Widow’s addition honestly shows just how far we’ve come. She is eye candy, Happy, Jon Favreau, is constantly making stereotypical assumptions about her, being demeaning and treating her as nothing more than a pretty face. Time and time again she proves that she’s a badass and each time he’s in shock, and yet he keeps doing it. Happy was really a creep in this, more so than the first movie.
I’m not a fan of Black Widow, mainly because of her action scenes. This movie probably had her best one, or at least one of them, but for the most part they’re always filled with lots of cuts and shaky cam because a stuntwoman does Johansson’s stunts. At least in this movie her hair is long so as long as it was in her face they were able to show more.
Anyway, Iron Man was a return to the Marvel superhero movie feel I’m used to, and it set the stage for everything that’s to come in a very solid way, but I believe it was a small dip in quality from the first movie.