Review by Lachlan Huddy
Director: Jon Favreau
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johannson, Samuel L. Jackson
It has been a refrain in the months leading up to Iron Man 2’s release—expectations were low for the first instalment, which soared—can Favreau and Co. meet the celestial benchmark they set back in ‘08? Well, let’s put it to bed: yep, sure can.
Favreau knows what boosted his opening chapter into the stratosphere and here he gives the audience more, more, more of it. Robert Downey Jr, the ex-badboy turned tentpole stud, here unleashes his effortless charm in a way that he hasn’t since the criminally-ignored Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, and even the coldest of hearts will warm to his Tony Stark in minutes. Sure, he’s a self-confessed narcissist, playboy and unapologetic philanderer with a ream of sins for which to atone, but he’s just so damn seductive, and he and the other stellar actors make Iron Man 2 sing. Witness the verbal stoushes between Tony and Rockwell’s Justin Hammer, the pitch-perfect screwball-comedy sparring between Tony and Paltrow’s Pepper Potts, or the effortless chumminess Downey and Cheadle conjure between Tony and Rhodey, and you know you’re watching that rarest of things: a blockbuster with real heart and soul. Sure, the kids might come for the metal-suited mayhem (which is bloody good), but there’s something here for mum and dad, too: a reminder that it’s still okay to have fun at the movies.