Iron Man 2 (2010)

Despite formula blockbusterisms w. entirely-forgettable villain, IM2 autopilots smoothly by magnetism of lifetime RDJ casting, character-growth free of origin/secret-identity hinderances, balanced fun yet non-childish tone, visual style, & great intros for Black Widow & War Mach. 7.3/10.

Plot Synopsis: With the world now aware that he is Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from all sides to share his technology with the military. He is reluctant to divulge the secrets of his armored suit, fearing the information will fall into the wrong hands. With Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) by his side, Tony must forge new alliances and confront a powerful new enemy.

*Possible Spoilers Ahead*

Official CLC Review

Pros: EXTREMELY fun – fun has become a bad word in MCU movies getting too goofy and nonserious at the expense of all else but this is literally one of the most enjoyable/fun sequels i’ve seen in a while. There is a vivacity, freedom, and limewire AC/DC energy zipping from its opening Stark Expo introduction that is undeniably entertaining, free of origin and secret identity weights tying many superhero movies down, and smile-inducing in the highest degree and pure blockbuster/sequel joy that also innovates the genre. things like seeing stark’s pov as a celebrity navigating hordes of scantily-clad models and signing kids’ posters and monaco supercars and making jokes at senate meetings in dc is amazing /// one of the biggest and only problems with the original is fixed here: soundtrack. from its opening dark father death intro twisting the preconception that the Starks were benevolent and self-made with the revelation that there was another creator of the arc reactor that went uncredited and wallow in alcohol-laden Rusia-set self-pity Anton Vanko that does create a compelling opening and Expo follow first thing noticeable is a much livelier and more diverse soundtrack that takes some chances and puts more effort into the craft of sound from dark choirs in birth of its villain to AC/DC rock ballads to Daft Punk to Queen to Beastie Boys to Dr. Dre /// CGI even better than original with upped budget and nice visuals of epic Stark Expo and iron suit /// new additions to the canvas Justin Hammer a great compliment being Tony Stark in a new flavor and another corrupt politician, the introduction of Black Widow and Scarlett Johannson’s quiet reserved sexy agent more room for Happy’s comedy to Sam L. Jackson’s iconic straightforward Nick Fury a plus and Mickey Rourke’s chilling Whiplash packing the perfect punch of grit and villainy I cannot express my disappointment wasn’t given a better role and less peripheral /// pacing is vivacious and keeps you engaged the whole time with snappiness of comedic lines /// action great with quick-cut and imaginative sequences like the monaco and stark expo chase and widow hallway with vibrant colors and striking attention to cinematographic detail – might be the most beautiful and visually-stunning Marvel movie ever to-date /// accomplishes a LOT – introduces not one but three major players in avengers and iron man lore in Black Widow, War Machine, and Nick Fury /// undercurrent of intellect creating a new element and prismatic acceleration /// spectacular finale with hacking a much better villain for the tech before it reverts to bigger suit

Cons: Whiplash a forgettable villain and is given an incredibly underwhelming finale – fine villain with glimpses of even being good throughout the first act and opening but the final big bad boss fight lasts for like 12 seconds and is just a lazy rehash of Obadiah’s.. down to even the suit. What exactly was his big final master-plan: make a suit that can withstand *checks notes* one neutron blast and blow himself up to try to take Stark out? Lame, lame, lame. MCU needs to learn how to close as well as they start. Echoes IM1’s really only flaw /// BW does not get the best introduction – overtly-sexualized in some scenes yet Mary Sue-ish in others – can code, fight, speak 5 languages, hot, too perfect, yet little more than a flirt device in others it’s like the script was written half-half by people with entirely different viewpoints on fem. Wildly-inconsistent /// Definitely more generic than the first – but that’s OKAY; comic book films don’t all have to reinvent the wheel – this at least is massive fun, accomplishes world-building and important milestones, and is very good/entertaininng up until one underwhelming final battle that leaves a bad taste in the mouth but absolutely shouldn’t discredit the film as long as you have a decently above-average memory of what preceded it

Official CLC Score: 7.3/10