Lets get right down to it, Iron Man 2 is fun, it's bright, it's flashy, it's clever, and it's action packed. This is the archetypal superhero movie refined to a near flawless degree. It isn't Dark Knight, that's certain, but it isn't trying to be. It doesn't strive for the in depth social commentaries, the visceral imagery, or the outright horrifying dilemmas that made the Dark Knight great. It, instead, is focused on two things, coaxing you to get on the roller coaster with its flashy presentation, and then making sure you have a damn good time while riding with its character development, clever dialogue, and strong conflict.
Said conflict is engaged by two men, Ivan Vanko and Justin Hammer. Both of whom seem to attack Tony from two separate fronts. Hammer attempts to overthrow Tony's technological empire by upstaging him at the Stark Expo replicating and improving on Stark's Iron Man design; Ivan attempts to take a far more direct approach and simply tries to throw as much firepower and weaponized units, including himself, at Tony in an attempt to tear him limb from limb. It's actually somewhat brilliant in the fact that Tony needs his resources to be Iron Man, since someone has to pay for all his fancy gadgets, and of course Tony can't run his company if he's dead.
Like Hammer, the final battle also seemed to have fought desperately for all the screen time it managed to obtain. To say it felt rush would be a understatement.
Overall, while the film did stumble now and again (I would also like to state that I think Mr. Rhodes acted a bit prematurely when he grabbed the suit and began wailing on Mr. Stark), it was overall a strong film and an enjoyable one at that. It managed to surpass the mindless popcorn flick with its clever dialogue and strong character development, but still held onto the crisp, bright, and action packed atmosphere of any summer blockbuster.
Dr. Boll Approves
Grade Sheet for Iron Man 2
Presentation = A
Ensemble Performance = B+
Plot = B+
Narrative Flow = B-
Climax = C
Overall Grade = B