Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is back as Iron Man in this made-for-the-big-screen Marvel Comic Book sequel. This time Iron Man is pitted against Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), the government and the palladium contained in the arc reactor that keeps his heart beating is slowly killing him.
Multi-millionaire playboy Stark revels in the spotlight as Iron Man, the only person to single-handedly bring about a negotiated peace between the major super powers of the world. Fulfilling his father’s dream, he opens Stark Expo to display his inventions.
Despite his popularity, he is vilified by the Senate subcommittee chair Sen. Stern (Gary Shandling), who wants to classify his armor technology as a weapon and wants it for military applications.
Stark refuses to yield to the government and publicly shames rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) by highlighting his failed attempts at recreating the technology and pointing out global technology of a suit such as his is at least 10 years away.
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In the meantime, Stark is battling with his health. The palladium in the arc reactor, which keeps his heart beating, is poisoning him.
All his attempts to find a substitute element have failed. Believing his life is coming to an end, he appoints his former personal assistant, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) CEO of Stark Industries, and replaces her with Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson).
In Monaco racing, Vanko attacks Stark with his version of the arc reactor, placing it in a harness and attaching whip-like attachments. Stark defeats Vanko with his Iron Man armor. In jail, Vanko is subsequently freed by Hammer, who puts him to work on a line of ironclad he will use to upstage Stark at his own Expo.
Stark throws himself a birthday party and gets drunk wearing the Iron Man armor, forcing his friend Lt. Col. James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) to don the Iron Man Mark II armor and subdue him.
Disgraced, Stark is visited by Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D (Samuel L. Jackson), who provides him with a chance to find a cure for his palladium poisoning. Stark builds a particle accelerator with the aid of his computer J.A.R.V.I.S. (voice of Paul Bettany) and synthesizes a new element, creating a new triangular chest arc that cures him.
What happens next? Does Vanko prevail? Does Stark regain control of Stark Industries? Is Pepper really just a personal assistant?
These are just some of the questions answered in this action-packed movie, but the movie also leaves a few questions that may have to wait to be answered in an Iron Man 3 sequel, if one is made, or the to be released movie Nick Fury, in 2012.
If you can get past Stark’s over-the-top narcissism, which I was able to because of great one-liners, this movie is a must-see for Marvel Comic fans. Downey Jr. plays the part of Stark to perfection.
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Director: Jon Favreau
Release Date: May 7
Rating: Rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and brief suggestive content.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Chandling