Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: Justin Theroux
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Samuel L. Jackson
"If you can make God bleed, people will cease to believe in him. There will be blood in the water, and the sharks will come." Tony Stark (Downey), now known to the world as Iron Man, struggles to keep the United States government from getting its hands on his "highly advanced prostheses" that it deems weapons. The government then turns to rival engineer Justin Hammer (Rockwell) to cure what ails them. Meanwhile, Ivan Vanko (Rourke) sets out for revenge on Stark's father, who Vanko claims wronged his own (recently deceased) father in the 1960s. The palladium in Stark's miniaturized arc reactor is slowly killing him, resulting in somewhat reckless behavior, and the eventual introduction of James Rhodes (Cheadle) as War Machine. Oh, and Nick Fury (Jackson) is back too, this time with Natasha Romanoff (Johansson) in tow.
I'm going to break ranks with pretty much every other review so far and say it's better than the first one. The plot is a lot more cohesive than I just made it sound, and I'd say a solid plot is the foundation for any good movie. Downey continues to be the perfect Stark, and Rockwell (long overdue to have people know his name) serves as a great foil, being just as entertaining in his own scenes. I would have like to see more Nick Fury and Natasha Romanoff (who was never once referred to as Black Widow), but time restraints being what they are, only the best stuff could be left in. I also noticed that quite a few bits from the trailers were left out (such as the "You complete me" scene with Stark and Pepper on the plane). However, finally seeing Stark drunk while in the suit was worth waiting for these past two years, as was watching two of the actors get to beat up on the director (who pulls double duty with his portrayal of bodyguard Harold "Happy" Hogan). In short, thank you, Jon Favreau, for reminding us why we all love Iron Man.
And in the name of all that is holy, STAY AFTER THE CREDITS.