The power source embedded within Tony Stark’s chest is slowly killing him and when his behaviour becomes more and more erratic, the military insist on his sharing the technology. Meanwhile the son of Howard Stark’s original partner appears on the scene wanting vengeance for his father’s death in obscurity.
Iron Man 2 delivers everything you’d expect from a summer blockbuster; flashy visuals, humour, big name guest stars and spectacular set pieces, as well as an underdeveloped plot and an over-reliance on CGI. The main theme of the plot is that Tony Stark is Iron Man and the suit is not just a weapon, but the story actually has the opposite effect; there’s Iron Man, then Iron Man with lots of guns on, lots of Iron Men to attack him and finally Whiplash, who is really just another Iron Man with added whip attachments. Add the fact that he doesn’t do anything even vaguely heroic during the entire film that doesn’t involve saving his own ass and it just doesn’t really “feel” like a superhero movie because the suit comes across as just another gizmo. But the cast are all great, especially Sam Rockwell as his sleazy corporate competitor and a scene stealing cameo from Garry Shandling, and the final showdown which is straight out of Appleseed is as spectacular as you’d expect.
It certainly doesn’t have the focus and narrative momentum of the original but it’s still very entertaining in a slam-bang summer blockbuster kind of way.