Starting of with the final scene of the first movie when Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) declares to the world that he is indeed Iron Man we move to Russia where a dying Anton Danko tells his son Ivan (Mickey Rourke) that he should have been the person in the suit. It seems that the Arc Reactor, the technology that powers the Iron Man suit, was co-developed with Anton’s assistance and Tony`s father Howard, who was never given due credit for it. Now the son wanting to avenge the father’s death is building a similar suit to take on Iron Man one-to-one.
Cut to present day where Tony Stark riding on the success of Iron Man is busy showing it off to the general public and refusing downright to handover the technology to the American government. In a stunning action sequence Ivan a.k.a Whiplash and Iron Man have a showdown at the Monaco Grand Prix where Ivan is captured and sent to prison. Tony Stark’s arch business rival Hammer industries CEO Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) decides to use Ivan’s help to make better suits and drive him out of business. But Ivan obviously has another agenda.
Tony Stark is trying to fight the side effects of having to run his body with the help of the Arc reactor. You see he will die if he continues being Iron Man as the technology that runs it is raising his blood toxicity. This results in Tony Stark (and Iron Man) turning to drink to drown their woes while caring a fig about his many fans and even the government. His army friend James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) tries to fight him resulting in a laughable action scene where two Iron men fight it out at Tony Stark`s home at his birthday party with scared guests onlooking resulting in a fallout between the two.
The problem with IM 2 is that it just never takes off. The first movie grabbed you from the start and never lets up while having a good story and character development. This one just gives you a pat on the cheek while all you want is a nice big hug. Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow do the same thing they did in the previous movie as they are hampered with a script that does not offer them anyting new to do with their roles. Mickey Rourke seems to suffer from a hangover from his previous movie, The Wreslter. Only this time he is Russian. Whiplash as the baddie does not cut any ice which is sad because both, the character and the actor, had tremendous potential. The climax between the two seems rushed and unsatisfactory. Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow is completely wasted in a glorified cameo. Samuel Jackson as Nikke Furie chief of S.H.I.E.L.D who is trying to get super heroes to join his Avengers initiative gets more screen time than Johansson. Maybe she will have more to do in the upcoming Avengers movie in 2012, which in case you don`t already know, will have The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America vying for screen time.
However, IM 2 on its own leaves you frustrated unlike the prequel and joins the ranks of those sequels which could not live upto the hype of their predecessors. Like Jarvis (the voice of the Iron Man suit) would say, “Very good sir, but could have been better. ”
Contributed by Runil Motwani