Iron Man 2 is a worthy sequel

By Larissa Gula

“Iron Man 2”

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Mickey… “Iron Man 2”

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke

Director: Jon Favreau

Studio: Marvel Studios/Fairview Entertainment

Grade: B

Nothing says summer has arrived like the release of “Iron Man 2,” and if this is any indication as to how the best months of 2010 will play out, we’re in for a wild ride.

First, the plot: “Iron Man 2” opens with a flashback to the first film’s surprise ending, in which Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) reveals that he is Iron Man.

Now, six months later, Stark has seemingly found the key to world peace. Because he is — or at least believed to be — the only person with the ability to create the Iron Man technology and suits, no one even tries to match him in a fight.

Demonstrating his typical flamboyance, Stark heaps credit upon himself for ending global conflict, promising never to share his suits or technology with anyone.

But behind the smiles and the flash, Stark is in trouble — the very device keeping him alive and powering his suit is poisoning him.

Also, there’s a fierce old Russian (Mickey Rourke) emerging with one purpose in mind: get revenge on Tony Stark for his father.

Soon, Stark finds himself battling friends, enemies and his failing condition — warding off both supervillains and the military’s constant attempts to steal his technology.

But enough about the plot. “Iron Man 2” is, after all, an action film, which means that only the action should impress — and it does.

Although “Iron Man 2” isn’t quite another “Dark Knight,” the impeccable fight sequences keep viewers satiated.

Some of the gadgets Stark created in the first film have been reinvented, and some new toys have been added. They’re flashy, they’re powerful and they’re fun to watch in action, particularly on the big screen.

Of course, the actors bring their own enjoyment.

Downey Jr., for his part, plays his character in a similar fashion to the first film — walking a fine line between lovable overconfidence and insufferable arrogance.

In other words, even when there isn’t a large explosion or a shiny suit to admire, nothing falls short. When there aren’t gun battles and fist fights, there are lively back-and-forth quips— usually concerning the fate of the Iron Man technology.

Of course, the ultimate question with a sequel is whether it surpasses or betrays its big screen predecessor.

Well, “Iron Man 2” by no means surpasses the first, but it’s certainly worth watching on the big screen.