REVIEW: Iron Man 2 - classy but thin

In the paper this week I raised the possibility that maybe Paramount s reluct

Michael Joyce

Iron Man 2 (12A.) Directed by Jon Favreau. Starring Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell. 125 mins ***

In the paper this week I raised the possibility that maybe Paramount's reluctance to let anyone see this much anticipated sequel was down to it being not very good. Not so, the film behind the wall of secrecy is in no way a bad film. The big secret is that it is - alright.

The script takes the character in some interesting new directions, the new faces are all perfectly fine, the dialogue is strong and it is altogether a classier production than the standard summer blockbuster.

Flaws - the action is spread rather thinly across its two hours and the final climatic battle is over very swiftly. That the villain is a man in another Iron Man suit for the second film running is distinctly underwhelming.

Looked at objectively it's probably no worse than the first one, but that's still a disappointment. The original Iron Man was a nice surprise, a lesser known superhero whose film was on a par with those made for the more famous names.

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It was though really no more than the blueprint for a great film. I think it was reasonable to expect this to build on and surpass it in way that The Dark Knight did Batman Begins or Spider-man 2 or X-Men 2 did their respective first parts. Instead, this is a same-again sequel.