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Iron Man 2 (***)
directed by Jon Favreau
written by Justin Theroux, based on the comic book created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Larry Lieber, and Don Heck
Principal Cast
Robert Downey Jr. -- Tony Stark
Don Cheadle -- Lt. Col. James 'Rhodey' Rhodes / War Machine
Scarlett Johansson -- Natalie Rushman / Natasha Romanoff
Gwyneth Paltrow -- Pepper Potts
Sam Rockwell -- Justin Hammer
Mickey Rourke -- Ivan Vanko
Samuel L. Jackson -- Nick Fury
Clark Gregg -- Agent Coulson
John Slattery -- Howard Stark
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

Iron Man 2 Is Iron Man 2 a romantic comedy or an action thriller? Actually, it's a four-star romantic comedy and a three-star action thriller. It is long enough to be two movies, and yet I was always entertained. But I liked it best when Tony Stark wasn't wearing tin underwear.

Justin Theroux turned in a top notch script. For an actor turned writer, he's a wonder. In particular, I wonder how much of his dialogue was ad-libbed by Robert Downey, Jr. Certainly, Downey's delivery makes the dialogue seem even better than it is, but that is not to put down Justin Theroux, whose second turn as a writer is nothing short of amazing. His only previous screenplay is Tropic Thunder, about a bunch of actors who get caught up in a real war and think it's special effects.

The Russian villain is also very well written and well acted. They took a minor comic book villain, Whiplash, and turned him into a major player, with a great performance by Mickey Rourke.

The action ending was a bit of a letdown. It never really works when the heroes outnumber the villains two to one. And it never really works when the villain, for no reason at all, uses a timer to set of a bomb he wants to explode now! That is, for no reason at all except to give the hero a chance to save the girl. A better ending would have been for Whiplash to say, "I win." Boom! Tony and Rhodey survive because they're wearing armor, but Tony thinks Pepper is dead -- later he discovers that Nick Fury has rescued her.

Stay for the credit cookie. "Avengers Assemble!" 'Nuf said.

Copyright © 2010 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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