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- Title: Iron Man 2 Three Disc Blu-Ray
- Rated: PG-13
- Cast: Robert Downey, Jr., Mickey Roarke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson
- Writer: Justin Theroux
- Director: Jon Favreau
- Distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment
- Original Year of Release: 2010
- Extras: See Below
- Series: Iron Man 2, Iron Man 2
IRON MAN 2 Three Disc Blu-Ray Review
Iron Man 2 Does What a Sequel Should Do!
By Tim Janson
September 30, 2010
IRON MAN 2 Review
The measure of a sequel, particularly a superhero sequel, isn’t (necessarily) about whether it surpasses the original but whether it forwards the storyline of the character and entertains at the same time. Iron Man 2 succeeds at both. The first film in a superhero series is always a handcuffed by having to tell the character’s origin. Iron Man featured one of the most enjoyable origins of any superhero film. So good, in fact, that it nearly overshadowed the rest of the film.
Iron Man 2 opens six months after the first film. Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) has revealed to the world that he is Iron Man and has continued his father Howard’s legacy of holding a Stark Expo. The U.S. Government led by obnoxious Senator Stern (Gary Shandling) demands that Stark turn his technology over to them. Stark refuses and with his typical brashness and with a few choice smartass comments to Justin Hammer, a rival arms manufacturer. Ivan Vanko (Mickey Roarke), the son of Anton Vanko, Howard Stark’s former partner, builds his own weapon based on the arc reactor technology. He creates an exo-skelton featuring a pair of electrified whips and attacks Stark during a race in Monaco. Later he will partner with Hammer to build an army of remote-controlled armored drones to attack the Expo.
If Director Jon Favreau is guilty of anything it is falling into the usual trap of trying to throw in too many new elements in his sequel. In short order you get Justin Hammer, Whiplash, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), War Machine (Don Cheadle), not to mention hints of the Avengers, Captain America, and Thor. Despite the breakneck pace, Iron Man 2 isn’t overindulgent. The Nick Fury/S.H.I.E.L.D scenes feel a little shoe-horned into the story for purposes of forwarding the overall Marvel Universe but this is a comic book come to life.
In a nod to one of the comic’s most well known storylines, “Demon in a Bottle” Stark, dying from blood poisoning caused by the Palladium power core that keeps him alive, throws a drunken party at his home. Instead of dealing with the subject matter with any serious emotion its treated more like a rowdy bachelor party by Favreau.
Iron Man 2 succeeds largely due to the sparkling cast. Rarely has an actor seemed better suited to a role as Downey is suited to Tony Stark/Iron Man. The exchanges between Stark and Senator Stern, Stark and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Stark and Fury, Stark and, well, basically everyone are priceless. It’s refreshing to see such a liberal dose of humor in a superhero film.
While it might not have the same WOW factor of the original, Iron Man 2 succeeds in several key areas including an outstanding cast, progressing the story on numerous levels, brisk and witty dialogue, and being just plain fun.
The three disc Blu-Ray edition is loaded with three hours of bonus features not including the audio commentary by Jon Favreau.
Disc 1 features the Audio Commentary along with the following:
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Data Vault can be viewed during the movie or separately. These personnel dossiers cover the history of the various characters in the film.
- Howard Stark’s Lock Box – An interactive feature that lets you see in side Howard Starks box of secrets which include photographs, notes, and even a complete, page-by-page copy of Captain America Comics #1 from 1941.
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Case Files – Another interactive feature that includes personnel files and video clips on various characters and events not only from the two Iron Man films but also from The Hulk. There are notes on The Avengers Initiative, Project New Mexico, Super Soldier Initiative, Bruce Banner, and the various Iron Man armors.
- The Making of Iron Man 2 (1:27:00) This full-length making of documentary is hosted by Jon Favreau and covers the film from pre to post-production and everything in between. Included is a look at visual effects, editing, musical scoring, stunt work, the making of the Iron Man armors, and a discussion of the lead in to the Avengers film.
- Creating Stark Expo (6:30) – Shows how the modern day Stark Expo was designed and created.
- Practical Meets Digital (8:37) – This featurette covers creating and filming the Iron Man and War Machine armors and how they were able to achieve realistic movements from the actors wearing the suits.
- Illustrated Origin: Nick Fury (6:09) – Joe Quesada and Ralph Macchio of Marvel Comics and Samuel L. Jackson talk about the origins of Nick Fury and his progression from the spy era of the 1960s to the Ultimates version that used Jackson as a model.
- Illustrated Origin: Black Widow (3:06) – A look at Black Widow’s Cold War origins and her modern day makeover.
- Illustrated Origins: War Machine (3:52) How War Machine was developed in the film as a more militaristic armor.
- Working with DJ AM (2:02) Quickie featurette on DJ AM who appeared during the party at Stark’s house.
- Deleted Scenes
- There are approximately sixteen minutes of deleted scenes that include:
- An Alternate (2:56) opening with Tony Stark/Iron Man getting sick to his stomach aboard a C17 transport and having a hilarious verbal exchange with Pepper before jumping out of the plane. Very funny scene!
- Coulson at the Senate (1:48) S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson and Pepper having a funny conversation during the Senate hearings.
- Tony’s Workshop Extended (2:46) – An extended scene where Stark creates a new element. Includes some cool holographic animations not seen in the theatrical cut.
- Natalie Wears the Gauntlet (1:16) During the party at his house Stark lets a female gues try on the Iron Man gauntlet and she blows away an ice sculpture with a repulsor ray.
- Mark II Security (:45) Rhodey wearing the Mark II armor and talking to several military officers about security.
- Concept Art Galleries
- Music Video: Shoot to Thrill
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