Iron Man 2. Better than the first movie?

The sequel becomes the first topic of conversation after a movie, especially a super hero film, has great reviews and even greater box office. Such was the case for the first Iron Man movie. Most people weren’t expecting such a perfect origin story, incredible acting, outstanding special effects and (most shocking of all) that Robert Downey Jr. became Tony Stark. After such a spectacular beginning, talk started immediately about the second film and when it would appear in the grand scheme of Marvel’s plans for an Avenger film. Would it come before all of the other Marvel film or after the Thor and Captain America films were released? Well, that question has been answered after Iron Man 2 was released this past weekend and sets us up perfectly for Iron Man’s participation in the Avenger initiative.

At the end of the first Iron Man film, we witnessed Tony Stark telling the world that he was in fact Iron Man. This sort of thing is unheard of. No super hero reveals his secret identity to the world for fear that their enemies will come after their loved ones and family. So, now that Tony Stark and Iron Man are proven to be the same person, what will that do to Tony’s life and the people in it? This is the main question faced in this movie and it is a brilliant question indeed. How will this affect his business? Will he attract more enemies purely because he is Iron Man? Will he be able to keep his friends safe? Can he do it alone? Each of these complex issues is brought up in this second Iron Man film.

At the beginning of the film we are introduced to Ivan Vanko as he sits with his father Anton on his deathbed. The father Anton worked with Tony’s father Howard to produce the Arc reactor that was introduced in the first film and is the technology in Tony’s chest. Ivan’s father was never given due credit for helping to create this technology and it left the Vanko family poor and wanting revenge for this betrayal. After Anton dies, Ivan sees that Tony is Iron Man and he decides to use his dad’s technology to create a suit for himself to take his revenge on the Stark family. Once he builds his suit, that has whips made out of electricity, he is known as Whiplash.

Meanwhile, Tony is dealing with his own issues. The government, after finding out that he is Iron Man, has stated that he needs to release his suit to them for government purposes. Stark industries won government contracts for defense weapons and they feel that the suit is now property of the government. Stark is not letting go of his suit stating that he and Iron Man are one and the same and it is his technology no matter his ties to the government contracts. All of this builds up to battles against both the government and their need for his technology and Whiplash who is strictly seeking revenge.

All in all, this is a terrific sequel that takes the best parts of the first film and expands on them. I wouldn’t say that this film is any better than the first, but it is certainly equal to it in my opinion. This has also helped to raise my hopes for the upcoming movies by leaps and bounds. You can really see that they are trying to create continuity between all of their films. Also, be sure to stay in the theater through the end of the credit and you’ll be treated to a nice surprise!

J.Chandler A-