Stark Raving Mad
Iron Man 2
Review by Ross Anthony

This super action movie is more super during the non-action. Clever banter, snarky, fun; all of the qualities so many have enjoyed in director Jon Favreau's previous films (myself included). In fact, It's so much fun watching Robert Downey as the cocky Tony Stark, you might feel a little bored when he turns into Iron Man. Really, the scene in which he's grilled by a pesky senator played by Garry Shandling (one of my favorite comedians) commands the screen with greater punch than the bot-v-bot noise. In the opening Stark Expo Pageant, backed by a string of scantily dressed iron women dancers, Stark parades his vanity in front of his adoring public. I ate it up. "Privatized Peace!" His monologue is well crafted and delivered delightfully. Downey may find the suit clunky to don, but he wear's the role marvelously.

I had fun despite the action. But, my fear is, those interested in the film for the action might be a bit disappointed. The battling feels almost secondary and hits with less freshness. The one exception to that is the splendidly choreographed hand to hand to mace scene in which a certain female takes on a bunch of males. Well shot, well directed, nicely designed from the contrast in white building to dark costuming to the actual moves. Sweet.

I found Mickey Rourke underutilized. His character, as written, has plenty of interesting possibilities on an intellectual level to engage in tense drama with Stark. Sadly, he's edited down to not much more than a robot, building for a physical bash. Lastly, while I'm a fan of Sam Rockwell, he didn't knock me out here. I kept wanting Owen Wilson in that role. Or, Favreau's bud, Vince Vaugn. Now that would have completed the circuit.

I give the first 45 minutes an A+, but because of the ho-hum battling in the second half and the fizzle from the Rourke character I'm going to rate it an strong B+ overall.

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • Iron Man 2. Copyright © 2010.
  • Starring Robert Downey, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Garry Shandling, Samuel L. Jackson, Leslie Bibb. Directed by Jon Favreau. Screenplay by Justin Theroux. At Paramount Pictures.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Tuesday, 11-May-2010 15:35:13 PDT