New ‘Iron Man’ film doesn’t measure up

John-Magus Cambridge and John-Magus Cambridge

The influx of summer action movies kicks off with a bang with the release of “Ironman 2,” the highly anticipated sequel to the 2008 blockbuster, “Ironman.” The movie features performances by many of Hollywood’s big names including Robert Downey, Jr., Don Cheadle, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Downey returns as the billionaire genius, Tony Stark. Stark is dealing with health issues as the generator that keeps him alive and also powers the Ironman suit is beginning to slowly poison his body. In addition to his failing health, Stark must also deal with the government’s insistence that he turn over the Ironman suit as it is a threat to national security.

The story centers around two very different villains united in hatred for Stark: Justin Hammer, played by Sam Rockwell, is a business rival who has made it his duty to upstage Stark. Ivan Vanko aka. Whiplash, played by Mickey Rourke, seeks revenge for what he views as an injustice done to his family. After a series of events brings the two together, they combine Hammer’s resources with Vanko’s know-how in a plot to destroy Stark and his family’s legacy.

The movie is filled with big name performers who don’t really live up to their hype. Downey’s Stark seems less of the witty billionaire bad-boy he was in the first movie. This time around he seems more of a smarmy douche that I personally couldn’t wait to see beat up. The movie’s best performance comes from Rourke, which is disappointing because I can’t remember his character being on screen for more than 30 minutes.

The movie starts slowly and never seems to pick up the pace. There weren’t enough action scenes for my taste. With all of the high-tech weaponry involved in the movie and the multitude of adversity facing the protagonist, you’d think there would never be time to catch your breath; however, it turns out to be quite the opposite.

If this were a movie by itself, it would be alright. The problem with “Ironman 2” is that you have to compare it to the first one. I know movies are supposed to be judged on their own merit, but when you’re following greatness with mediocrity, comparisons are inevitable. I expected more from “Ironman 2” and can only hope the rest of this summer’s big name releases live up to their billings.