Okay, I loved it. Big surprise there, I know. Still, with that said, I do have a few things I’d like to get said before putting this review to bed. Even though it says it’s not tired. It’s time.
Firstly and most obviously, Robert Downey, Jr. owns the part of Tony Stark. Seriously, I can’t think of an actor who has better portrayed his four-color counterpart. And, yes, Christian (Batman) Bale, I’m looking at you. As Stark, Downey presents a troubled genius dealing with a world that just won’t work right. Sure Stark has a lot of bad ideas about how to deal with the world, mostly involving drinking to excess and — in one memorable scene — wearing the Iron Man armor at the same time.
Still, Tony Stark is a man who wants what’s best for the world. If only the world is smart enough to listen to him. It’s that personality conflict — Stark’s narcissism and egotism combined with his intellectual brilliance versus his halting desire to fit in with other people — that drives the movie.
Stark, you see, knows that he can put the Iron Man armor to better use than the US government and, so, refuses to let the government in on his plans. Which opens the door for smarmy industrialist Justin Hammer, played brilliantly by Sam Rockwell. Hammer, with just the right amount of sleaze and lounge-lizard charm, weasels his way into a contract with the government to sell them a sort of Iron Man suit.
At the same time, he’s employing a man named Ivan Vanko, played as himself with a bad Russian accent, by Mickey Rourke. Vanko has a beef against Stark and decides to settle it in true comic-book fashion: he makes a set of powered whips and starts trying to kill Stark. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. No lawsuits here. Only iron ones. One of which is nicely filled out by James Rhodes, played with vigor by Don Cheadle, who puts on a suit to become War Machine.
There’s also a number of other characters, sort of minor, who will play larger roles in Marvel Comics movies down the line: Natasha Romanov, the Black Widow, and Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., both of whom are looking at Stark to play a part in something called the Avengers Initiative, basically a superhero team.
Admittedly, that last bit is probably only amazingly interesting for self-professed comic-book geeks like the little dudes and me. But, boy did it make the movie so much better. (As did a scene playing after the credits. If you know something about the Avengers, Marvel’s premier superteam, that scene will send you into fanboi giggles of delight. Well, it did me.)
Even without knowing the extra ins and outs, the movie Easter eggs, it’s still amazingly enjoyable. While not as surprisingly good as the original, this is one sequel that makes me glad to have seen it.
Which you should do. If possible, hit it in an Imax theater. The extra size and stereophonic detonations make this a movie to remember. I’ll give it 4.5 dudes out of five. I took off a little because of a slightly flabby middle third of the movie. Still. Go take the older little dudes and enjoy the heck out of it.
I’d be wary of taking the younger kids. There are several minor curse words and a lot of loud explosions which might be a bit much for the youngest little dudes.Share on Facebook Tags: A Dude's Guide to Kids, A Dude's Guide to Life, A Dude's Guide to Teens, Armor, Bad Idea, Batman, Batman Bale, Brilliance, Curse Word, curse words, Don Cheadle, dude, dude review, eat, Egotism, explosions, Geek, Genius, Industrialist, Intellectual Brilliance, Iron Man, James Rhodes, kids, little dude, little dudes, Lounge Lizard, Man, Man Suit, marvel, marvel comics, Memorable Scene, men, Mickey Rourke, movie, movies, Narcissism, Nick Fury, Personality Conflict, review, richard, Robert Downey, Robert Downey Jr, Russian Accent, Sam Rockwell, Sequel, smart, Troubled Genius, Vanko, War Machine, young