The Iron Man sequel has big shoes to fill. The first film showed audiences that a superhero film could be made that took itself seriously, but not boringly so. It had explosions, character development and..well.. heroism.
The second chapter begins around the same time as the end of Iron Man, with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) revealing to the world that he is Iron Man.
For the rest of the film we meet what seems to be villain after villain with Anton Vanko (Whiplash, played by Mickey Rourke), Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) a rival weapons dealer and Garry Shandling as a senator who REALLY wants Iron Man’s armor.
The film’s first action sequence takes place on the Monte Carlo raceway as whiplash attacks the drivers with his energy whips. We get to see Iron Man’s new suitcase armor which folds around his body almost like a Transformer. The scene lacks the intensity of the opening of IM1 as Pepper Potts (Gwenyth Paltrow) swoops in with Happy Hogan (played by director Jon Favreau) to bring comic relief during what should have been a scene showing how serious Whiplash was about killing Tony.
Favreau manages to showcase the chemistry between Downey and Paltrow with the same wit as the first film. Downey’s portrayal of a millionaire playboy is spot-on and believable throughout the film. Though IM2 does lack the sense of discovery and invention that made the first film so interesting.
One interesting note was the replacement of Terrance Howard in the role of Rhodey with an incredibly underused Don Cheadle. Cheadle is quite possibly one of the best actors that Hollywood has to offer and IM2 gives him a heroic role but one that makes him seem as robotic as the Iron Man armor itself.
Scarlet Johansson joins the cast as Natalie Rushman / Natasha Romanoff aka The Black Widow. Johansson steals the film when she slips on her tight leather costume and takes out several bad guys with the ease one might flick a fly from one’s face.
All in all, there really isn’t very much gay content here, but for us gay nerds, there is plenty to nerdgasm over.