Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) faces an uphill battle to keep custody of the Iron Man suit, which the government wants possession of to prevent enemies getting hold of the technology. But when he's attacked by a copycat prototype, manned by Ivan Venko (Mickey Rourke), Stark's claims that he's ahead of the game suddenly ring hollow. To make matters worse, the arc reactor that powers his suit and serves as a surrogate heart is also killing him, and there doesn't seem to be a safe alternative. It doesn't help that rival weapons manufacturer Justin Hammer has teamed up with Venko to develop more advanced weaponry for a commercial edge. Is this the end of Iron Man?
The movie is packed with juicy action sequences and stunning performances, a rarity in superhero flicks. Downey excels as the charismatic and brainy Stark, a role that revived his floundering film career in 2008. Mickey Rourke convinces as the vengeful Venko, and Sam Rockwell is hysterical as Hammer. The movie also manages depth, as Stark comes to terms with his feelings for his father and girlfriend, without being sappy. Besides, the movie is really funny.
Despite a somewhat anti-climactic climax, and some lazy scriptwriting surrounding Stark's discovery of a new element, Iron Man 2 is a must-watch. If you missed it playing at Big Cinemas, go find a DVD to fill in one of the duller World Cup nights.