"It's called being a bad-ass." -- Rhodey
Iron Man 2 is good. It is not Iron Man. But it does not have to be, because Iron Man already was. The job of the first sequel to an awesome movie is to not blow it and ruin all our good feelings about the first one. Iron Man 2 has second helpings of good parts from the first one. The movie adds about a zillion cast members. Downey's Stark plows over them all.
Good part: It was nice to see Mickey Rourke playing himself.
Good part: Robert Downey Jr. brings back the motormouth dialogue and the super-confidence that was so excellent in the first one.
Good part: The Tony / Pepper rapport is classic. They don't chat. They burst out flurries of banter, trying to overtake each other.
Bummer part: When new Rhodey Don Cheadle puts on the War Machine suit, his character doesn't do the geek-out I anticipated.
Nerd alert 1: During the Roger Stern / Bob Layton years in the Iron Man comics, his secretary was Mrs. Arbogast. She's in Iron Man 2 for about two seconds. She looks hot and sexy, which is distressing, since in the comics she looks like the secretary from Ferris Bueller.
Nerd alert 2: The guy from Mad Men who plays Tony's father looks exactly like the pencil-thin mustache Tony Stark from the 1960s comics.
Nerd alert 3: In the incredibly long credits, they gave props to almost a dozen writers and artists from Iron Man comics. Very cool.
Not good part: Tony's crazy genius montage. Tony playing with his holograms is fun at first, but the montage lasts about six hours.
Scarlet Johansson part: When she put on the Black Widow suit, seventeen people in my theater exploded.
Not cool part: There is very little Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. We only got 15 seconds of Fury in the first movie. He tries to steal scenes from Stark, but Stark does not allow it.
Samuel L. Jackson has no bad-mother quotes. He's just Exposition Guy. Step it up, Samuel L. Jackson.
Here is my review of the Hasselhoff Fury movie . So after two movies, David Hasselhoff has still spent more time onscreen as Nick Fury than Samuel Jackson.
Nerd alert 4: There is something after the credits, and it's super nerdy. When I saw it, I thought I might cry. OK. I did.
Warning to non-nerds: You will find out what it means from the nerds you attend with. You will find out more than you ever wanted to know. The nerds will deliver it to you at hurricane force. Be ready. Also, you should be a nerd. It's more fun.