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Iron Man 2 Review

Movies.com Critics

3.5

Dave White Profile

Needs an iron supplement. Read full review

3.0

Jen Yamato Profile

Now with more... everything! Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    57

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Well, that didn't take long. Everything fun and terrific about "Iron Man," a mere two years ago, has vanished with its sequel. In its place, Iron Man 2 has substituted noise, confusion, multiple villains, irrelevant stunts and misguided story lines.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Intimacy has vanished from the relationship between Tony and Pepper, and grace has been stricken from the movie as a whole.

    Read Full Review

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Downey's head and heart are in the right place, but the movie is more in pieces than whole, and more about iron than about men.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The action sequences are fun, though not as exhilarating as in the 2008 original, and the dialogue can be zingy.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Iron Man 2 reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Downey whips out the big guns, sexy banter in fun sequel.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sequel to Iron Man has even more explosions and action than the original, but it also ups the snarky humor and sexual innuendo. The two biggest concerns for parents are violence (while there's not much blood, there are plenty of bombs, weapons, and fights, as well as two men who are briefly shown hanging to death) and consumerism (several brands are featured again and again to the point that the movie seems like an expensive commercial for Audi, especially). Although there is only one climactic kiss, there are lots of double entendres and innuendo-filled jokes that may go over the heads of tweens and younger teens. Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark, is still not the role model of power and responsibility that Peter Parker is, but he knows when and how to help. Scarlett Johansson's character is strong, but she's so objectified it's hard to think of her as a role model to young girls.

  • Families can talk about the immense popularity (and profitability) of comics-based movies and superheroes. What do you think is the appeal of superhero flicks? And what's up with sequels? Why do you think almost every superhero movie has at least one sequel?
  • Are weapons of war glamorized in the movie? Should weapons be portrayed as that shiny and cool? What message does this send?
  • Ivan Vanko is obviously a criminal, but is he justified in feeling wronged by the Stark family? Who is on the right side of the argument?
  • Tony Stark says he doesn't need a sidekick, but in the end, he does need Rhodey's help. Is Rhodey more than a sidekick? How is their relationship different than the typical hero-sidekick dynamic?
  • In the world of superheroes, Tony stands apart as a pretty selfish rich guy outside of his Iron Man persona. Discuss how he's different than other comic-book heroes like Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Bruce Wayne/Batman?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Once again, it's clear (for the most part) who's "good" and who's "evil." Tony Stark learns the lesson that just because you think you're going to die doesn't mean you should care only about yourself. Iron Man also discovers the importance of honesty and cooperation. He couldn't have defeated his enemy alone, but when he teamed up with his best friend, he was twice as powerful. That said, the female characters -- both primary and secondary -- are largely love interests or highly sexualized, even if they are strong and capable.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Despite the negative role models of the vengeful Ivan and the greedy Hammer, there are a couple of positive role models: Pepper Potts is a very loyal, honest, and caring character (if a bit whiny), and Lt. Col. Rhodes is probably the best role model, because he is willing to contradict Iron Man for the greater good, but he also trusts him enough to fight by his side when the situation calls for it. Tony Stark is an arrogant, self-avowed narcissist who tends to put his needs first but in the end always does the "right" thing to help others.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Lots of explosions and several dead bodies in the movie. One person dies of illness or old age, but the rest of the body count is from explosions and in two cases, hanging (that's the worst scene). Iron Man and Rhodey have a big fight that smashes up Stark's house and leaves both of them passed out. The fights with Ivan, including the climactic sequence, are the most violent, but there's almost no blood. Since Stark and his competitor Hammer are weapons designers, the weapons in the movie are fairly glamorized, especially the ones Hammer Industries creates, which Hammer shows off in an almost sexual manner to army officers.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Although there's only one big kiss, several scenes feature women dressed provocatively, especially Natalie and a group of Stark dancers. There's a great deal of sexual innuendo in Stark's dialogue, particularly when he talks to or about Natalie, who in a couple of scenes is shown in her bra and in every other scene is wearing skin-tight, cleavage-baring outfit. Stark routinely says things like: "I serve this great country at the pleasure of myself, and if there's one thing you can count on, it's me pleasuring myself" or "I want one" (in reference to Natalie).

  • language false2

    Language: Language includes "stupid," "idiot," "damn," a couple instances of "ass," one use of "bitches," and a few "God"s as exclamations.

  • consumerism false4

    Consumerism: Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise. Several brands appear again and again, like Audi, which has at least two of its vehicle fleet featured prominently (including gratuitous close-ups of Audi's interlocking rings logo), in addition to its name/logo as part of the "Stark Expo" sponsors. Another heavily promoted brand is Oracle, and there is also a Rolls Royce. Pepper wears Christian Laboutin shoes with their conspicuous red soles and carries Louis Vuitton luggage. Real-life news anchors like CNN's Christiane Amanpour and Fox News' Bill O'Reilly's shows are shown.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adult characters drink vodka, wine, champage and cocktails at dinners, parties, and to have congratulatory toasts. Stark gets drunk at his birthday party, and Ivan is often shown drinking vodka (sometimes straight from the bottle).

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