These were my thoughts when I first saw Iron Man 2:
While watching the beginning of the second film, actually I might say up to about 45 min or something, I thought it was a bit flat. I thought that this could be because for a lot of these hero-style films, the first film is usually more interesting as the main character discovers their super-powers. Mmmm. I was about to back up that statement with examples, but could only come up with Spider-man really. X-2 better than X-men, Superman 2, Hellboy II!
Anyway, I thought the first 45 min were a bit aimless, until Sam L Jackson showed up and told Tony to stop arse-ing about. At that point the film developed some plot and became a whole lot more enjoyable, though I was confused with why they replaced Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle as Rhodey. Jon Favreau has done a great job with these two films, including a massive cameo for himself (actually I think it goes beyond a cameo).
Though it is undoubtedly the weakest Iron Man film, seeing it again over four years later with far more MCU movie experience under my utility belt, I found more to interest me. Perhaps, initially I had been a little bit dismissive of it.
There are several key MCU plot points introduced. Most notably Pepper becoming owner of Stark Industries, Tony’s discovery of a new element explaining why his chest arc reactor changes from a round to triangular shape, the introduction of War Machine, and of course Scarlett Johansson taking her bow as Black Widow.
However, I still feel that the film doesn’t really get going until Fury appears on the screen asking Tony to “Step away from the Donut”. There is enough going on before this point, but it all seems a bit haphazard, rather like Tony’s state of mind.
Mickey Rourke has a great presence as a villain (rather like Immortals). I feel that Sam Rockwell should, on paper at least, be a great bad guy; but just somehow doesn’t come across as well as he should do. Is this due to a lazy script and/or clumsy direction? I don’t really know but I know how great Rockwell can be.
Still, an enjoyable film, with much to appreciate, it just takes its sweet time to really get going. But, you know, that’s just, like, my opinion man.