When the first Iron Man movie came out, I questioned Robert Downey Jr. in the role, however after watching it, I couldn't really picture anyone else in it. I rented Iron Man II this past weekend and I have to admit, Robert looks old... really old. Granted, in the movie he is technically dying due to the degradation of the "battery" keeping him alive, so him looking old fits well into the looking tired and decaying.
As with all sequels, the theme here is more, more, more. More characters, more G.U.I., more chases, more blasts, more suits... basically more of everything, even more S.H.I.E.L.D. references. Mickey Rourke does well as a bad-ass Russian physicist (hmm)/welder dude Ivan Vanko, Gwyneth irritates with her high pitched hysterics, Scarlett Johansson pouts and preens her way as N. Rushman and kicks ass as Agent Romanoff (I still can't get over comic-book action sequences where the female characters deliberately have their hair down - it looks really pretty, but not very practical I assure you) and Don Cheadle... I just can't buy him as a Colonel... despite whatever other roles he has had, I picture him as the be-suited vampire from Buffy. Oh... and Sam Rockwell. He reminds me of Gary Oldman mixed with Edward Norton, but in my head, I see him from his role in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Of course, as I thought about it a little more, it hit me that the Gary Oldman resemblance stems from the weapon demonstration from "The Fifth Element", as well as his role as Commissioner Gordon.
Now there were two things that caught my attention. One was right after Ivan blows up his jail cell and dispatches of the first guard he encounters, when he casually brushes off his shoulder. Nice touch. The other is the footage reel of Howard Stark. Great line "What is and always will be...." made me tear up. Oh, two chuckles: the "exit the donut" line, and the inebriated Tony Stark making a fool of himself in the Iron Man suit (hey, he looks familiar...).
This seemed to be a long movie (hence the long review), although I didn't check the running time. I did fast forward past the credits at the end to check for a crumb, and sure enough it was there at the very end. Kind of a cheesy little throw in, but I guess it works.