It seems like there's an old adage that goes like this, "a sequel never lives up to the original". But is that really true? Sometimes, yes. But there have been so many times that sequels have lived up to their hype--and even surpassed the praiseworthiness of their predecessors. The classic example is The Godfather Part II. But more recently, Spider-Man 2 and The Dark Knight have outdone their part ones. We're not sure Iron Man 2 out-performs the original, but it's every bit as enjoyable.
Mickey Rourke shows up as the big enemy, a Russian outcast who seeks revenge against Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) and his family name. Scarlett Johansson is cast to add even more sex appeal to Stark's office staff than even Gwyneth Paltrow can provide by herself. Throw in Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, and a humorous Gary Shandling in the role of an indignant U.S. senator, and what could go wrong? Well, it could have gone very wrong. But the filmmakers found a way to make it work. It's action packed, suspenseful, funny, and even surprising at times. The summer movies are upon us, and it's a good start.