If it's crap ... We'll tell you
After outing himself as Iron Man, Tony Stark is now the nation's hero but in order to keep doing whatever the hell he wants with his Iron Man suit, Tony must stop the US Government stealing his design.
In a constantly annoying role, Sam Rockwell plays rival weapons manufacturer Justin Hammer who's really a poor man's Tony Stark. After witnessing an attack on Tony, hires Ivan Vanko to develop similar technology as Stark but it turns out that unpredictable, vengeful Russians aren't that easy to control and after giving him resources, Vanko takes over Hammer's plans to punish Stark for his family's past deals.
Downey Jr. is naturally charismatic and has always been the perfect choice for Tony Stark but his improvisational style sometimes clutters scenes and the overlapping dialogue is distracting sometimes, with Gwyneth Paltrow doing a good job of keeping up with him.
Scarlett Johansson's role as Black Widow is pretty redundant as the script gives her hardly anything to do other than serve Tony a dirty martini and do a couple of backflips. If the proposed Avengers movie goes forward then hopefully they'll develop her character rather than just wasting Scarlett's ample....talents. Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury brings a much needed fresh angle halfway through the story but gives the impression that there's another movie bleeding into this one.
Mickey Rourke's Ivan Vanko/Whiplash is a fine villain but the script almost forgets him completely and Rourke spends most of the movie in a lab somewhere with Justin Hammer bitching at him. It was a total waste of a character and left Iron Man with no credible big bad to fight.
The ending of the movie was lacklustre and the final battle left me cold. There was a distinct lack of action and Iron Man leaving the movie muddled with no clear character development and a poorly motivated protagonist/antagonist relationship.
Better luck next time Favreau.