Iron Man was a bit of a surprise, a romping stomping superhero flick with a comic smirk and Robert Downey Jr on top form as the boozing, gambling, seducing playboy Tony Stark. So when the trailers for the sequel surfaced (particularly the second), everybody went bat-shit crazy with anticipation - the kick ass AC/DC soundtrack in the latter certainly helped give you a boost of excitement.
The movie itself however - while maintaining the quality of the first movie, as well as the style and humorous streak - doesn't live up to the giddy hype of the hard-rocking trailer. The first flick's plot had a direction to be heading in at all times, and the structure of the plot was more even ... the sequel doesn't have either. Iron Man 2, at times, drifts off into certain directions that don't quite convince, or are left somewhat undercooked, and you can occasionally feel adrift in the plot.
The balance of action is mostly shifted into the second half, so the first half can become a bit quiet. Indeed when all the action kicks off, you've gotten used to the slower pace, and then find yourself blind-sided by all the arse-kicking robot action, which is tip-top by the way ... that said the final ruck does feel oddly short-lived.
It could also do with a bit more AC/DC throughout, I've gotta say ... but before I make this sound like I disliked the movie, I must say that I still rather enjoyed it. Sure, it didn't convince like the first movie, but I was invested throughout, enjoyed the characterisation and the rough-n-tumble was a ruddy good time.
If only the plot was a bit more balanced and focused. Iron Man 2 is an enjoyably solid effort that never quite lands the killer blow, but I look forward to seeing it again when perhaps I'll be able to view it more on its own terms, rather than in comparison to the first flick which was the surprise hit of 2008.