Year Released: 2010
Directed by: Jon Favreau
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson
(PG-13, 125 min.)
"Give me a scotch. I’m starving." Tony Stark
He’s back. Iron Man, that is, zooming into our theaters to pack a second cinematic punch that is almost as much fun as his first unexpected knockout in 2008. Tony Stark’s unabashedly American Superhero breaks the rules with plenty of pizzazz and no apologies, an arrogantly charming man-child who wins hearts and kicks butt in equal measure.
And he is certainly “bay’d about with many enemies” this time out:
- The swarmy senator who wants to appropriate his Iron Man device
- Best friend Rhodey, whose reluctant testimony is being used against him
- An unctuous rival ready to swoop up Tony’s spoils
- A diabolically delicious Mickey Rourke as a Russian rogue out for revenge
- A mysterious new secretary who may or may not be working against him
- His flawed mechanical heart that is slowly poisoning him
Not to mention Tony’s self destructive impulses, on full display now that he smells his mortality up close and personal. Then there’s an exasperated Pepper Pots (Gwyneth Paltrow) trying to pick up the bits and pieces of Stark Industries as Tony throws them about like a child upsetting his own block tower.
And what about Nick Fury ( Samuel L. Jackson), dashing with his eye patch – “Do I look in the patch or the eye?” – part of the “super secret boy band” that Tony has to contend with?
I’m not going to rehash the somewhat overstuffed plot. Suffice it to say, we have plenty of action, especially Rourke’s Whiplash slicing and dicing his way through the Gran Prix, not to mention Tony’s supercharged birthday breakdown at this Malibu estate, or the high flying finale.
And the film is filled with plenty of star power. Like the first film it boasts four Oscar winners or nominees in its cast, and they all play their roles with gusto. Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer, Tony’s rival who doesn’t let his incompetence curb his overweening ambition, is sleazy enough that you want to wash your hands after watching him, but bumbling enough that you can use the Palmolive instead of Lava. He talks a good game, though.
It's capable of busting a bunker under the bunker you just busted. If it were any smarter, it'd write a book, a book that would make Ulysses look like it was written in crayon. It would read it to you. This is my Eiffel Tower. This is my Rachmaninoff's Third. My Pieta. It's completely elegant, it's bafflingly beautiful, and it's capable of reducing the population of any standing structure to zero. I call it "The Ex-Wife."
Rourke’s Ivan Vanko/Whiplash wears his tattoos like body armor, his accent seeped in Vodka, his teeth capped in gold, a man not only living for revenge, but relishing every bitter drop of it.
Don Cheadle moves into Terrence Howard’s best buddy role seamlessly as only he could do, while Scarlett Johansson plays each aspect of her “triple impostor” gig to the maximum.
As for the writing, I’ll defer to Jon Boot, who has this to say: “With a script so laced with wit that it if you took away the fireballs and just had actors reading it on a bare stage like a Noel Coward piece, it would still be an entertaining evening.”
But what we really come for is not the plot, the script, or even the action. It’s for Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, our brash, striding, flawed rebel. Breaking that sacrosanct rule of super heroes – they must forever hide their real identity behind a pair of glasses, a playboy persona, or a semi-geek angst – Tony embraces his dual self. “I am Iron Man. The suit and I are one.”
As much might be said of Downey and his screen persona. Could anyone else play Tony with the same panache, injecting his stalking virility with a Peter Pan innocence? When he sets his eyes on Scarlet Johansson’s Natalie Rushmore, Tony whines to Pepper, “I want one.”
Even his taste of death and the drunken birthday bash where he attempts to wash his mouth clean of it with an abundance of alcohol is all the better for our knowledge of Downey’s troubled past, just as it was in his earlier role as Zodiac’s crime reporter Paul Avery, who Richard Roper so aptly described as “a brilliant, rebellious, self-destructive manic-depressive drug addict/alcoholic who is his own worst enemy.” Is it any wonder that Robert Downey Jr. seems born to play both parts and does so with sly relish and ironic self awareness?
Get your summer off to an early start with this rockin’ ride that annihilates self righteous senators as effortlessly as rogue robots and mad Russian scientists. Isn’t it about time we had some fun at the movies again?
— Kathy Borich
Almost as bad a finding out that the power source replacing his heart is slowly poisoning him, is breaking the news to Tony’s devoted secretary, Pepper Potts. That and his true feelings for her.
He decides on a culinary creation to make the truth go down a little easier. Who would guess that Tony, whose tastes ran the gamut from cheeseburgers to pizza in Iron Man, would not only be into omelets, but know how to make them, too?
The one he presents to Pepper looks delicious, brimming with delicately sautéed mushrooms. I know you’ll enjoy this recipe from our archives.
For today’s feature we will have to seek Tony’s ever persistent rival, Justin Hammer, who wines and dines Stark’s Nemesis Whiplash to win him to his side. His dessert of choice features Italian ice cream, but true to Hammer’s casual way with authenticity, his is flown in from California.
Our recipe combines espresso ice cream with Italian Tiramisu in a frozen presentation. Delizioso!
Ice Cream Tiramisu Cake
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups brewed espresso
- 1/3 cup coffee flavored liqueur
- 1 (9 inch) sponge cake
- 1/4 cup finely ground espresso beans
- 2 pints espresso ice cream
- 2 pints coffee ice cream
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and stir in espresso and coffee liqueur. Let cool completely.
Split the sponge cake in half horizontally to make two layers. Place bottom layer in a serving dish. Brush with 3/4 cup coffee syrup. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons ground espresso evenly over surface of cake. Beat the espresso ice cream with the paddle attachment of an electric mixer until spreadable. Spread over bottom cake layer. Place the top cake layer over the ice cream. Brush with remaining coffee syrup. Place in freezer 30 minutes.
Beat the coffee ice cream until spreadable. Spread the ice cream over the frozen cake, and swirl to make pretty. Return cake to freezer until firm.
Recipe Source: allrecipes.com