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Iron Man 2 (Blu-ray Review)

24 Sep, 2010 By: John Latchem

Street 9/28/10
Box Office $312.1 million
$29.98 DVD,  $34.98 two-DVD set, $34.99 Blu-ray, $39.99 Blu-ray/DVD combo pack
Rated ‘PG-13’ for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some language.
Stars Robert Downey Jr., Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Garry Shandling, Jon Favreau.

Iron Man 2 isn’t as fun a romp as its predecessor, but it’s still an entertaining thrill ride, punctuated by cool hardware and another suave performance by Robert Downey Jr.

There’s a lot of story going on in Iron Man 2, all stemming from Tony Stark (Downey) dealing with the consequences of living a public life as a superhero. As old rivalries are passed to a new generation, Stark must fend off the military’s attempt to acquire his suit while dealing with his own personal demons. Those are a lot of angles to cover, but this loaded Blu-ray should give fans more than enough opportunity to soak it all in.

Director Jon Favreau’s commentary is invaluable in highlighting dozens of subtle details most viewers probably would have missed during a casual viewing in a theater. Iron Man 2 represents a major cog in the larger Marvel Universe film series, which continues next year with Thor and Captain America, leading to Joss Whedon’s Avengers movie in 2012. The Blu-ray extras aren’t shy on playing up these crossover threads.

The major bonus feature is the “S.H.I.E.L.D. Data Vault,” an interactive database containing profiles of major characters and storylines from all the Avengers tie-in movies that have been released so far (including the first Iron Man as well as The Incredible Hulk), video and CG animations of the armor suits featured in the film. The vault is accessible separately or as a pop-up function during the movie.

A second disc contains a more routine suite of bonus material, including an informative hour-and-a-half making-of documentary. There are also additional featurettes, an AC/DC music video, and some deleted scenes, including an alternate opening (which is seen in the trailer) and Olivia Munn’s original footage during a party scene. Unfortunately, Favreau in his commentary refers to more unused sequences that aren’t as readily available.

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