Iron Man 2

Director: Jon Favreau
Year Released: 2010
Rating: 2.5

When Iron Man's human form (an unmatched Robert Downey, Jr.) replaces his sort-of girlfriend's (Gwyneth Paltrow) Barnett Newman work with an Shepard Fairey/Obamaesque print of himself, the movie's saying: this isn't abstract art, it's pop (message well noted). But what keeps this Political Popcorn Movie from being just average - I'd argue it's above average - is the repartee of its characters: Downey, Paltrow and the reliable Sam Rockwell handle screenwriter Justin Theroux's snappy dialogue, and the sound of beloved wit, in the end, compensates for a lot of the Kaboom! Ka-rash! sounds audiences are there for. Theroux sneaks in a little politics - Iron Man claims to want to "privatize world peace" - but is careful not to be too thorough about it, as all that thinking gets in the way of the explosions (the movie plays it safe, so most ideologies can find something to claim). Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson have nice side roles ... and speaking of Scarlett, should they ever need another Catwoman, they know who to call.