As the movie begins, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is acting even more obnoxious than usual, but secretly he is under a lot of pressure. He has revealed his identity as Iron Man and put himself in the uncomfortable position of guarantor of world peace. A business rival (Sam Rockwell) is dissing him, the government wants him to hand over his power suit, and the reactor in his chest is slowly killing him. Can he find a way to save the situation?
I find it hard to get excited about CGI special effects these days. The movie’s main strength is in its humor. Robert Downey Jr. is as amusing as ever as the narcissistic billionaire hero, but the best parts come from some of the secondary characters. Sam Rockwell is hilarious as Justin Hammer, the smarmy CEO of a rival defense contractor. Gary Shandling is equally funny in a small role as a dim-witted Senator. And Scarlett Johansson is very watchable as Black Widow, a superhero (and occasional villain) who is likely to have a big role in future movies.