Iron Man 2, Jon Favreau’s much-anticipated follow-up to his breakthrough 2008 blockbuster, is less a comic book flick than it is a superhero version of Arthur, the Oscar-nominated 1981 comedy that starred Dudley Moore as a drunken, wise-cracking dilettante.
In his second turn as Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr. recasts the billionaire inventor as the Dean Martin of industrialists, strutting from one star-studded event to another on a bacchanalian victory tour, dishing out choice one-liners and stirring up minor controversies for his exasperated babysitters, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and James "Rhodey" Rhodes (Don Cheadle), to quell.
Whether gloating about his achievements at a defense industry expo, upbraiding Senators during a congressional hearing, or getting wasted and donning his armored powersuit to play DJ at his birthday party, there's no telling what kind of madcap mischief Tony Stark will get himself into next!
Thankfully, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. arrive at his compound to stage a kind of intervention, bearing a powerful dual-pronged Deus Ex Machina device that instantly wrests our hero from his para-suicidal stupor — just in time to build the upgraded powersuit he’ll need to thwart the army of powerful robot drones that Whiplash is about to let loose upon on the unsuspecting citizens of Queens, New York.