Iron Man 2

Rated 3.0

The only asset in that really pays off in full here is Robert Downey Jr. The other notable assets—quirky superhero, comic-book back story, special effects and CGI, a half dozen piquant co-stars—all work nicely enough in this big, expensive-looking entertainment machine. But Downey’s performance is really the only part of it that brings an extra spark of life—and movie-zing—into play. Downey of course plays the title character, but it’s the Tony Stark part of the role—when he’s out of that robotic suit of high-tech armor—that provides the liveliest fun while the story routines work their way into, around, and beyond the various obligatory character antics, motivational set-ups, CGI set-pieces, and plot twists. That persona provides both comedic and dramatic relief amid the industrial clatter the franchise machinery makes while trotting out all those assets for display. And those variously cosseted assets count for a little something as well. The CGI stuff and storytelling are spectacular and instantly forgettable, but the co-stars impress lastingly enough to make you wish the movie had done more with them and the characters they play. Feather River Cinemas, Paradise Cinema 7 and Tinseltown. Rated PG-13