Cast attempts to deliver in "Iron Man 2"

Iron Man 2 has just hit the screens and already it has made a huge impact. Shows sold out weeks in advance and movie trailers only increased anticipation. However, after watching the film, it is clear that without Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role, the movie would be nowhere near as good.

It's been six months since Tony Stark revealed himself as Iron Man and he's been very busy in those six months "privatizing world peace." Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Whiplash (played by Mickey Rourke) is building a suit out of scrap in a dingy apartment and plotting revenge on Stark.

As if that wasn't enough, the United States government is foaming at the mouth as it tries to take away the Iron Man suit from Tony Stark while everyone else is trying to make an Iron Man suit of their own.

Combining beautiful special effects with an intriguing storyline, Iron Man 2 is extremely impressive at first glance.

Downey comes across as an exuberant, hyper, and eccentric billionaire, but he does it so well that we forgive him. In fact, while most people would find such a man aggravating and annoying, Tony Stark's character is rather likable.

Unfortunately, there isn't much else. Gwyneth Paltrow is rather bland in her role as Pepper Potts, even though her character is given a much greater role in the sequel. Transitioning from secretary to CEO should make the character more interesting, but her screen presence was rather weak and boring.

As for some of the others, Don Cheadle has a strong showing as War Machine, but his screen time is rather limited so there was only so much he could do.

In fact, the only welcome addition to the cast was Scarlett Johansson in her role as Natalie Rushman/Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow. Playing a double agent, Scarlett Johansson managed to juggle playing a glorified secretary as well as a secret agent while maintaining her poise and captivating the entire audience.

But to sum up the entire movie: Scarlett Johansson has an amazing action scene that lasts for a beautiful 30 seconds, Don Cheadle gets to use the war machine suit for 30 seconds or so, and Gwyneth Paltrow stands around looking lost.

It's hard to say if Marvel managed to make a great film worthy of its predecessor or if they just hashed out a movie for the money. That decision is up to you.