‘Iron Man 2’

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson

Director: Jon Favreau

Rating: PG-13

Grade: ?????

Think back to the summer of 2008. More than likely you went to see “Iron Man.” It was attractive, well-cast and perfectly constructed — no small feat in this era of action-adventure entertainment for the masses.

Hold fast to that memory, dear reader, as the sequel is nowhere near as impressive as the original. Yes, it’s still an enormous pleasure to watch Robert Downey Jr. reprise his role as Tony Stark, but “Iron Man 2” pulls away from what makes the franchise so cool — his epic suit and the battles he wages once he’s in it. A too-cool and distracted Tony Stark (seriously, Scarlett Johansson’s cleavage is like a magical unicorn) means his suit gets left in the closet, and the brawn and bravado that made the original so enjoyable is lost. And not even Johansson painted into a jumpsuit can make up for that. Don’t get us wrong, it does come close.

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