Iron Man is back in action — and this time, he brought some new friends.
The first trailer for director Jon Favreau’s highly anticipated “Iron Man 2″ premiered online Wednesday night, the result of a short-lived (but nonetheless mysterious) viral marketing campaign. While fans have already caught glimpses of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and his heavily armed sidekick War Machine (Don Cheadle) thanks to the film’s previously released poster, the new trailer easily provides the best sense of what moviegoers can expect when “Iron Man 2″ hits theaters next year.
We’ve used our very own Stark Industries technology — by which we mean our low-grade laptops — to sort through the “Iron Man 2″ trailer for a shot-by-shot breakdown. Strap on your armor and set repulsor rays to stun as we analyze the amazing footage from the comic book adaptation’s first trailer.
0:05-0:32: Tony Stark appears in court to defend his decision not to surrender the Iron Man armor to the United States government. His rationale is simple: “I did you a big favor — I have successfully privatized world peace!”
0:34-0:46: A helmetless Iron Man stands before an open airplane hatch, begging his lovely colleague Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) for a good-luck kiss. Pepper obliges by planting a big smooch on Tony’s removed helmet, which she promptly tosses out and into the open air. Stark shouts a hilariously delivered “You complete me!” as he dives in pursuit of the free-falling headgear.
0:47-1:00: Stark plummets down to the earth below, ultimately arriving onstage before a massive and uproarious audience. A Stark Industries device assists in the removal of Tony’s armor, revealing the multibillionaire’s dapper tuxedo underneath. “It is good to be back,” Stark bellows to the crowd, and we couldn’t agree more.
1:00-1:19: But there’s at least one man that isn’t buying Tony’s charm — enigmatic Russian nemesis Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), better known as Whiplash, who scornfully watches Stark’s performance on television. Vanko’s fascination with the superhero is clearly outlined on a wall covered with various images and newspaper clippings related to Stark. “You come from a family of thieves and butchers,” the villain menacingly monologues. “And now, like all guilty men, you try to rewrite your own history — and you forget all the lives the Stark family has destroyed.”
1:20-1:24: Vanko toils away at a secretive piece of technology, while Tony is busy engineering in a workshop of his own.
1:25-1:27: Tony opens up his shirt, revealing that the area surrounding the arc reactor implanted in his chest is covered with an eerie mixture of veins and wires. “There will be blood in the water,” Whiplash warns.
1:27-1:28: “And the sharks will come,” he continues, as we’re treated to our first shot of Tony’s military industrialist rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell).
1:30-1:32: Tony, strapped inside of a race car, unknowingly speeds off toward a superpowered ambush.
1:32-1:33: Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) appears in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo.
1:34-1:35: Fury’s arrival is followed by an equally brief glimpse of Natasha (Scarlett Johansson), Tony’s new secretary who harbors a deadly secret.
1:36-1:37: Don Cheadle makes his debut as James “Rhodey” Rhodes, taking over the role previously played by Terrence Howard in the first “Iron Man.”
1:37-1:38: Natasha reveals her true colors as the Black Widow, a super-spy who demonstrates that she is more than capable of dispatching a hallway brimming with enemies.
1:39-1:44: Vanko provides the finishing touches on his mysterious project, revealed moments later to be …
1:44-1:52: … a chest-mounted harness equipped with electrically charged whips, which he uses to tear apart Tony’s speeding race car in the middle of the racetrack.
1:53-2:04: A clearly injured Stark lay in the aftermath of the attack as Whiplash slowly makes his way toward him, whips spiraling with deadly expertise. The vengeful moment culminates in a creepy cackle that only a truly worthy villain could muster.
2:05-2:06: In a new scene, a fully armored Tony Stark turns towards the camera, eyes aglow and ready for bad-guy-busting business.
2:07-2:12: Iron Man soars through the night sky, fleeing from an unending barrage of machine-gun fire supplied by armor-clad flying assailants. Their assault decimates a parking area filled with vehicles, providing yet another obstacle Stark must outmaneuver.
2:13-2:16: (Oh, and just in case you forgot what movie the trailer is for, the “Iron Man 2″ logo flashes on the screen with the franchise’s signature “I Am Iron Man” low guitar twang in full effect.)
2:17-2:23: Stark is once again facing his armored opponents, but he thankfully has some backup this time in the form of Rhodey and his War Machine armor. The two stand back-to-back, using their varying wealth of weaponry to dispatch as many of the machine-clad menaces as is Iron Manly possible.
2:23-2:28: The trailer closes, reminding us that “Iron Man 2″ hits theaters in May 2010. After watching that action-packed round of footage, it’s hard to imagine how anyone could forget the release date.