MCU Rewatchathon April 11th: Iron Man 2 (2008)
Day Three: 3/19 down!
Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2 arrived in 2010, and while there was a sizable gap between it and its predecessors, it set the stage for the MCU's airtight release schedule moving forward. There hasn't been a year without a Marvel Studios release since!
Most view Iron Man 2 as the weak link in the trilogy of Tony Stark, and with the first film being a critical darling it's understandable that this film had a lot of high expectations going in.
Here's what we thought...
Javier: For me it's when Whiplash starts whipping the cars leading up to his first fight against Tony.
Antonio: I love so many of the little moments. The Suit Case Armor-up, the Stark Expo Landing, the War Machine/Tony team-up... I think if I have to pick one, it's the Rhodey vs Tony After-Party fight. It's a great nod to the Demon In the Bottle story-line from the comics (closest Marvel will ever get probably) and it's all set to a truly great mix of Another One Bites the Dust, It Takes Two, and Robot Rock. Like the scoring for this fight alone deserves an award.
Antonio: Spoken by Nick Fury (Portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson) to Tony Stark (RDJ) - "Sir, I'm gonna have to ask you to exit the donut."
Javier: Spoken by Tony Stark (Portrayed by Robert Downey Jr.) to Nick Fury (Portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson) - " I already told you I don't want to be in your super secret boy band"
With Iron Man 2, Marvel continued their pattern of using two antagonist's. So we are going to talk about both of them!
Ivan Vanko "Whiplash"
Javier: Ivan starts off strong but then just takes a dip leading to the end. His plan to expose Tony as copy-able is actually smart but he's basically just another guy mad about the Stark's screwing him over.
Antonio: I think he has one of the worst final fights in an MCU film, despite the Hammer Drones having some cool designs, Having said that, Mickey Rourke plays such a good "Super Villain" up until that point, it's a shame he dips so hard.
Antonio: Sam Rockwell absolutely steals the show for me. He plays such a good ineffectual bad guy who just can't win and he's just charismatic where his failure is hilarious and not upsetting.
Javier: As you have said he's a weasel and he's fun,
Final Ranking: 6.5/10
It's probably worth mentioning, Iron Man 2 is one of my favorite Marvel films. That's not to say it's an exceptionally "good" film, but it has so many of my favorite moments and is based on one of my favorite runs of Iron Man comics (Armor Wars) that it's hard for me to look at too critically.
Iron Man 2 is where Marvel really kicked it into high gear on the Easter-eggs, so I'll try to fire these off fast:
1. The Stark Expo, which reappears in Captain America: The First Avenger
2. Our first look at Howard Stark, as well as confirming him as a founding member of SHIELD.
3. A look at a prototype of Captain America's shield, which Howard helped make.
4. The sickness caused by the Arc Reactor in Tony's chest is representative of a few comic arcs but serves mainly as a platform to explore The Demon in a Bottle arc without delving too much into Tony's alcoholism.
5. We got our first official MCU Recast with Don Cheadle taking over for Terrance Howards as James Rhodes.
6. To that affect we also have Marvel make good on their promise and Rhodes finally suits up as War Machine
7. The Hammer Drones designed by Vanko are visually reminiscent of the Mandroid suits that SHIELD uses in the comics.
8. Ivan Vanko's name and origin actually belong to the Crimson Dynamo in the comics.
9. Tony's triangular reactor is a reference to his Extremis armor in the comics.
10. This is also the first appearance of Scarlett Johansson as The Black Widow, she even uses her Natalie Rushman alias in this film.
11. Coulson returns! He even hint's at his affinity for Captain America.
12. Nick Fury gives us a bigger rundown on The Avengers and why we need them, while he's grilling Tony, we see news footage of the college fight-scene in The Incredible Hulk. Behind Fury we see a map with Wakanda listed on it.
13. The Suitcase armor is a great reference to how Tony used to store his armor in the comics back in the 60s-70s!
14. We are up to the MK 6 by the end of the film!
15. Peter Parker! While this was established retroactively, it has been confirmed that the young boy in the Iron Man helmet that Tony saves at the Expo is indeed Peter Parker!
Javier: I think Iron Man 2 is decent entry to the MCU. It has some really good moments but also some not so good. I think Tony's arc in this is one of the highlights of the film. Ivan starts off Strong but then begins to slowly go down. It's a fun movie and it's close to living up to the first Iron Man.
Antonio: This is one of my favorite Marvel Movies. Having said that, I don't think it is a fantastic film, but luckily we are grading these on our enjoyment and not how well they are made! I love so many little moments in Iron Man 2 that it is easy for me to overlook a weak villain-arc and some outdated sexism (though, that shit is still bad). I think Iron Man 2 is on par with my enjoyment of Iron Man.
Final Score: 7.5/10
After the Credits:
Iron Man 2 starts a trend for the ACS's specifically teasing an upcoming (if not the next) film to come from Marvel. In this case it was a teaser for Thor, which would be released a year later.
Javier: It's a fun and exciting scene to show who's up next
Antonio: I think it was incredibly smart of Marvel to use these as teasers, honestly, it's wild how quickly they perfected this tactic.
Final Score: 7/10
Sorry about the late posting guys, tonight we are watching Thor (2011), so check back tomorrow as the blog will be up much earlier I promise!
See you all tomorrow!
Praise be to Grodd.