So the next film in the MCU was Iron Man 2. I watched this film yesterday for the first time since seeing it in the cinema. When seeing it in the cinema, I remember not liking it at all. So going in this time around, I tried to forget I had seen it before and judge it with a fresh perspective. So what did I think about Iron Man 2 looking back in 2016? It’s actually a lot better than I remember.
Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow reprise their roles and we also see new faces that now are very familiar. Scarlett Johansson makes her MCU debut, along with Samuel L. Jackson (outside a post credit scene), Don Cheadle replaced Terrence Howard as Rhodey and our two new villains are Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke. Jon Favreau returns to direct the sequel to the film that put Marvel Studios on the map.
After Tony Stark revealed to the world he is Iron Man he must deal with, rivals trying to steal and recreate his Iron Man suit, his declining health, alcoholism, his relationship with Rhodey, Shield interfering in his life and the swinging stick thing on Peppa’s desk. There’s a lot going on in this film.
There is lots of moving parts in Iron Man 2 but I didn’t have too much of a problem with that. I liked almost all of the storylines and where they took all the characters (except one). But like the first Iron Man, let’s start with Tony Stark. Whenever Tony is in a film he always leaves the biggest impression on you. He oozes charisma and anything he does, he does in the coolest way. You could watch him make a sandwich and it would be the coolest sandwich making scene, since Bill made that awesome sandwich at the end of Kill Bill 2. I think my favourite scenes in all the Iron Man films, are when Tony is in his house with all his machines trying to work out some science. The back and forth banter he has with Jarvis, is so much fun and I feel like Tony has a stronger bond with him, than he does with Rhodey. As for the actual Iron Man scenes, none of them really stand out except for the party scene. I loved seeing the two Iron Men going at it, destroying Tony’s house. All the other action scenes fell flat.
There was so much happening in Iron Man 2 that I never felt bored when watching it. I may not have really connected with any of the story but I can’t deny I had fun watching the film all the way through. I liked that they showed Tony isn’t perfect and that despite his powerful suit, he’s vulnerable like any other human. Looking back now there are some subtle and not so subtle MCU easter eggs that are really fun to try and spot.
A lot of new characters were introduced, some work and some didn’t. First I think Scarlett Johansson was really good in her action scenes. She sold all the fight scenes really well and I brought into the fact she could beat the crap out of anyone. Sam Rockwell was great, he had some really funny scenes but his character never gets resolved and I don’t think there ever going to bring him back. I really liked that they replaced Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle. Nothing against Howard but I think Cheadle has much better chemistry with Downey and he brought a ton of charisma, that Terrence Howard was lacking. Unfortunately that brings me to Mickey Rourke.
Mickey Rourke is a great actor but there was nothing to this character at all. He had so much potential and they wasted it. I want to talk about the race track scene because that really annoyed me. First of all the scene was completely random. Tony is at a restaurant and just decided to join a race so they could introduce Whiplash in a cool location. Then Happy and Peppa are driving the wrong way down the track in a ridiculously unbelievable sequence. I could maybe look past all that but then Whiplash is beaten so easily, it made him look really weak. And how did Whiplash know Tony was going to randomly join a race. So the character started on the wrong foot and then pretty much did nothing for the rest of the film. Whiplash could have been a really intimidating foe for Iron Man, Mickey Rourke has the on screen presence to pull it off and the one scene when he kills the two guards is genuinely frightening. It’s one of those really annoying characters that sucks but you can see what he could have been.
The action in Iron Man 2 is really forgettable. Other than the party scene I mentioned earlier, nothing else stands out. The final battle the whole film is building up to couldn’t be any less anticlimactic. You finally get to the big battle you want to see, then 90 seconds later it’s over, films finished, go home, done. The studio rushed Jon Favreau to get the film finished for a 2010 release, so I guess that’s to blame for this weak ending.
Surprisingly tho I liked Iron Man 2, watching it again 6 years later. It’s not the best Marvel film but it’s definitely not the worst. Downey is incredible like he always is and the now regular Marvel characters they introduced are really great too. Iron Man 2 is a really fun ride, with some interesting plot lines. If you can look past a weak villain, you will probably enjoy Iron Man 2 a lot.
What do you think of Iron Man 2?