Rewatching and Analyzing MCU Movies: Iron Man 2

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HOLLYWOOD - APRIL 26: (L-R) Director/Executive Producer Jon Favreau, actor Robert Downey Jr. and actress Scarlett Johansson arrive at the world wide premiere of "Iron Man 2" Premiere held at the El Capitan Theatre on April 26, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/WireImage)

Welcome back to the series where we watch and review every MCU movie. Today’s movie is Iron Man 2. If you missed the ranking or earlier articles, click those links. Now, let’s take a look at what was good and bad about Iron Man 2.

Iron Man 2 Rewatch and Analysis

The Good

Stark/Rhodey

The Tony Stark and agent Rhodey relationship in this movie was a solid one. In the Iron Man review, I talked about how Tony finding his character was an up, I didn’t like it as much in this movie. However, we will get to that. What was nice was the relationship between Stark and Rhodey working together. From Rhodey deciding that Stark was not to be trusted with the suit and that weaponizing it would be a better option. To him slowly realizing his mistake and switching to Tony’s side.

The final fight scene wasn’t the best, however, the two of them working together was a fun thing to see. The end where Rhodey watched Pepper Potts and Stark kiss was a weird attempt at a joke though. Overall, this was some solid character relationship development that will go on to help in future movies.

Black Widow

The introduction of the Black Widow character was a solid point in this movie. Black Widow may be my least favorite MCU character, especially for a hero, however, this movie was well done. I’m not sure if I think Scarlett Johansson plays the character poorly, or if it is written poorly through the MCU. Maybe a bit of both. But overall it tends to just be the most unbelievable and one of the most forgettable characters.

This movie, however, they did a great job of twisting the inside agent thing. The whole Stark is attracted to her and that’s why he likes her thing is pretty overdone. However, staying on as Potts assistant keeping her identity a secret just to later find out she is actually a SHIELD agent was pretty cool. The Black Widow fight scenes are OK, the character does look like a badass against bodyguards in this movie.

The Bad

Ivan Vanko

If we had to rank MCU villains it stands to say that Ivan Vanko would very likely be the worst of them all. If not the worst, very close to the bottom. This character just felt so insanely pointless. The motivation was meh at best, it also just kind of glosses over for the most part how he is so brilliant that he can make an ARC reactor like Stark’s.

However, the biggest issue with Vanko is the fact that he does nothing but makes some whiplashes for most of the movie. Yes, that is his name, but it feels like such a waste of technology. Even when he steals Hammer’s technology he has a suit and still chooses to bring out the whiplashes. It just feels like he could have been better and they just threw him in there to be in there.

Justin Hammer

Speaking of bad villains, here comes Justin Hammer. I get he’s not the main villain in this movie, but wow was the writing of this guy bad. There were so few scenes with him in it that were even enjoyable. It doesn’t feel like Sam Rockwell‘s fault, it just seems more like lazy writing.

Maybe the directors wanted him to come off as just a needy loser, but it felt they swung way too hard in that direction. It was sort of funny on Stark’s trial seeing him pull up a video of Hammer trying to recreate his tech. However, everything after that was just almost cringy to watch. It got to the point where you wondered how he is even rich because it was written to make him seem like a complete tool.

His dialogue with Vanko was bad to borderline unbearable, between saying the word “bird” 15 times in 2 minutes, to just treating him like he’s a 10-year-old kid. The writing of both villains was just poor.

Good/Bad

Stark’s Character

I couldn’t decide to give this an up or down so I’ll keep it in the middle. The development of Stark’s character was good and bad in this movie. On one hand, it was interesting to see him gradually declining in health and knowing that he has limited time to live. On the other, it seems like a very odd thing to tell absolutely no one, not even the closest people to you.

It was likely here to show how smart Tony is, but him just discovering a new element and using it like it was nothing seemed pretty lazy too. It felt like a poor attempt at character building. Overall, Stark kept leaning back to his Iron Man 1 type of being a bit more selfish when it comes to personal information. This development is OK but likely could have been better.

Overall

Overall, Iron Man 2 was a better movie than I remembered. It ranked 19th in the original rankings and it is hard to know if it will rise at all. It had better high points than I remembered but the low points were also much worse. However, it really can’t be overstated how poor the villains were in this movie.

Much like the Incredible Hulk but to a lesser extent, this movie just wasn’t super memorable. There weren’t many moments that really stick out and the logic was flawed in some areas. Nonetheless, it was a decent movie to spend 2 hours watching if it is a rainy day or you need something to do.

Main Image: Embed from Getty Images

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