Deep Dive - MCU: Iron Man 2
We polled our entire team and ranked every MCU film across six categories. We weighted each category based on their overall value to the success of the movie.
Plot - 25%
Character Development - 20%
Villain - 20%
Action - 12.5%
Intangibles - 12.5%
Supporting Cast - 10%
Film: Iron Man 2
Release Date: May 7, 2010
Rotten Tomato - TOMATOMETER: 73%
Rotten Tomato - Audience: 71%
Opening Weekend: $128,122,480
Gross US: $312,433,331
Gross Worldwide: $623,933,331
Synopsis: With the world now aware of his identity as Iron Man, Tony Stark must contend with both his declining health and a vengeful mad man with ties to his father's legacy.
Analysis: Marvel might have gotten a little over excited with the potential of the MCU when they plotted out this film. Coming off of Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk we got our first few looks at Marvel's famous ending credit scene teases. This gave us insight into a possible Avengers team up. After viewing Iron Man 2 you feel like the plot was utilized more of a teaser trailer of what's to come instead of focusing on telling a good story.
Analysis: Tony was going through a lot during this film, but did it necessarily progress his character? The quick fix that Tony developed to stop the shrapnel from entering his heart is slowly killing him. This leads our main character on a bit of an end of days tour as he contemplates what he's leaving behind. On paper this sounds like a great character arc, but the cliff notes version of what we got included a drunken Iron Man, a hungover donut run, and a whole lot of S.H.I.E.L.D. plugs.
Name: Justin Hammer
Bio: Justin Hammer is the CEO of Hammer Industries who had formed a strong rivalry with Stark Industries.
Evil Plan: Seeking to improve his own position and attack Tony Stark, Hammer had worked alongside Senator Stern and attempted to damage the public's own view of Stark, however this all backfired and Hammer's own public image was highly damaged. Furious at Stark for this failure, Hammer then recruited Ivan Vanko, the convicted terrorist, to attempt to replicate Stark's Arc Reactor technology
Name: Ivan Vanko
Bio: Ivan Antonovich Vanko was a Russian physicist and the son of the disgraced scientist Anton Vanko.
Evil Plan: When Vanko's father died penniless due to the actions of Howard Stark, Vanko swore his revenge against Stark's own son, Tony and the whole Stark family for all the ruin and humiliation suffered by him and his own father, designing armor similar to Iron Man in order to publicly defeat him and destroy the reputation of his own family.
Analysis: Looking back this may have been a wasted opportunity with Sam Rockwell. He had moments of greatness in this film, but ultimately the script fell a bit short for this character. Vanko had high hopes coming off of the marketing of the film, but ultimately fell short as soon as the film started. Instead of an intimidating villain we were left with a character whose only memorable attribute was that he loved his bird.
I'm CEO, bitch
New Year, New Me
Analysis: One benefit of this film being a teaser trailer of the future MCU is that we got intros to some of our favorite future characters. Rhodey and Natasha both had glimpses of the characters that we would grow to love in future films.
Analysis: It's weird to say that the best action scene in an Iron Man movie had nothing to do with the suit. Black Widow steals the show with her breach of Hammer's lab. Quick shoutout for Happy on a few solid punches, even though he did fight dirty. The only other scene that's worth writing home about is finally seeing the team up of Iron Man and War Machine.
Analysis: Even in an underwhelming movie Robert Downey Jr. can be entertaining. Any time he walks on screen as this character we will be watching. Also, even though the birthday scene was a bit underwhelming, it still gave us a fun face-off between Iron Man and War Machine.
Analysis: You could honestly watch our "Best Moments" rundown and Romanoff's breach scene and be set with this film. Outside of these moments it was pretty forgettable. If this was a brand new character it may have served as a fine MCU installment. Coming off of the standard that the first Iron Man set, it's a shame that we didn't get a better follow-up film. We will chalk it up as growing pains for MCU, as they were still figuring out how to piece this massive universe together.
Image Credits: Disney