MCU Photo Recap Countdown; Iron Man 2

Ahhhhh yes, here we are, our third MCU movie, and a return of everyone’s favourite cocky millionaire playboy. Looking back, it seems strange that Iron Man got a sequel before the other properties were even introduced. But at the time it seemed only natural. It had been two years since we last checked in with Tony Stark, and it was high time we saw more of him!

Sequels are hard, this is an historical fact. How do you make the story bigger and wider without going full Honey I Blew Up The Kid? How do you keep it relevant? If this story was just about a disgruntled Russian coming to fight Iron Man, it would have been a fun bit of fun fluff, but nothing more.

It wasn’t. Iron Man 2 was about the repercussions of becoming a public vigilante. It was about being a rogue hero versus being responsible to a governing body. It was building the blocks for Civil War, with Tony on the other side of the argument. But yeah, I mean, the fights were cool, too.

The movie opens on a throwback voice-over of Tony revealing to the world that he’s Iron Man, as an older gentleman rage-watches and then promptly dies.

This fellow is Ivan Vanko, the son of the supposed co-creator of the flux capacitor or whatever, and he is not pleased about anything at the moment. So what does one do when they’re upset and need to unwind? A MONTAGE! We got to see Ivan building something, in much the same way we saw Tony build his suit in a cave (WHAT COULD IT BE???)

Meanwhile back in America, Tony was making a grand entrance at the Stark Expo, a party-think-tank to change the world or something.

May I just say, this was the perfect entrance. Tony never pretended to be anything but what he is – a total narcissist with a heart of gold.

Anyway, he was subpoenaed by a foxy US Marshal (Kate Mara!), and had to appear at a hearing where they politely asked him to turn over the Iron Man suit.

Poor Rhodey. You could tell he was trying so hard to have Tony’s back, but the government were being such dicks about it! (They had a point, but ugh, what a bunch of dicks!) Also making an appearance was Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer, a straight-up douche who wants to be Tony so bad.

Important to note is that the device keeping Tony alive is also killing him (actual line said by Jarvis – hi Paul Bettany!), which is why he keeps checking his blood for levels of toxicity, and also why he made Pepper the CEO of Stark Industries.

Of course, now that Pepper is the boss propper, Tony needs a new personal assistant.

I almost forgot that Natasha’s first introduction was as an undercover SHIELD agent sent to  keep an eye on Tony. And she was so inconspicuous, too!

Nothing says “I’m not a spy!” like destroying a man in a boxing ring.

Anyway, off they popped to Monaco for the Grand Prix, and look who was there!

The sexy reporter from the last movie was back to do a spread on Hammer and to get slut-shamed some more, which was super fun, but her attention was pulled away when Tony decided to drive his own race car.

This was very awesome. Vanko just walked onto the racetrack and was all, “eff everything and everyone,” and started cutting cars in half with his arc-reactor powered electric whips.

Pepper and Happy drove onto the scene (THROUGH THE RACETRACK), to deliver Tony’s suit to him, then Iron Man shut Vanko down.

Was there a reason Pepper needed to be in the car to give Tony the suit? I’m curious about Happy’s decision process. Tony is in trouble! Go get the suit! But first get Pepper! So she can… carry it? I don’t know. The movie wanted her there, so she was there, let’s move on.

Tony was given 5 minutes in Vanko’s cell to figure out just what in the heck was UP with this guy. Turns out he was pissed about the lives Stark Industries had ruined, and his goal was to “make God bleed” so people will stop believing in him. Basically it was a very nice, friendly chat.  

Vanko escaped from prison assisted by some guards, who gave him a potato-shaped bomb and a guy to murder.

But who could have orchestrated it all????

Hammer enlisted Vanko to build him a bunch of suits, because he wants to be Tony SO BAD.

Meanwhile, Tony was having a rough time with his imminent death, so he went a little hard at his b-day party.

Pepper couldn’t reel him in, so Rhodey strapped himself into the War Machine suit and they fisticuffed each other.

QUESTIONS – did Tony let Rhodey practice before this? Do you think they had bro-dates where they both put on the suits and did wheelies? Rhodey knew exactly what suit to go for, and exactly what to do with it. Later it was implied that Tony had protections in place to prevent unauthorized use of his suits, implying that Rhodey had access, right? *sigh* Best buds.


Anyway, he stole the suit and took it back to the military, like a total dink. Naturally, his superior was all, “awesome! Let’s make a bunch of them so we can kill a ton of people!” and Rhodey was like, “um, k?” and you could tell he felt bad about it.

Then Tony got a visitor.

Nick Fury filled Tony in on quite a few things; “Natalie” is a SHIELD agent who was spying on him, they have an advil for his blood poisoning, and his dad created a cure sort of, but Tony has to figure it out himself.

Meanwhile, Rhodey up and gave Hammer the weapons contract to work on the suit.

Poor Rhodey. His decisions throughout this movie have been the stinky pits. But he’s just so charming, it’s hard to stay mad at him. 

Tony spent some quality time with his pops through some old home movies where Howard hinted pretty heavily that the park for the Stark Expo was the key to everything. There’s always money in the banana stand! *wink*.

Then Tony gave his babysitters the slip to go see Pepper and tell her that he was dying, and that he looooooooooves her.

She was NOT having it! Granted, he stuttered and stumbled, and it did seem as though he was going to bullshit her, so she was all, “show yourself out”, and left him in the office to stare at the old diorama of the Expo park.

As it turns out, Howard Stark invented a new element, but didn’t have the technology at the time to create it. But Tony does!

He created the new element, which he put into his chest-battery, and his blood poisoning was cured! Eureka!

Back at Hammer Industries, Vanko told Hammer that the drones he’s building to upstage Stark will basically be glorified Ken Dolls.

Hammer threw a hissy, but it was all okay because he had War Machine, and the world would know that HE is SO MUCH better than Tony Stark, and maybe Tony himself would bow to him, and then they’d make out, and then Tony would give him his house or something.

Buuuuuuuut, Vanko remotely took control of the suit and the drones, and shit went down.

Tony lured War Machine and the drones out of the arena and away from all the people, because remember, he’s a narcissist with a HEART OF GOLD. Then a pretty awesome fight/chase ensued.

The hair kills me, you guys. It kills me.

Natasha and Happy broke into Hammer Industries and kicked ass all the way to the room where Vanko was operating, but he was gone. Natasha made quick work of the hacking to free Rhodey from the cold clutches of Vanko’s control. Yay! Now Iron Man and War Machine were fighting together against the drones, and then Vanko himself.

Remember when these best buds were kerfuffling and they both shot their hand lasers at each other and it caused an explosion? Well this time they did it on purpose! And it blew up Vanko! His mask was open and everything! And he miraculously was not harmed that much! But then he blew himself up anyway, along with all of his drones, destroying Tony’s park.

“Get a roof” – Rhodey is charming as shit (welcome Don Cheadle, welcome with all my heart).

Pepper quit as CEO, (which thankfully doesn’t stick in the future), Tony kissed her, and Rhodey kept the War Machine suit. It was all sunshine and rainbows by the end. The government was no longer hounding him to give over his suit because they have their own, and he’s once again a hero of the people.

Oh, and Nick Fury told Tony that The Avengers Initiative wants Iron Man, but not Tony Stark. Ha! Nick Fury, you’re a card.

And thus concludes the third instalment to this delightful universe, with its charming leading man. How many people do you guys think died in this movie? Some of the drivers at the Grand Prix HAD to have died, right? There were A LOT of slow-motion explosions. And what about the drone attack? Shall we say a cool dozen? What fun!


  • “We need you.” – “More than you know.” – “Not that much.” – Agent Phil Coulson is the light of my life.
  • The first of the MCU movies to pass the Bechdale Test. Pepper and “Natalie” talk briefly about business.
  • Speaking of, Nat taking out a building full of guards while Happy knocks out one guy was a fun bit. “I got him!” I’m a fan of Jon Favreau. I like him. He makes fun movies, and he is getting progressively better at not totally objectifying women. I mean, the first shot of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow was her butt, but this was 2010. Baby steps.
  • Look, I don’t care if you’re helping me escape from prison, no one, and I mean NO ONE messes with my mashed potatoes.
  • Venko always had a toothpick in his mouth. Do we think it was the same one? So gross.
  • Sam Rockwell is a true gift. I hope you’re all as thankful for him as I am.
  • What would you guys do if you thought it was your last birthday? Does it involve an ice-cream cake? Does it involve eighteen ice cream cakes? Yeah, me too.
  • The after-credits scene revealed the love of my life Coulson digging up a hammer that was found in the desert. Ohhhhh, get ready for Thor!


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