After Iron Man blew up the box office and became a smash hit the world waited for Iron Man 2. It was going to be great. Oh my, they just casted Scarlett Johansson. Oh man, Oscar-winner Mickey Rourke as the bad guy!? Holy moly they just casted Sam Rockwell!? This is going to be awesome! Then people watched it. And it kind of sucked. Well, at least compared to the first one.
It also turns out that Iron Man 2 is the focal point of the movies that lead up to The Avengers. The connections are there with every film, and the amount of stuff in here is pretty impressive.Tony Stark is dying
At the end of Iron Man, Stark sends Obediah Stane (War Monger) into the giant arc reactor and it blows up. The resulting explosion harms Stark and well, he’s dying. His blood toxicity level is increasing because his arc reactor is on the fritz.
Throughout the film we find Stark trying to come to terms with death. He makes Pepper Potts CEO and sets up the Stark Expo so other companies can try to help the world. It’s a platform for people to show off their latest and greatest technology.
Oh, and he even gets drunk and goes insane, in the Iron Man suit, at his birthday party. Why? Because he thinks it’s his last.Big Brother is watching you
The United States Government is on Stark’s ass most of this movie. They’re concerned that other countries like North Korea and Iran are trying to build their own Iron Man suits and want Stark to hand over the technology to them so they can prepare their military.
This is part of the awesome scene near the beginning of the film where Stark is talking to a council and telling them that they can’t have his technology because it’s his and, frankly, no one else is close yet.
During the movie, Jim Rhodes, Stark’s friend, has his bosses cracking down on him constantly because they still want that technology to protect the United States of America. Of course, Stark ignores them most of the time because he has privatized world peace. Cha-ching.Ivan Vanko wants revenge
Vanko is the son of Howard Stark’s (Tony’s father) former partner, who helped Stark build the arc reactor and was deported after he tried to profit from the technology. He ended up dying in poverty as his son has to watch Tony Stark reveal himself as Iron Man and his use of the arc reactor technology.
So Vanko decides to make his own arc reactor (God, these people are so smart! I can’t even build a birdhouse). Vanko builds his own reactor and decides to get fake papers to travel to Monaco to beat Stark’s ass. Fun fact: the guy who hands the papers over to Vanko is a part of the Ten Rings, which is the terrorist group that kidnaps Stark in the first film.Justin Hammer is a jealous boy
In the mean time, rival weapons manufacturer Justin Hammer isn’t a fan of Tony Stark. Sidenote: his company logo resembles Thor’s home on Asgard. OK, so Hammer is made a fool of at that senate hearing about Stark’s technology because it really sucks. It makes Iran and North Korea look like Apple. Hammer’s Iron Man suit snaps a guy’s spine. But don’t worry, he survived.
So Hammer is trying to be Stark. He even tries to get a feature done on him by that attractive Vanity Fair journalist that alerts Stark to the terrorist in the first Iron Man. She doesn’t care though, because Stark literally enters an F1 race. And really, what’s more impressive: a CEO who just jumped into an F1 car at Monaco (who you’ve slept with) or some guy who keeps talking and trying to impress you.Hammer and Vanko team up
So everyone is in Monaco. Stark is racing around the track having a grand time and then Vanko appears and whiplashes everyone. He does battle with Stark and Stark almost dies but then Happy Hogan and Potts ram him with a Rolls Royce (he doesn’t die though). Stark puts on his briefcase suit and goes to town on Vanko and knocks him out by flipping him over (what, getting slammed against a wall with a Royce doesn’t get you but getting flipped over knocks you out?).
Anyway, Hammer likes what he sees and breaks Vanko out of a prison and offers him the chance to be great, or something. He makes him build him Iron Man suits and Vanko just wants his bird. Hammer gets the bird and the two begin a shaky relationship. This is where the movie goes off the rails, actually.SHIELD props up Tony Stark
Stark is depressed. Someone else has made the technology that he already has, the government is on his ass, Pepper is pissed at him, he’s dying and no one really likes him. He goes crazy at his birthday party and his best friend takes one of his suits and takes it to the government. Stark can go no lower.
Then Stark is approached by SHIELD Director Nick Fury (again) and his hot new secretary (oh wait, she was a SHIELD secret agent named Black Widow! She was hired to spy on him!). So Fury smacks Stark with some sense and tells him that there is a cure and that his father had left it for him to figure out. Oh, and Stark’s father was a founding member of SHIELD and was a huge deal. So they give him a bunch of information and tell him to get to work. Oh, and they still want him to join The Avengers.Iron Man, Walt Disney, Captain America and New Mexico
So Stark researches his father’s old material, and finds an old Captain America comic, to find the cure for whatever he has. He watches an old video of Stark doing his best Walt Disney and finds that there’s a secret part of the video where Howard tells Tony that he’s his best creation (aww).
Stark begins to figure it out and finds out that the layout of the Stark Expo is not only the layout of Epcot at DisneyWorld but also the blueprint for his awesome new arc reactor, which by the way is inspired by the Cosmic Cube from Thor’s world.
Just when Stark figures it out and gets to work Agent Coulson strolls in and is like, “hey Tony Thor’s Hammer just smacked into New Mexico, I’m outtie.” Stark is like “aight boo, hand me that thing over there.” Then people exploded when he held up a prototype of Captain America’s shield and Coulson is like “dayumn do you know what this be?” Stark doesn’t care and uses it as a prop for a giant-ass tube.
See, Howard Stark made Captain America’s famous shield. Now you know.Vanko attacks! Hammer cries! Stark is back!
Now that Stark is all cured he heads toward the Stark Expo, where Hammer introduces his new army of drones (plus War Machine, piloted by Rhodes). But wait, Vanko betrays Hammer (likely because he never got his bird) and attacks Iron Man.
Iron Man frees War Machine of Vanko’s control and they all end up in a dome modeled after Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s home and they fight it out. War Machine and Iron Man combine blasters and blow Vanko out of the world (not literally). Iron Man then zooms off to save Pepper from an explosion and kisses her on a rooftop. Yay!SHIELD asks Stark to join The Avengers. Again.
Stark finishes off the movie talking with Fury about joining The Avengers. Oh, but wait, they don’t want him anymore because he wasn’t totally a nice person during this whole ordeal. He was kind of selfish and caused a huge amount of damage not only to his home but to the Stark Expo. Whoops.
While Stark is sitting there in SHIELD HQ a news report of a campus in Virginia is playing. Apparently, something called The Hulk went to town on a bunch of soldiers and a dumb general. That’s probably nothing. Oh, and the other screens are keeping an eye on the locations of the Black Panther, Thor and Captain America. I’m sure you’ll never hear from them though, so no worries. Pay no attention.Thor’s Hammer
After the credits we see Coulson find Thor’s hammer meow-meow. This of course is a tease to the Thor film, which you’ll find out about on Thursday.
As you can tell, this was a massive movie. Putting it all together is pretty difficult so it’s probably why the film isn’t as tight and fun as the first one. But hey, it’s the focal point of the entire lead up. Everything truly branches out from here.