The Road to Infinity War
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Week 3 is here and that can only mean one thing, the first sequel in the MCU, Iron Man 2. For many, this is one of the low points in the franchise as the plot seemed more interested in setting up the future than focusing on the story at hand. It’s also widely considered to have the weakest villain to date in Whiplash. Their is merit to those arguments and while I personally feel that we still get some cool moments, they ultimately don’t elevate the movie as it should have.
Following the events of the first film, Ivan Vanko begins to construct his own arc reactor taken from the plans made by Howard Stark and his father, Anton. Their is no plan to take over the world or profit from the technology, he just wants to hurt Stark and show the world that Iron Man isn’t invincible. Tony’s business rival, Justin Hammer, recruits Ivan to strengthen his own brand of armored suits. Black Widow is introduced for some reason and Vanko turns on Hammer. Tony gets his act together, joins up with Rhodey and they save the day. That’s it, story over.
I’m being droll here because the overall arc of Iron Man 2 warrants it. Their was a much better story somewhere out there. They touched on Tony’s long battle with alcoholism from the comics which seemingly vanishes from future films. Armor Wars would have been a perfect fit here with Hammer and Ivan more or less using Tony’s armor designs. What we essentially got, however, was a loose mesh of ideas only serving the advancement of the MCU arc. I’m a believer that this is the film that birthed the idea for the endgame with Thanos. As a result, Iron Man 2 serves as a bit of a “course correction” to be able to get there.
Not everything here is bland. I’m a huge fan of the silver Centurion armor from the comics and it was fantastic to see a variation of it early in the movie. Even though she was shoehorned in, seeing Black Widow for the first time was pretty great. The iron drone fight at the end was fun, the same can’t be said for the final Whiplash encounter.
I’ve seen Iron Man 2 probably more than the others in the series. My daughter is a huge Black Widow fan and with her being about eight at the time, you can imagine this was being replayed at home quite a bit. I don’t hate the film by any means. I, like a lot of fans, feel that it could have been much more.
HOW IT CONNECTS TO AVENGERS INFINITY WAR: During Tony’s “house arrest” he goes through Howard’s books and a diagram of the Tesseract (Space Stone) can be seen. This of course plays a bigger role in Captain America: The First Avenger.