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  • Writer's pictureThomas Duncan

MCU Crossover Series - Iron Man 2 (2010)

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

Co-Host: Adam Hitchcock, The Streaming Circuit podcast


  • Jon Favreau, Director

  • Justin Theroux, Writer

  • Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man

  • Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts

  • Don Cheadle as James "Rhodey" Rhodes / War Machine

  • Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow

  • Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer

  • Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko / Whiplash

  • Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury

  • Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan

  • Clark Gregg as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson

  • Leslie Bibb as reporter Christine Everhart

  • John Slattery as Howard Stark

  • Garry Shandling as United States Senator Stern

  • Paul Bettany voices J.A.R.V.I.S.


$170-200 million

Box Office and Ranking:

$623.9 million (#21)

Critic Scores:

  • RT: 71%

  • Metacritic: 57

  • Letterboxd: 2.9/5

Plot Summary: In this electrifying sequel to the highly successful "Iron Man," director Jon Favreau reunites with Robert Downey Jr., who gives another riveting performance as the charismatic Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist and ingenious inventor. Picking up where the first film left off, "Iron Man 2" delves deeper into Stark's tumultuous journey as he grapples with personal demons while confronting a formidable new adversary.

"Iron Man 2" deftly combines thrilling action sequences with introspective moments, exploring the fragile humanity beneath Stark's invincible armor. Director Jon Favreau skillfully balances high-stakes conflicts with emotionally resonant character arcs, showcasing the evolution of Tony Stark as he confronts his flaws and learns the true meaning of heroism.

With its dazzling visual effects, pulsating soundtrack, and standout performances from its ensemble cast, "Iron Man 2" propels the Marvel Cinematic Universe to new heights. This sequel reaffirms Robert Downey Jr.'s indelible portrayal of Tony Stark as one of the most captivating and complex superheroes of our time, cementing his place in cinematic history.

Critically acclaimed and commercially successful, "Iron Man 2" stands as a testament to the enduring power of Marvel storytelling, leaving audiences eagerly awaiting the next thrilling chapter in Tony Stark's extraordinary journey.

Did You Know?:

  • A lot of Whiplash's identifying features were suggested by Mickey Rourke. He wanted to perform half of his role in Russian, and consulted on the character's tattoos and gold teeth, as well as having a pet cockatoo. In fact, Rourke paid for the bird and the gold teeth out of his own pocket.

  • Samuel L. Jackson was promised that Nick Fury would be given more screentime by Jon Favreau. Jackson almost didn't return to play Fury due to problems with contract negotiations, but secured a landmark nine-picture deal to play Nick Fury not only in this movie, but in many other Marvel Studio productions.

  • Jon Favreau had a lot of friction with the Marvel higher-ups due to their constant intervention, to the point that they were having him rewrite the script as the film was still shooting. In particular, elements such as the increased prominence of the S.H.I.E.L.D. subplot were the result of a need to establish the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, in preparation for The Avengers (2012), at the expense of the coherence of the film's own plot. These disputes got so bad that Favreau turned down directing Iron Man 3 (2013).

Best Lines:

[seeing Tony Stark, in partial Iron Man armor, sitting in a giant rooftop donut display]

Nick Fury: Sir, I'm gonna have to ask you to exit the donut.

[Agent Coulson is left in charge of Tony]

Agent Coulson: If you try to escape, or play any sort of games with me, I will taze you and watch "Supernanny" while you drool into the carpet.

Tony Stark: [to Nick Fury regarding "The Avengers" initiative] I told you I don't want to join your super-secret boy band.

Howard Stark: Tony, you're too young to understand this right now, so I thought I would put it on film for you. [Howard gestures to his model city] I built this for you. And some day you'll realize that it represents a whole lot more than just people's inventions. It represents my life's work. This is the key to the future. I'm limited by the technology of my time, but one day you'll figure this out. And when you do, you will change the world. What is and always will be my greatest creation... is you.

Senator Stern: [after he pricks Tony with his badge] Ooh, sorry... funny how annoying a little prick can be, isn't it?

Tony Stark: What's on the docket?

Natalie Rushman: You have a 9:30 dinner.

Tony Stark: Perfect. I'll be there at 11.

The Stan Lee Rubric:

Legacy: 5

Impact/Significance: 7.25

Novelty: 3.5

Classic-ness: 4.5

Rewatchability: 6.5

Audience Score: 7.9 (87% Google, 71% RT)

Total: 34.65

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