Iron Man 2

I is for Ivan Vanko

OK I’ll be honest, Ivan Vanko isn’t a favourite character of mine (though I find him quite a fun character) I just literally couldn’t think of another character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe whose first, last or code name began with the letter “I”. I googled it and everything.

I do think Ivan Vako makes one of the best villain introductions in the MCU. How he invades the racetrack at the Monaco Grand Prix, cutting up cars and causing multiple explosions with his arc reactor-powered electric whips definitely makes an impression.

I also like how Vanko takes none of Justin Hammer’s nonsense. When Hammer breaks him out of prison and plans to use his knowledge of arc reactor technology to make him rich, Vanko appears to go along with it when in actual fact he’s got his own plans. I love it when he just rips apart Hammer’s robots as he thinks they’re useless and totally ignores Hammer’s freak-outs and then just demands that he get him his pet bird.

My favourite line of Vanko’s is “If you can make God bleed, the people will cease to believe in him.” It’s from when he’s talking to Tony Stark and how he plans to show the world that the Great Tony Stark isn’t infallible. I think it’s a great line that has even more meaning now as in Infinity War Tony did manage to make Thanos bleed (in fact he was the only one except Thor to do so) so there’s the idea that Thanos isn’t undefeatable either.

Iron Man 2 gets some hate, but I think it’s a fun film with a fun villain that has a larger than life personality as he’s out for revenge.

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REVIEW: Iron Man 2 (2010)

With the whole world knowing he’s Iron Man, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has to deal with problems from all sides – his rapidly declining health, the US Government wanting to take his suit away from him, and vengeful Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) who has connections to his father.

Iron Man 2 is action-packed and a lot of fun. The sequence in Monte Carlo where the suitcase armour is introduced is one of the best moments in the whole film. The fact it speeds along with an action-packed plot means that it’s sometimes easy to miss why Tony is acting the way he is and making some unconventional decisions, until characters explicitly point it out.

Tony is dying and he, in his own chaotic way, is trying to make sure his affairs are in order. That his company will be taken care of if the form of Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and that his legacy of the Iron Man suits will continue thanks to his friend Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes (Don Cheadle). Tony is his usual narcissist-self but cranked up to eleven – it’s as if his thought process is, he must protect his company and friends, but if he makes sure no one likes him, they won’t miss him when he’s gone.

Ivan Vanko is not much of a villain, or at least you don’t get to see him that much to become engaged with him. He’s smart like Tony but never really feels like a big threat when they come face to face, especially in the final showdown. Rival businessman, Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) on the other hand, is cringey and offers a different kind of threat to Tony. While he may not have the brains of Tony Stark, he has just as many resources and seeing him team up with Vanko offers unexpected though often funny results. Got to give a special mention to Rockwell’s performance as Hammer, he looks like he’s having loads of fun being a weaselly and almost incompetent businessman.

While Iron Man 2 is a fun film, it does feel like a stepping stone to when this universe comes together for the Avengers. There’s more from Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and there’s the introduction of Agent Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) who, you’ll know if you’re savvy with your comic book knowledge.

Iron Man 2 might not be the best of the MCU, but it’s got some of the most interesting moments when it comes to Tony Stark and the people he cares about. 3/5.