Continuing with my rerun through the MCU, in anticipation of Avengers: Endgame, I made the wise decision to skip over The Incredible Hulk (2008) and keep going with the unfolding story of Tony Stark. It’s not one I’ve bothered to rewatch (often), and couldn’t tell you the last time I saw it before now – certainly, a lot of the film had slipped my memory quite a lot.
Iron Man 2 wasn’t received as favourably as the first outing, including by me. Tony is struggling with his health, reacting badly to the elements in the arc reactor in his chest. He becomes a drunk, making a fool of himself on more than one occasion. Fans weren’t wholly ready to see their recent darling turn sour.
However, 18 movies down the line, I’m actually a little more impressed with this. At the time, it just wasn’t what I was expecting, but as part of the entire Tony Stark storyline, it’s actually quite brave. Rather than giving the audience more of what we thought we wanted, we get a more rounded, human character – one of the reasons we’re still concerned about Iron Man a decade later, when even a hint of peril in the next trailer gives us ‘the feels’ 😉
Still, this isn’t the best of the MCU, with a slightly by-the-book kind of superhero plot, away from the personal drama. On the plus side, the way the story unfolds from the first is well handled, and RDJ is on excellent form as ever. The returning characters also get to grow, and we are introduced to a few important faces: Natasha Romanoff (kicking absolute ass!), and Nick Fury. The villains – Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash and Sam Rockwell’s half-irritating, half-spot-on Justin Hammer – aren’t really strong enough, but on reflection the point of the movie is that growth in Tony Stark’s character.
So, two down, 17 or so to go. I’m wholly enjoying the refresher in the character’s back stories, and I’m sure I will therefore be all the more destroyed by Endgame 😉
Released: 30th April 2010
Viewed: 9th February 2019 (most recently)
Running time: 124 minutes
My rating: 7/10
Geek fact: Elon Musk’s cameo makes him Marvel canon. Heh 🙂
MCU Phase 1:
- Iron Man (2008)
- The Incredible Hulk (2008)
- Iron Man 2 (2010)
- Thor (2011)
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
- The Avengers (aka Avengers Assemble) (2012)