Iron Man 2 (Marvel Cinematic Universe #3) (MCU Phase 1 #3)

I vaguely remember Iron Man 2 being a much weaker movie than the first Iron Man, but you know, it’s actually really good. The action is great, especially the fight scenes with the electro whips and between Iron Man and (not yet named) War Machine. Good stuff.

Characterwise, Don Cheadle is a great replacement as Rhodes; you can feel Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man at the top of his game (with nothing to lose because he’s dying); and I still think Paltrow makes a great Potts.

But the real stand out star of this movie? Mickey Rourke as the over the top Russian baddy. His character arc is questionable at best, but he’s just so spectacularly twisted that it’s a delight to watch him.

This film actually has a lot of great villains (of varying stripes). Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer plays far less competant Tony Stark wanna be to a T (I hope they bring him back) and Garry Shandling is a great politician you love to hate as Senator Stern.

Plus we get the introduction of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson. It’s the next thing to criminal how Johansson still hasn’t had a head role yet (pushed back again?…), but she gets a solid intro here.

Natalie Rushman: I’m surprised you can keep your mouth shut.

Tony Stark: God, you’re good. You are mind-blowingly close to this. How do you do it? You’re a triple impostor, I’ve never seen anything like it. Is there anything real about you? Do you even speak Latin?

Natalie Rushman: Fallaces sunt rerum species.

Tony Stark: Which means? Wait, what did you just say?

Natalie Rushman: It means you can either drive yourself home or I can have you collected.

Coulson… is Coulson. He’s wonderfully snarky, down to Earth, and managed to pretty much carry his own TV show (we’ll get there).

[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.

With just about every movie in the MCU, I am continually impressed with what they pulled off there. They didn’t only build an entire shared universe the likes of which had never been seen before, they did it while making individual summer blockbusters over and over again.