Film Review: Iron Man 2

Updated on January 15, 2018
Film Frenzy profile image

Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.


In 2010, Jon Favreau released Iron Man 2, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby, as the second film in the Iron Man trilogy and the third film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke and Samuel L. Jackson, the film grossed $623.9 million at the box office.


There have been consequences for Tony Stark after outing himself as Iron Man, including congressional hearings about his technology, and despite rival Justin Hammer’s best efforts, he is untouchable. Soon though Ivan Vanko, a man with a grudge against Stark, rises as a capable challenger. At the same time, Stark must deal with a medical condition from his arc reactor slowly killing him


Iron Man 2 is a good film as a follow up to both its predecessors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, dealing with the fallout Stark receives after stating he’s the titular Iron Man at the end of the first film. It not only opened him up to government backlash and pressure, but to those wanting to do him harm as well. Additionally, it gives the latter group the idea to either go after him prior to him putting on the suit in order to completely take Iron Man out of the picture or to announce themselves as threats in the hopes they entice Stark to accept their challenge. Vanko and Hammer attempt both scenarios.

Complementing this, Stark finds out his arc reactor is killing him and he wants to go out in the most absurd way possible. To do so, he goes so far as to have a gigantic birthday party where he starts destroying his house and eats donuts while sitting in a donut sign. This is resolved pretty well as Nick Fury gives him the push he needs to keep living and the materials he later uses to synthesize a new element which ultimately cures him. This second plot also works as a way to give audiences more of SHIELD, the group introduced in the last film. Viewers are given more of Fury, who was only in the after-credits scene last time, get some more of Agent Coulson’s personality and are presented with Black Widow for the first time. She’s given an action sequence, too, depicting her as being able to take on multiple targets with little trouble. It humorously compares her to Happy Hogan who dispatches one person in the time it takes her to take care of a hallway full of people.

However, Vanko feels to be more of the same and is underused as a character. The last film had Obadiah Stane take control of Iron Monger and fight Tony. This film does have Vanko fighting Iron Man with electrified whips, yet in the climax he’s in his own suit and controlling the armored drones he built for Hammer. Throughout the story, Vanko had been characterized in a good manner, shown he was just as smart as Stark and that he believed the man to be a worthy opponent. Despite this feeling, he only outright takes him on once before he and the drones fight Iron Man and War Machine and he commits suicide as a last ditch effort. This seems to be a waste of a character who could have been more of a challenge and gives the effect of the filmmakers spending less time on him in order to focus more on the plot.

3 stars for Iron Man 2

Awards & Recognitions

bold indicates reception of award/recognition

Academy Awards

  • Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA – Saturn Awards

  • Best Science Fiction Film
  • Best Actor (Robert Downey Jr.)
  • Best Supporting Actress (Scarlett Johansson)
  • Best Special Effects

Alliance of Women Film Journalists

  • EDA Special Mention Award – Sequel That Shouldn’t Have Been Made

ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards

  • Top Box Office Films

BET Awards

  • Best Actor (Don Cheadle)

California on Location Awards

  • Location Team of the Year – Features

Golden Schmoes Awards

  • Biggest Disappointment of the Year
  • Best Special Effects of the Year
  • Best T&A of the Year (Scarlett Johansson)

Guild of Music Supervisors Awards

  • Best Music Supervision for Films

Hollywood Film Awards

  • Visual Effects of the Year

Hollywood Post Alliance, US Awards

  • Outstanding Compositing – Feature Film

IGN Summer Movie Awards

  • Best Comic-Book Adaptation

Italian Online Movie Awards

  • Best Special Effects

Kids’ Choice Awards, USA – Blimp Awards

  • Favorite Butt Kicker – Robert Downey Jr.

Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA – Golden Reel Awards

  • Best Sound Editing – Sound Effects and Foley in a Feature Film

MTV Movie + TV Awards

  • Best Villain (Mickey Rourke)

People’s Choice Awards, USA

  • Favorite Action Movie
  • Favorite On-Screen Team (Robert Downey Jr. & Don Cheadle)
  • Favorite Movie

Russian National Movie Awards – Georges Award

  • Best Foreign Action Movie

Satellite Awards

  • Best Visual Effects
  • Best Sound (Mixing & Editing)

Scream Awards

  • Best Science Fiction Actress (Scarlett Johansson)
  • Best Villain (Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko)
  • Best Superhero (Robert Downey Jr.)
  • Best Science Fiction Actor (Robert Downey Jr.
  • Best Science Fiction Actress (Gwyneth Paltrow)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Don Cheadle)
  • The Ultimate Scream
  • Best Ensemble
  • Best Cameo (Stan Lee)
  • Best Science Fiction Movie
  • Fight Scene of the Year (for “Final Battle: Iron Man and War Machine vs Whiplash and the Drones”
  • Best F/X
  • Best Comic Book Movie

SFX Awards, UK

  • Best Actor (Robert Downey Jr.)

Teen Choice Awards

  • Choice Movie: Villain (Mickey Rourke)
  • Choice Movie: Dance (Robert Downey Jr.)
  • Choice Movie Fight (Robert Downey Jr. & Don Cheadle – Iron Man & War Machine vs. the Hammer Drones)
  • Choice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi (Scarlett Johansson)
  • Choice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi (Gwyneth Paltrow)
  • Choice Movie Actor: Sci-Fi (Robert Downey Jr.)
  • Choice Movie: Sci-Fi

Visual Effects Society Awards

  • Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual-Effects Driven Feature Motion Picture
  • Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture (Stark Expo)
  • Outstanding Models and Miniatures in a Feature Motion Picture (Hammer Military Drones)

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Ian Rideout profile image

        Ian Rideout 

        2 years ago from Alberta, Canada

        Good movie. I agree with your point about Vanko as a villain, though. Doing an 'Awards & Recognitions' section was a nice touch.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)