What Went Wrong With Iron Man 2

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) was the hero that kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and as such, he was the first one to get a sequel, but Iron Man 2 couldn't match the quality and success of the first movie. Following his confrontation with Obadiah Stane and his encounter with the Ten Rings in his debut movie in the MCU, Tony Stark’s journey as a superhero continued in Iron Man 2, where he, once more, faced two villains as one used the other to fulfill their own plans.
Set a couple of months after the events of Iron Man, Iron Man 2 saw Tony Stark dealing with severe health issues as the arc reactor on his chest that was keeping him alive was also, ironically, killing him by poisoning him slowly. If that wasn't enough, Tony had to deal with Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), a weapons manufacturer and rival of Stark Industries who had plans against Stark, and Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), a Russian physicist looking for revenge against the Stark family. Iron Man 2 is one of the MCU's Phase 1 weakest links, and there are some strong reasons for it to be one of the most forgettable movies in the MCU – and here's what went wrong with it.
1 Ivan Vanko As The Villain Was Forgettable Ivan Vanko was the son of Anton Vanko, a Russian scientist who became partners with Howard Stark, with whom he created the first Arc Reactor under the title of “The Unity Project”. Stark and Vanko had an ideological disagreement as Vanko wanted to make a profit off the Arc Reactor technology and Stark wanted to use it for the benefit of mankind, so Vanko ended up selling his designs to the black market. Once Stark found out, he took credit for all the developments on the Arc Reactor and had Vanko deported, but as he couldn’t develop the technology on his own for the Soviet Union, he was exiled to Siberia, where he raised Ivan and mentored him in science. Anton Vanko died in poverty, leading Ivan to seek revenge against the Starks.
After Anton’s death, Ivan used his designs to build the Whiplash armor, but his thirst for revenge, his plans, and his allies made little sense and led him to become one of the MCU’s most forgettable villains. Once the Whiplash armor was ready, Ivan flew to Monaco to confront Tony Stark, and he did so with the help of the Ten Rings (who, for some reason, agreed to help an angry Russian scientist in exchange for pretty much nothing), and after being arrested, he was offered a deal by Justin Hammer, agreeing to work together to ensure Stark’s technology became obsolete and take the business away from him. As Hammer faked Ivan’s death, there was little interaction between him and Tony (in Monaco, at the prison, through a phone call, and in the final battle), and in the end, Ivan Vanko contributed nothing to Iron Man’s story and the MCU, unlike Obadiah Stane, whose plan led Tony to become Iron Man, and Iron Man 3’s Aldrich Killian, whose Extremis virus is still present somewhere in the MCU.


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