I like Iron Man because of the origin story, but Iron Man 2 is just dire. I can’t stand Tony Stark, the chemistry between him and Pepper is just gone, Justin Hammer is just an absolute joke and the plot is all over the place. Admittedly that is reflective of Tony as well, but I just can’t bear to watch the film, because is is about a narcissist man going on a dying man’s blow out while a barely competent industrial rival tries to undermine him. It is just sickeningly pitiful to watch.
There is a plus side to this film though; the introduction of The Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff is just awesome. Seeing her character was the first time in a long while that I had seen a kick-ass and fully rounded female character in a superhero film that not only is the equal of the male characters but surpasses them in many, many ways. I absolutely love the character in the Marvel Universe, and easily the best bits of the film is when she is on screen because she brings a much needed quality to the film; a legitimate role in the plot, a well-created character and some kick-ass action.
The other plus to the film is the character of Ivan Vanko, the physicist and ex-convict who is out to destroy Tony Stark. This character is absolutely awesome as a villain, because he has a goal and he lets nothing get in the way of him achieving it. He also doesn’t stop and give off a monologue about what is about to do to Tony he just gets on with it. He runs rings around Justin Hammer (which admittedly a five-old with half a brain could also do) and it is only a stroke of luck that they manage to stop him.
I love this villain because his plan isn’t about power or domination, it is about the destruction of his enemy. Tony Stark in this film deserves everything that Vanko throws at him to give him the much needed wake up call that he desperately needed to redeem him in my eyes.