Tony Stark’s bombastic entry to his own technology expo conceals the damaged human beneath the surface: the very science keeping him alive is leeching toxic substances into his blood. Hiding his ailing health and handing his company over to Pepper Potts, Tony’s mortality gets the better of him when he subs in as a driver in the Monaco Grand Prix and comes into the sights of electric whip-wielding, ex-con, physicist Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke).
‘It would appear that the same thing that is keeping you alive is also killing you, sir.’ Jarvis to Tony Stark
Vanko’s vendetta against Stark Industries sees him scheme with arms dealer Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) to turn an army of combat suits into destructive drones to secure government contracts. Tony’s new assistant Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson), revealed as S.H.I.E.L.D. operative Natasha Romanoff, goes into black ops mode as Stark and Rhodey (Don Cheadle, replacing Terrence Howard from the first Iron Man) light up the sky in a desperate battle against the Vanko-hacked drones. Directed by Jon Favreau.
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Film notes by Dan Cameron
Feature image: Installation view of Tony Stark racing suit and helmet, Stark racing car, and Whiplash costume from Iron Man 2 2010, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’, GOMA 2017 / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA