Marvel's Iron Man 2 is a 2010 live-action film produced by 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios, it is a sequel to the widely successful 2008 superhero movie, Iron Man. It is the fourth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and was released worldwide on May 7th 2010.
Iron Man was a large success for Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox alike, and a sequel was instantly announced in June of 2008, with almost all of the cast signing on to return. Jon Favreau was very interested in continuing the franchise, having an interest of using another classic Iron Man villain and adapting the popular Armor Wars story arc into film. In 2009 Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell were cast as two villainous roles. They were in the middle of the year revealed to be Crimson Dynamo and Justin Hammer respectively.
It was also confirmed in mid-2009 that Clark Gregg would return as Agent Phil Coulson from Black Widow and Hawkeye, as he was a popular breakout character from the movie, and would help it connect to the larger universe. It was also less complicated to get Gregg on the film so late into production, as opposed to the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner or Samuel L. Jackson. The film ran smoothly as shooting as well as post production began as scheduled, much to Disney and Marvel's relief.
It was also rumored that Jon Favreau would try to co-adapt the Demon in a Bottle story arc for the movie to run side-by-side to Armor Wars. Though he did deny that he would do the Arc exactly as 616 did, he claims he took inspiration from it and was going to be "producing a lot of similar themes" related to Demon in a Bottle. Which all but confirmed it would be playing a part in the movie.
The film was released on May 7th 2010
- Robert Downey Jr. as Anthony "Tony" Stark/Iron Man
- Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko/Crimson Dynamo
- Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer
- Gwyneth Paltrow as Virginia "Pepper" Potts
- Don Cheadle as James "Rhodey" Rhodes/War-Machine
- Paul Bettany as J.A.R.V.I.S. (Voice)
- Jon Favreau as Harold "Happy" Hogan
- Leslie Bibb as Christine Everhart
- Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson
- Garry Shandling as Senator Robert Stern
- Eugene Lazarev as Anton Vanko
- Bryce Dallas Howard as Samantha Sawyer
- John Slattery as Howard Stark (Cameo)
The movie starts inside a shack in Siberia. Where a terminally ill Anton Vanko sits on a reclining chair watching television, while his son Ivan is busy cooking a meal. They talk a little about old age and his sickness, while the TV shows Tony Stark in Los Angeles revealing himself as Iron Man. Which Anton Vanko is noticeably furious about. Ivan comes over to comfort his father, while he tells his son how he regrets not doing more to gain credit for Stark Industries Technology, and now Tony Stark will have all the glory. Even after his father Howard, cruelly betrayed him. But Ivan tells him that his father taught him well, and that he will make his own Iron Man suit, his own Arc Reactor and use it to make Stark pay all he's done to his family. Anton tells his son he's a good boy, while he gets to work. After months of using his learned knowledge of engineering and Arc Reactors, Ivan builds himself a suit.
In the United States, the year's Stark Expo is about to begin. After the announcer welcomes everyone inside, he introduces Tony Stark. But before he shows up on stage a dozen "Ironette" girls do a dance routine while Tony Stark flies in, fully decked out in Iron Man armor while Dum-Es casual remove it, revealing him to be wearing an advanced Tuxedo underneath.
He thanks everyone for coming and starts to answer questions regarding the Iron Man suit as well as introducing the latest Stark Tech products, including many different household appliances to more advanced expensive entertainment sets and items. Tony eventually announces that he will be going to Monaco next week to start off the Grand Prix, which causes the crowd go wild. He shows more of his technology off before finally exiting the stage. Pepper, Rhodey and Happy go to congratulate him, with Pepper saying that he did great, already talking with Rhodey about what to do for Next Year's Stark Expo. Pepper leaves to go get some paper work with Rhodey until Tony is then approached by a man in a grey suit & glasses. He tells Tony how the Expo was quite impressive and puts out his hand introducing himself as "Hammer, Justin" Stark takes his hand shaking it. Whilst also responding "Stark, Tony". Justin Hammer starts to make some condescending remarks towards Tony's entering of the Technology business and the two engage in a battle of wits before he ends up leaving.
After which Tony asks Happy "Who was that four-eyed jackass?" Happy explains to Tony that was Justin Hammer, the current CEO of Hammertech Industries and a notoriously ruthless businessman. Happy recommends Tony get used to him, because Hammertech has been losing sales considerably in the last quarter ever since Stark joined the business. He says that he's fought terrorists in Afghanistan before, that he isn't going to let some hack with hipster glasses intimidate him. Pepper and Rhodey eventually return with the papers and Tony reads it, saying that he has a hearing with Congress soon over the validity of Iron Man. The next day in Malibu, Pepper is organizing Tony's flight to Washington D.C. and proceeds to talk about the two of them having these special "moments" they keep having recently. But he denies it saying they never have moment, that they're just a boss and his assistant, nothing more, nothing less. She sighs and says okay while Tony hears the doorbell being rang.
He gets the door and sees Agent Phil Coulson standing outside. He introduces himself and before he can finish his sentence Tony cuts the Agent off saying "I already told, Patchie, I'm not interested in having Stark Industries partner up with the Security Homeland, whatever." and tries to slam the door, which Coulson holds open asking if he can just have a few words inside. Tony reluctantly lets him in, while still insisting that he is not going to change his mind about Iron Man working with S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson says that if Tony joined S.H.I.E.L.D. they would be able to give him special benefits to continue his work as Iron Man, with little harassment from the government (alluding to his future Congress hearing), Tony says he knows there's a catch, they want to use Iron Man and his technology for their own interests. Coulson confirms they want him to be a consultant and Tony responds that he went over all this with Director Fury and the answer is still no. The two debate over it for a little, with Stark saying he can take care of himself and doesn't need the help or trust of a big "daddy company" like S.H.I.E.L.D.
Nonetheless, Agent Coulson hands Tony the contract, even though he rejected it beforehand, claiming S.H.I.E.L.D. is largely confident that he'll turn around in due time, he then proceeds to leave. Right before Agent Coulson leaves he tries to remind Tony that his father, Howard had worked with S.H.I.E.L.D. in the past and he might be able to continue his legacy by doing the same thing. Tony simply replies that he knows, and is done trying to be like his father. It shows back in Russia, Ivan Vanko trying to barter with a pilot over the price of his private airplane. Ivan hands him a large bag of Russian Rubles, and says it's his lifesavings which he will give if the man flies him to America, claiming he has important business there. The pilot takes the deal and Ivan loads his armor into the plane. Inside, Vanko gets a newspaper out and reads that Tony Stark will soon be kicking off the Monaco Grand Prix.
In the United States, Tony and Rhodey are at the Congress hearing in Washington D.C. where Senator Robert Stern is demanding that Iron Man give up his weaponry and the secrets of Arc Reactor technology to the government on account of homeland security. Tony Stark argues against this heavily, refusing to let any Government gain complete control over his armor, especially since he believes it would be used for war crimes. Rhodey also argues over it citing multiple violations to sections of the Constitution and United States law, as Iron Man is the property of Stark Industries, a private business. But Justin Hammer interrupts the argument to say how the Government can enact Martial's Law in a time of national security, showing multiple videos of countries from around the world trying to create their own "Iron Man" suits. He claims that Stark's technology being kept in the hands of one man would be depriving the nation of a security measure it needs against potential terrorism from around the world. But Tony Stark points out that Hammer is only doing this for his company's own benefit since Stark Industries is now a huge competitor to Hammertech ever since they moved out of weapon's design. Senator Stern makes order in the Congress and says that even if Mr. Hammer's intentions are purely based on his financial well-beings his points still do stand nonetheless.
Rhodey and Senator Stern eventually decide on a compromise, saying how Stark Industries will partner up with the Government to make the Untied States a model of the Iron Man suit, it's completely within law if a private business willingly sells and shares its assets with the government, with regulation and profit of course. Tony tries to signal he doesn't like the proposal (and neither clearly does Justin Hammer) but Congress thinks it's a great idea and approves of the entire situation, which Rhodey seems pleased about, but no one else. Outside the building right when Happy pulls up Tony starts talking to Rhodey saying how he doesn't want to do this deal with the Government, still believing the Iron Man technology is only best in his hands, Rhodey says how he agrees but that Tony is essentially taking the law into his own hands and can't play superhero forever, besides it was the American Government, he trusts they'll do the right thing, Tony still disagrees. They get inside the limo where Rhodey tells Tony that once they get to Monaco they can work out more details on the deal and possibly alter it more so in his favor.
Justin Hammer is still inside the Congress building while he discusses with his Secretary how he wants that Arc Reactor Technology, and how his own ideas indirectly gave Stark a massive business opportunity, he also says that he hopes Stark crashes at the Grand Prix.
In Monaco, Tony Stark is greeted by Christine Everhart, his old friend who wouldn't miss an opportunity to report on Tony starting off an official race, Pepper even says to Tony that she scheduled an interview with the two of them after the race. Everhart and Tony both catch up a little bit before they all start eating lunch. He does this with Rhodey, Pepper, Happy and other famous billionaires, such as Elon Musk.
While enjoying his lunch and cracking jokes, Tony and Rhodey speak to a U.S. Marshal named Samantha Sawyer, who wishes to discuss the details of their deal. Tony and Rhodey both do this for a small time, while Tony tries to barter his way into not giving up any of his secrets for the Arc Reactor technology, and only sharing pre-made ones with them. But the Politicians don't seem too enthusiastic about the idea. He eventually gets up to go to the bathroom for a minute and ends up taking a shot of alcohol from a flask, trying to calm himself down by washing his face off. When he comes out Pepper tells him she smells vodka on his breathe, and warns him that he is going to be driving soon. But Tony insists that he's only buzzed and just needed a little something to deal with those "talking heads" out there. She says okay and Tony gets changed and ready to drive with Happy, Rhodey and Pepper cheering him on. Before he gets in the race car a hooded man with a large backpack knocks out the guard and enters the stadium.
Tony gets into his car, takes a deep breathe and starts racing. J.A.R.V.I.S. is guiding him inside the car and Tony actually seems to be heavily enjoying himself, until Ivan Vanko takes his crimson colored home-made suit out of the backpack and jumps out into the middle of the track, breaking Tony's car in half with a plasma blast. Vanko uses his now-robotic strength to rip more of the car apart and pulls Tony out of the car. Saying that he took from everything from the Vanko family, his father ruined everything and all of his success, all of his Iron Man armors, should be his. He throws Tony onto the ground, and says he is going to make him suffer like he did all those years.
Happy, Pepper and Rhodey are freaking out in the stadium, and Pepper tells Happy to get the Iron Man Mark V suitcase so he can defend himself. When he asks where it is, Rhodey says Tony always keep a spare one just in case. He goes inside and under his seat on the table where they ate lunch at there's a suitcase, right before Vanko can kill Tony Happy throws the suitcase over into the stadium onto the race track which opens up into the Iron Man Mark V suit all around Tony's body and the fight begins. He starts to actually fight against Vanko saying he doesn't know what's he talking about, but he's not going to let this be his last fight and the two start going hand-to-hand and shooting blasts at one another. Even with Ivan's inferior technology, he is still able to actually damage Stark's suit considerably, but is nonetheless defeated and taken by the police to prison. While Pepper, Rhodey and Happy try and help Tony, who insists that he's fine and he just has a few scratches is all.
In the United States, it shows the whole incident being reported by multiple news networks all over the world and being viewed by Justin Hammer in his home, who says how someone else must've perfected the Arc Reactor technology, that Tony isn't the sole engineer for it, and that this changes everything. He asks his secretary to figure out which prison this Ivan Vanko was taken to. She starts to research into it, before saying where exactly he is, which makes Justin Hammer simply say "perfect". At the very prison in Monaco, Ivan Vanko is visited inside his cell by Tony Stark. He asks Ivan bluntly why on Earth he wanted to kill him, and went so far as to try and do it in the Monaco Grand Prix. He explains his story, how his father immigrated from Ukraine to escape Communism and used his legitimate degree to help Howard Stark build Stark Industries, but that he must've been threatened by him and worked on getting Anton to be accused of spying and deported back in the USSR where he was shortly after sent to a Gulag, Howard and his new, young partner Obadiah Stane took credit for everything they made. Tony explains how he and his father had a... complicated relationship, and that he's sorry for everything he did to his family. But Ivan says he doesn't want his pity, he wants his birthright and said if these chains weren't holding him to the ground he would find a way to get his suit back and take it. An upset Tony leaves the cell before right outside the door being approached by Agent Coulson once again.
He asks Tony how he's doing after the attack. Stark sarcastically responds that a man tried to kill him in the middle of a racing track, he's still a little bit in shock. But Agent Coulson informs Tony they need to keep an eye on him and his company now, since obviously Arc Reactor technology is getting out in the hands of criminals, and they view his refusal to sign onto S.H.I.E.L.D. as suspicious. But Tony is annoyed by this statement saying how he would never give the technology to criminals, and he won't sign onto S.H.I.E.L.D. because he doesn't want even them to get their hands on it, but Agent Coulson says he just has to make sure.
On TV, it shows all over the news people are talking about the mysterious villain with Arc Reactor technology at the Grand Prix, including Christine Everhart who witnessed the event first handed and reported it completely in-depth. Other stations show Senator Stern and Justin Hammer both criticizing Stark Industries for not giving up their secrets sooner and allowing the United States Government to make proper defenses against terrorists, who clearly can perfect it. Justin Hammer also uses his TV coverage time to promote Hammer Industries against Stark, the profits made from Hammertech equipment would go into anti-terrorism efforts. Tony, Rhodey and Pepper are watching this in the big TV located in Tony's Engineering room. Rhodey says how Hammer's stunts and the bad PR have made Stark Industries stock begin to drop considerably, and that they need to have a meeting at the Pentagon to discuss this. He leaves and Tony says how the stress is going to break his fake chest and tells J.A.R.V.I.S. to open a $5000 Whiskey. When Pepper asks what happened he explains the situation with Ivan Vanko and how his father had screwed Anton over years ago with Obadiah Stane, saying how they're both still haunting Tony and ruining his life even beyond the grave.
He sits on the couch and pours himself a drink before saying how he doesn't trust big Government with control over his Tech and they're all up his business recently. He then says that Agent Coulson now has to keep an eye on him too, because S.H.I.E.L.D. suspects he might be involved with Vanko's terrorism somehow, and Tony gets more drunk. When Pepper tries to talk to him more, he simply excuses her and stays by himself just getting more and more drunk. In the Monaco Prison, someone else opens the doors inside. Ivan Vanko doesn't look behind and simply says "I answered all your questions Stark, go away!" the man gets closer to him revealing himself to be Justin Hammer. Who shakes Ivan's hand and tells him he made quite the scene back in the Grand Prix and asks him how he could actually re-create Arc Reactor technology so perfectly. He says that he was taught engineering and the secrets of Arc Reactor Fusion from his father in Russia. Justin Hammer and him come to a proposition, since they both hate Tony Stark, the duo can use Hammer's wealth and influence and Ivan's knowledge on engineering to destroy Stark both financially and physically, ruining him and both benefitting from it mutually. Justin says that he can get Ivan out of jail and sequestered (using the excuse he's being "transferred" and bribe officials to look the other way). While there he can work to improve his suit and show how to replicate Arc Reactor Fusion. Ivan Vanko agrees to the deal.
Justin Hammer takes him to a lab with all the necessary ingredients to create his armor. Ivan Vanko says he can work with this, but before he does it Vanko wants another chance to destroy Stark, Justin says they shouldn't kill him just yet. Instead humiliate and ruin him. He complies and Hammer says Stark is going to be meeting with the United States army in the Pentagon soon, if Ivan completes the suit then he can go ahead and attack him there. It timeskips showing Vanko work on the improvements of his suit while Tony continues to watch his business do worse and worse and constantly revert back to alcoholic tenacities. When the suit is complete Justin Hammer says how it looks awesome, and Ivan confirms it has twice the resistance and built in jet. Justin asks Ivan what his codename would be, he responds Crimson Dynamo. But Justin Hammer said he thought they could do something with a little more pizazz to it, but after Ivan gives him a look Justin says that Crimson Dynamo is cool.
It shows in the Malibu Mansion Tony Stark gets a phone call and doesn't budge from his bed. After J.A.R.V.I.S. wakes him up, Tony, surrounded by multiple empty beers and half full bottle of scotch obviously hung over, picks up the phone. It's Rhodey on the other line who says that he needs to get to Arlington soon, since the meeting is about to start in forty-five minutes. He says he overslept, and must've programmed J.A.R.V.I.S. not to wake him too early and says he'll take the Iron Man suit and just fly to the base, Rhodey is skeptical of this but realizes there's little choice and accepts it. Tony, stressed out by this drinks the rest of the Scotch right out of the bottle, while J.A.R.V.I.S. tells him alcohol might inhibit his automotive and communication skills, but Tony reminds him that J.A.R.V.I.S. is the A.I. and he is the human, so he can do what he wants.
Tony gets in the suit and flies all the way to Virginia and lands outside the Pentagon. When he takes his mask off and starts trying to talk to Samantha Sawyer and Rhodey, they notice he is obviously intoxicated, while he tries to excuse it by saying Hammer has been beating him hard lately, they're about to cancel the meeting before Crimson Dynamo flies down and tries to strike Iron Man right where he stands. He reveals his voice, which Tony recognizes as Vanko, he introduces himself as the Crimson Dynamo and the battle commences between the two Iron Giants. An intoxicated Iron Man is no match for Crimson Dynamo's advanced Hammertech suit, and he is being beaten hard by the weaponry. In order to help control the threat the United States military tries to fight him off too, and while he is about to attack Samantha and Rhodey, Tony tries to shoot a plasma blast which he (due to being intoxicated) accidentally misses a hits Sawyer, the U.S. Marshal in the leg, severely wounding her. Crimson Dynamo beats Tony more before saying how he will come back again and again, he gets caught up fighting Military tanks though and leaves the compound. Tony eventually regains consciousness and is brought inside and checked to see if he sustained any serious injuries.
Tony wakes up with Pepper and Happy standing over him. They are just happy that Tony is alright. He ask what happened, and Happy explains how he got a little hurt but seems to be doing better now. Rhodey comes in the room asking what Tony could've possibly been thinking showing up drunk, and how almost killed that U.S. Marshal, but that she's stable now. Tony says that he can just tell J.A.R.V.I.S. and Pepper to plan another meeting where they'll work something out, but Rhodey confirms to him the army is done with Stark now after that little stunt. They're looking heavily into working with Justin Hammer instead, saying how he's almost cracked Arc Reactor technology and is more than willing to sell to the government however they need it. But Tony says how Stark Industries has almost everything riding on profits from the Government, and that without it they'll be bankrupt in months, that they can't just give everything to someone like Justin Hammer.
But Rhodey says that he is a member of the Army, and needs to follow their protocol, besides there are serious threats to homeland security out there and he's starting to think Justin might have the right idea of it. Tony says how Vanko is back, and someone must've provided him with enhanced tech, he stops and stammers for a minute before realizing how it all makes sense! Hammertech must be somehow working with Ivan Vanko in exchange for Arc Reactor technology, that Hammer is a criminal. But Rhodey says there's no proof Ivan was in that suit and he doesn't want to hear anymore of Tony Stark's conspiracy theories. It shows Justin Hammer at the Pentagon too giving away candy to the Politicians and planning a future meeting with Hammertech industries. They seem impressed, and Hammer keeps saying how he just wants to help stop threats like Crimson Dynamo from hurting the United States and the world, and with Tony Stark's... debauchery he thinks it's his obligation as a patriot to help out. They say they'll keep in touch and everyone leaves the room. Shortly after as Justin is checking his phone Tony pins him to the wall, swearing at him saying that he knows he got Ivan Vanko out of prison somehow, and that he'll expose him from the fraud he has become.
But Justin Hammer vehemently denies all accusations, but does tell Tony about if he theoretically is doing all that he is accusing him of that Ivan Vanko would be useful in gaining the knowledge of about Arc Reactor Fusion, and trying to take him down. He also says how not only that, but Crimson Dynamo's attacks would be the perfect alibi to scare the army and citizens to support the mass production of Tech to make them feel safe, and since they wouldn't trust drunk old Stark to do it, they would turn to him. Generating uncountable amounts of profit, but of course he isn't doing any of that, and even if he was it couldn't ever be proven in the court of law. Tony Stark puts him down and leaves, enraged. When he gets back to his mansion he excuses Pepper and Happy for the night, even though they insist to stay but he screams for them to go. When they leave he goes and opens a bottle of Whiskey. It does another timeskip of Justin Hammer making deals with the likes of Senator Stern and Marshal Sawyer, while Crimson Dynamo causes more chaos to Stark Industries property and Tony falls into a downward spiral. It shows at Tony's birthday party where he is heavily drunk and partying loudly in his home with a bunch of girls there.
Pepper tries to tell Tony to stop what he's doing, and that he's had enough to drink but he tells her to be quiet, he's having fun. It's his birthday, he can get drunk if he wants. They argue for a little before he tells her how drinking is how he numbs the pain. That growing up he never lived up to Howard Stark's expectations of him, even though he tried to do it so hard. He made a circuit board for him at five, and an engine at eight and he still wouldn't even tell his son a simple "I love you" and then he died before he could ever get peace, and drinking makes it all better, and since Justin Hammer has successfully broken him he has nothing to lose but to drink and party until he can't anymore. James Rhodes comes in after that and tries to stop the party, saying how there's a noise complaint and he kept the police out to try and deal with it himself, thinking he could talk Tony down. Rhodey is disgusted seeing him, saying how he's just going to destroy everything he's worked to build over alcohol but Tony argues that Hammer is already doing that, no thanks to him. The two argue for a little before Pepper steps in and Tony pushes her down harshly, getting Rhodes attention. Saying he will not be bossed around by her, she doesn't know what it's like and can't believe he ever had feelings for her.
Something flies by and hits Tony, only to see Rhodey standing there in a set of Tony's Iron Man Mark I armor. He says that he doesn't deserve to be Iron Man and that he needs to take the suit off now, but Rhodey refuses. The two start to rough house eventually engage in a real fight between both of the suits. It gets intense with Rhodey finally getting the upper-hand on an extremely drunk Tony and beating him down. He tells him that he has become a sad, pathetic, cruel alcoholic and that he's done with him, Rhodey walks off and takes Pepper with him to safety. Leaving Tony there, blacked out laying in the middle of his polluted mansion. The next day, Justin Hammer is playing golf with Senator Stern and Samantha Sawyer when they're approached by Rhodey himself. Justin Hammer says he heard the news he knocked some sense into Tony Stark last night with an Iron Man suit, and Samantha says that experience might come in handy. When Rhodey asks how that means, Justin says that his work with the United States government is to build their own public Iron Man suit called the War-Machine with multiple drones to help in the War on Terror. All to be presented at the newly founded HammerExpo in Flushing Meadows New York. Since Rhodey has experience with that tech, and is a known honorable, dedicated hard working soldier, he might be able to actually wear the armor for the Expo. Rhodey says he hasn't trained for a show or anything, and that it would be short notice, but Hammer says it would barely be any work. Just fly around and answer a few questions, that's it. With that explained James Rhodes says he'll do it.
In Monaco, Ivan Vanko is working on a piece of technology near his bed when a Hammertech employee comes up to him and says that Justin Hammer wants to talk to him. They chat over a Hammertech tablet and Justin asks the progress on the Military Drones and the War-Machine suit, which causes Ivan to proceed and show Justin all the work he has done, which he seems very impressed with. But Ivan wants to know when he can finally go and stop Tony, saying he's been doing what Justin Hammer has wanted for months and he needs his end of the bargain to be filled. Justin says after the Expo revealing War-Machine and the Drones, they'll be able to finally take out Tony and have an essential Monopoly on the market. But until then he needs to stay there and keep making suits and weapons for him ASAP, Ivan Vanko is irritated by these demands but still listens and goes back into his room tinkering with the device again.
It shows Tony Stark sitting on top of Randy's Donuts eating an entire box's worth working through his grief. He later comes down and while he's walking notices Agent Coulson saying, "You again?" Coulson simply asks him if he can buy him a coffee and some real food inside. Not wanting to resist some nice caffeine and a free meal, Tony actually accepts the offer and the two get a booth. While there Coulson asks how Tony is doing, and Tony says he doesn't want to talk about it, he wants to go home have a Vodka and not sign off on joining S.H.I.E.L.D. But Coulson says he's not here for that, that he sees the downward spiral Tony has been going into recently. With his alcoholism, his company failing to Hammertech, which Tony does remind Agent Coulson is committing criminal activity. He says that S.H.I.E.L.D. is suspicious of Justin Hammer too, but can't do anything without sufficient proof of his wrongdoings, but Iron Man could, sadly though Iron Man is nothing but a alcoholic has-been as far as the media is concerned. He also informs Tony that his father was a similar way, always channeling his problems through alcohol, and Tony reminds him his cold behavior made him so emotionally damaged to begin with. Coulson hands Tony some of Howard's old notes and tells him that despite that he always managed to stay on top of the game, and maybe Tony could learn some of his secrets, not just for his sake but for his friends, and the world. Wouldn't want Justin Hammer spearheading the entire United States Military now, would they.
The next day, Tony Stark goes to the office and apologizes giving Pepper a box of Strawberries and saying how he is sorry for how he acted (little did he know Strawberries were the one fruit Pepper was allergic to), she is still upset with him and says how she doesn't know if they can continue their relationship or if she can even keep working for him. But Tony says that he knows he has a problem, and doesn't know how to fix it yet, Pepper insists he should go to AA but he says it isn't that easy, and she says if he doesn't get help she's leaving. In Monaco, Ivan Vanko is on his laptop relaxing after building multiple variations and upgrades to the Crimson Dynamo suit, and multiple drones for HammerExpo. Ivan tries to search online but is blocked from the servers, Hammertech employees telling him he can't go off of their own designated servers and the laptop is only for design and planning for his drone and suit ideas. Vanko though is rebellious wanting to strike against Tony Stark soon, and hacks his way through Hammer's firewalls and starts to check the local news, seeing how the HammerExpo is coming up, and how he is trying to fight terror with the "new Iron Man", War-Machine! And sees how he has just been used as a means to an end for Hammer to have an enemy to justify the United States Military to sign onto weapon's contracts with him, and planned to dispose of Dynamo once his work was done. Furious, he puts on his suits and fights his way out swearing revenge on both Justin Hammer and Tony Stark for what they've done to him.
Later that night, Tony is at his house going through the items that Agent Coulson gave him the day before at Randy's Donuts. He finds inside of Howard Stark's belongings a walkman, multiple Captain America comics, a glock, and a special Video Cassette that was made for Tony (when he eventually inherited the company). Tony said how he heard about this tape but never saw it, thinking little of his father, also saying he's nervous to actually see it, but J.A.R.V.I.S. tells him that it would be wise to see the final message his father intended for him to see, and that it might help him find closure with it. Tony puts it in and starts to watch. In the video, Howard says how if Tony is watching this he is inheriting the company for whatever reason. Howard goes on to say how he was probably a terrible father, he knows Tony doesn't have many nice things to say about him. He understands why, but that everything he did was for a reason. He felt that in upcoming years the world would be such a chaotic place, so advanced, it would need someone as brilliant and head-strong to manage Stark Industries in, and that is what he wanted to instill in Tony.
He says how he regrets being so cold to his son, but to always remember he is his "greatest invention" a work of art, and he wouldn't change a thing. He doesn't care if he makes him a bad man, or a lousy father, because Tony's sheer genius speaks for itself. Tony breaks down crying over those words, and eventually is encouraged to put down his drink for once and get on his Mark II Iron Man suit to confront Justin Hammer and end this. At the HammerExpo in Flushing Meadows, Samantha Sawyer is with Rhodey getting on his War-Machine costume still feeling upset about what happened with him and his former-friend Tony, but decides to put on a happy face for the Expo and be proud of his position as War-Machine in the United States army. Justin Hammer while on the other side of the stage is being interviewed by Christine Everhart who he openly hits on, but she rejects saying how she has already been with Stark. In the crowd of excited fans trying to get in, Crimson Dynamo is in disguise ready to strike against Hammer for his treason.
The Expo starts and Justin Hammer gives his speech with all the different Drone types and War-Machine himself being paraded on stage while everyone cheers. In the audience, Happy isn't enjoying himself but Pepper says they should support Rhodey, while Agent Coulson is sitting on the other side of the stadium keeping an eye on Hammer for whenever he would inevitably slip up in the speech. But before they know it, Tony himself lands on stage. Justin Hammer tries to get security to remove him he talks to Rhodey saying how Justin Hammer is manipulating him and he needs to stop now, but Rhodey once again says how Tony has no proof and if he doesn't leave the stage he'll remove him. The two argue for a little longer before seeing Crimson Dynamo jump in and attack both the suited men.
Rhodey, Pepper and Happy are convinced then of what Justin Hammer has been doing. But before anyone could react Hammer says that they must all be in on it, that Tony Stark, Crimson Dynamo and Rhodes were the terrorists and uses a remote control device to make the Drones start attacking, ensuing chaos on the Expo. Iron Man and War-Machine start trying to fight them off, while Tony tells him to get the attacking Drones away from the civilians so they don't hurt anyone. While everyone is running Agent Coulson finds Justin Hammer and places him under arrest, handcuffing him to a railing pole while he and Happy Hogan go inside the building's main rooms to try and find a way to shut off the source of the Drones. War-Machine and Iron Man continue to fight before landing inside the oracle dome. They continue destroying drones in there while Agent Coulson shuts them down. Thinking it was the last of them, Tony and Rhodey hash things out and are cool again. With Rhodey saying it's all right and that he is sorry for not trusting him, but Tony says it's okay and that he's going to get help for Alcoholism. Before they can talk more Crimson Dynamo lands in the dome and tells Tony how they meet again.
He rants for awhile how all these American Industrialists are the same, just cheating and exploiting everyone for their own means. But Tony corrects Ivan by stating his father and Obadiah Stane cheated him, not him. That he was NOT either of those men. But Crimson Dynamo says how he knows, but doesn't care and the fight ensues between him and the armored allies. The midst of their fight the three scramble outside of the dome and take their fight to the skies, eventually having Rhodey get flung off by Crimson Dynamo's blast, leaving just him and Iron Man to fight as the two begin to argue and taunt one another. The Expo is almost evacuated, including Pepper with security, but above them Iron Man and Crimson Dynamo fight with rage in the sky. He ends up dropping, knocking out all the guards and holding Pepper hostage. Tony lands and begs Ivan to let her go, saying how she is all he has left, the love of his life. But he just laughs and says how Tony's family took everything he held dear, including his own father, and this is simply retribution. But Tony won't handle it and simply jumps over with all his strength and fights Crimson Dynamo beating him senseless into the ground for trying to harm Pepper. While he is nearly destroyed, Tony sees him on the ground. Dynamo just laughs saying how Tony should just kill him and prove that he is the monster his father intended him to be, just like Anton was destroyed by Howard, Ivan should be destroyed by Tony. But Iron Man is insistent to prove that Dynamo is wrong, and spares him while walking off to the police, where they take Ivan Vanko out of the Crimson Dynamo suit and into a cop car.
Tony watches as the Expo is cleared out, and Agent Coulson is taking a handcuffed Justin Hammer who had obviously been pepper sprayed into a van. When Tony asked what happened, Coulson says how he tried to resist arrest, causing Tony is actually smile a little. Christine Everhart is reporting on the entire situation, surprised she coincidentally is reporting on yet another superpower related news story. Tony then goes over to Pepper who asks him if what he said over there was really true, and he said every word of it was. That she is the anchor keeping him down, and one of the only stable loving, presences in his life, Pepper says she agrees and the two of them share a passionate kiss and right after that War-Machine lands in the area seeing it happen. Tony goes asking War-Machine where he's been, but he responds saying how Dynamo's blast knocked him back and he just found where they were, that it's a big city and he isn't an expert on flying like Tony is. He just laughs and says he can give lessons when they get back.
In Los Angeles, Agent Coulson is in his office, where he is almost ready to fly back to another S.H.I.E.L.D. mission soon when he is stopped by Tony Stark. He tells him that he's joined Alcoholics Anonymous and is now seeing a Psychologist is help with his father issues. He also says that he and Pepper are together finally, and that he's really hopeful now. Coulson reveals to him that Crimson Dynamo and Justin Hammer were successfully impounded, and probably going to jail for a long time. Nonetheless, he thanks Agent Coulson for the part he's played in stopping Hammer and helping him, even if Tony didn't make it seem that way. But Agent Coulson just insists he was "doing his job" and accepts the gratitude anyway
While the Agent gets working again, Tony puts paper on his desk. When Phil Coulson looks at it he sees it's the S.H.I.E.L.D. partner contract he gave to Tony months ago, with his name signed and everything. Before Tony is about to walk out the door he stands up from his office chair and says "Mr. Stark... it's good to have your family back with S.H.I.E.L.D. again." Tony turns around and simply says "...it's good to be back" Tony walks outside and into his Limo with Happy, and when he asks Tony if he made his peace with Coulson, Tony replies "more than that" and Happy drives him back to the Malibu mansion. While inside he sees Pepper there who hands Tony a Root Beer (since he can't drink alcohol) and Rhodey is there decked out in a Iron Man Mark I suit saying he's ready for those lessons Tony promised him. He laughs and tells him to get prepared for round 2, stepping into the boxing ring.
Agent Coulson is on a S.H.I.E.L.D. mission in the plains of Oklahoma, where he goes to the middle of a creator surrounded by nothing but S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents. While looking at the center he calls someone saying "You need to see this" the camera clearing and panning out revealing it to be the Hammer of Thor...
- Crimson Dynamo's character in the film is an amalgamation between multiple version of the character that have appeared throughout the comics, taking the most inspiration from Anton and Ivan Vanko whom he shares a namesake with.
- Samantha Sawyer is a gender bent version of the Marvel Comics General Sam Sawyer, who coincidentally also had the nickname "Happy".
- Justin Hammer in the comics is a older, vile, British Industrialist who originally worked for Stark Industries. In the movie he was made much younger, more humorous, and an American competitor to the company. This was done, according to Jon Favreau, in order to make him a "dark parallel" to who Tony Stark is in the film.
- Inside Howard Stark's chest are Captain America Comic Books, alluding to having a connection with the 1940s superhero.
- Originally Samuel L. Jackson was considered to appear in the film as Director Nick Fury, but due to Contractual conflicts he was replaced with Clark Gregg, reprising his role as Agent Phil Coulson originally from Black Widow & Hawkeye.
- James "Rhodey" Rhodes puts on the Iron Man Mark I suit in the movie. This was not only hinted at in it's predecessor, but is a reference to War-Machine's origin in the comics when Rhodey originally took up the Iron Man suit when Tony was an alcoholic
- The hammer that Agent Coulson finds in the end credits scene bares a striking resemblance to Mjolnir, the legendary weapon used by the Marvel Comics superhero and norse deity named Thor.