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, and the fourth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe being 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 enthusiastic about 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 in order to help it connect to the larger universe. The choice to bring Gregg back was also largely due the lack of complication getting onto the film so late into production, as opposed to the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner or Samuel L. Jackson.
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 claimed to have taken 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 ran smoothly for shooting as well as post production and was released on May 7th 2010.
- Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
- Mickey Rourke as Anton Vanko/Crimson Dynamo
- Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer
- Don Cheadle as Colonel James "Rhodey" Rhodes/War-Machine
- Gwyneth Paltrow as Virginia "Pepper" Potts
- Paul Bettany as J.A.R.V.I.S. (Voice)
- Jon Favreau as Harold "Happy" Hogan
- Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson
- Garry Shandling as Senator Paul Boynton
- Leslie Bibb as Christine Everhart
- Eugene Lazarev as Valentin Vanko
- John Slattery as Howard Stark (Cameo)
The film starts inside a shack in Russia, where a terminally ill Valentin Vanko sits on a reclining chair watching television, seeing Tony Stark announcing to the world that he’s Iron Man. Valentin throws a piece of garbage at the television and his son, Anton, tells him not to watch this shit, turning it off as Valentin weakly mutters about how it’s not fair, he deserves more. Anton claims he’s given him plenty but Valentin argues it's nothing before finally dying. Anton then begins to cry and mourn his father’s death until the grief begins to turn to rage and he starts using his knowledge on engineering to spend the next two years working tirelessly to build his own suit of armor to match Iron Man’s.
In the United States, Tony is seen flying around in his Iron Man suit until making a dramatic entrance on the stage of the Stark Expo. Just after he lands he’s succeeded by a group of Ironette Girls who perform a dance routine as Dum-Es casually remove Tony's armor, revealing him to be wearing an advanced Tuxedo underneath. Stark afterwards thanks everyone for attending and tells a joke about how people always ask him how he goes to the bathroom in his Iron Man suit before announcing to let's just say he doesn't need to take it off. After the crowd laughs he begins introducing the new line of Stark Tech products, including many different household appliances to more advanced expensive entertainment sets and items.
Tony then thanks everyone and wishes them a goodnight before exiting the stage where Happy and Pepper are waiting for him, proceeding to tell them everything he wants to improve as well as showcase for next year's expo before picking up a Martini to drink. Pepper though reminds him he's going to Congress this weekend. He asks what that's about again and Pepper reminds him Iron Man. Tony tells her she’ll need to reschedule the Grand Prix then as Happy Hogan meanwhile is shown patting down a man in a gray suit and glasses. He sarcastically comments that Happy missed a spot before being given the okay and walking over.
He puts out his hand introducing himself as "Hammer, Justin" and Stark shakes it while responding "Stark, Tony". Justin Hammer begins making condescending remarks towards Tony and his inventions while the two engage in a battle of wits before he finally takes his leave. Pepper afterwards asks Tony who was that "four eyed jackass" and he assures her nobody important. In Russia, Anton Vanko is watching the Stark Expo on his same television set continuing to build as he did years earlier, now finally creating a perfect replica of Tony's arc reactor, completing his armor.
At the Malibu Mansion, Pepper Potts is working until coming down to the basement where she sees Tony waiting for her with a Strawberry Shortcake wishing her a happy birthday, afterwards telling J.A.R.V.I.S. to start playing a mashed up rendition of the Happy Birthday song. Pepper chuckles and tells him this is very thoughtful but that he did the same thing last year, Tony then remembers that she's allergic to strawberries and Pepper nods. He claims that he remembered it had something to do with strawberries while Pepper responds it still looks really good and she'd be happy to sit and watch him eat it but the celebration is cut short as they both hear the doorbell ring.
Pepper says she'll get it but Tony insists he'll do it and she should relax down here. He then open it and sees Agent Phil Coulson standing outside. He introduces himself but before he can finish his sentence Tony cuts the Agent off saying that he's already told the hundred other lackeys they sent before that he's not getting in bed with S.H.I.E.L.D. and tries to slam the door. Coulson though holds it open before it can fully close, asking if he can just have a few minutes inside.
Tony reluctantly lets him in and they sit down in the living room, Coulson claiming that he knows Congress is on his case about being Iron Man but Tony clarifies he can take care of himself. Coulson insists if he works under S.H.I.E.L.D. he won't have to and Tony points out just like his father until Coulson explains they're not asking him to be like his father, they just want him on standby but Tony corrects him they want to weaponize Iron Man before reaffirming the answer is still no.
The next day, Colonel James Rhodes is sitting in Congress debating with Senator Paul Boynton over the constitutional legality of Iron Man until Tony himself arrives, quipping he overhead someone mentioning him. Rhodey chuckles and welcomes him while Tony asks to be brought up to speed. Boynton explains how Tony's spent the last two years in possession of an unauthorized weapon with zero regulation or accountability, that's becoming something their nation can no longer tolerate. Case in point, Boynton begins playing clips of other countries attempting to create their own Iron Man suits with middling success.
Tony points out they're all at least ten years away from anything substantial but Senator Boynton argues that's precisely his point, they need to get ahead of this before it's too late, by him handing over his suit and arc reactor immediately. Rhodey points out this back and forth isn’t going to help anyone, that what they should be doing is looking for a compromise. Boynton asks how that would work and Rhodey explains Iron Man will remain the private property of Stark Industries but that, in exchange, they'll sign onto a joint partnership with the state to ensure it's only used in accordance with national interests. Tony seems unhappy with the idea but after talking it over Senator Boynton claims with the right oversight and input they'll be open to the deal if Stark is.
Outside Congress, Rhodey tells Tony he thought he'd be happier but Tony insists that he didn't, this is exactly what he didn't want to happen. Rhodey responds that they'll ask for more autonomy once things cool down, but right now it was either this or nothing. Back in Russia, a pilot is sitting in a fold up chair next to his plane reading a book until Anton Vanko shows up and says he wants to hire him. The pilot insists he's not looking for work and Anton hands him a large bag of rubles. After looking over how much is in it the pilot asks when they leave as it then cuts to Anton on the plane, pulling something out his bag which the camera reveals to be a ticket to the Monaco Grand Prix.
At the Grand Prix itself, Tony is eating lunch with the other racers until Justin Hammer shows up and condescendingly greets him. He reveals himself to be with Christine Everhart who's writing a piece on him and Hammer Industries. Adding on that he remembers now that she wrote a few on him too to which Tony replies that she did more than that. Christine becomes embarrassed but Justin tells her to relax, claiming charity is a virtue after all. Justin then starts sharing with her all the inventions he has in the pipeline that are going to be revealed at the Hammer Expo this summer.
Tony quips it'll be a cheap knockoff to introduce the other cheap knockoffs and Hammer asks if Tony didn't seriously think he had a trademark on extravagant festivals celebrating mankind's progress. Tony says that it'd be a real celebration of mankind's progress the day Hammer Industries comes up with anything original and Justin tells Christine they're talking to the one guy who can make an homage look like a bad thing. Tony then asks what the difference between theft and homage is, "the truth?" afterwards announcing that nature calls and for Christine not to let Justin choke on his rubber chicken.
In the bathroom, Tony washes his face in the sink before looking in the mirror and taking out a flask from his coat pocket which he feverishly chugs down. After leaving Pepper approaches him and says the race starts in five minutes, to get down to the track now. As Tony walks out to the cheering crowd and gets in his race car, Anton Vanko is seen in the stands as he takes off his backpack and opens it, revealing all the pieces of his armor to be stashed inside.
Tony meanwhile is in his car racing and enjoying the high speeds until Vanko dressed in a pair of bulky crimson armor jumps onto the track and smashes himself into Tony's car, totaling it and launching him out onto the pavement. In the stadium, a live coverage of the attack is playing and everyone starts to panic, including Pepper, who tells Happy to get the briefcase. He does as told running out to the balcony where he throws the briefcase down to Tony who activates it as the Iron Man suit encompasses his body.
Tony and Anton battle across the race track with Vanko showing off his ability to generate plasma-electrical blasts that are able to actually stagger Iron Man. Despite this, Vanko is still eventually overpowered as his cheaply made suit starts falling apart from the fight until Tony completely depowers it by ripping out his arc reactor, observing it's functionally identical to his own before crushing it. The police begin taking Anton away while Tony opens his mask and Pepper along with Happy rush down to track asking if he's okay, Tony insisting that he's fine. Pepper claims he's bleeding but he reiterates that it's just a scratch. In the stadium meanwhile, Justin Hammer is shown watching the live broadcast of the incident, clearly fascinated by the whole ordeal. Later, Tony visits Anton Vanko in his prison cell and bluntly asks why he tried to kill him.
Vanko laughs about how he never told him and Tony clarifies tell him what. Anton explains his father left the Soviet Union to try and find a better life, he met Howard Stark and they made Dynamo Industries together. His father wanted to change the world, but Howard wanted to get rich, so he accused him of being a spy, sent him back where he came, seized his wealth, buried him, and then renamed the company after himself. Tony says that he's sorry and Anton responds that he doesn't want his pity, he wants "what's mine!" He then begins trying to grab Tony only to be held back by his chains as Stark is quickly escorted out of the room while security tries to get Vanko under control. Outside, Tony turns around only to see Agent Coulson waiting for him.
He says how he heard Tony got in a fight out on the racetrack, asking how he's holding up. Tony insists he's had better days and Coulson changes the subject by wondering if he knows anything about the attacker having his own arc reactor. Tony mutters that he has to be kidding before asserting no, he didn't supply the man who just tried to have him killed with his own technology. Coulson claims that's not what he's asking, S.H.I.E.L.D. knows about Vanko's history with Stark Industries, but the fact that someone outside of his circle knows how to replicate his tech changes things. Tony quips exactly what he was thinking, and he'd rather not add S.H.I.E.L.D. to that list.
It then shows a news cycle playing across television where reporters like Christine Everhart talk about the attack at the Grand Prix in depth from her own first hand account while politicians like Senator Boynton criticize Tony Stark for not giving up his technology sooner and letting it get to this point.
At the Malibu Mansion, Pepper Potts is on the phone dealing with public relations while in the basement Tony is researching Valentin Vanko, his sentencing, and Dynamo Industries on holograms. Rhodey gets his attention by saying how this is really bad and Stark sarcastically quips that's an astute observation, glad he was here to tell him, before returning to his research. Rhodey moves on that Homeland Security is getting cold feet about their agreement and Tony insists they'll take them to court then but Rhodey points out martial law isn't out of the question.
Rhodey then asks what Tony is looking at and he enlarges the holograms, spreading them around the room, afterwards asking if he knows who Valentin Vanko is. Rhodey wonders if he should and Tony gets up before replying that nobody does, opening a bottle of scotch and pouring himself a glass. Rhodey starts to look over the holograms, including one of Valentin and Howard Stark posing together as partners before confirming Anton Vanko, the man who attacked him, he’s this guy's son.
Tony clarifies that he was on his way to a Nobel Prize before being framed for espionage and his work stolen, courtesy of his father. Rhodey is shocked, asking how he can even say that, pointing out he worked on the Manhattan Project, helped jumpstart S.H.I.E.L.D. he was a good man! Tony insists because he's the one who actually grew up with him, now taking a drink of his scotch.
In the Monaco Prison, someone opens the doors inside. Anton Vanko, facing the opposite direction, tells "Stark" that he answered all his questions and to go away until the man gets closer, revealing himself to instead be Justin Hammer. Who tells him to guess again before observing that he made quite the scene back at the Grand Prix until Anton asks what he wants. Hammer explains they didn't think there was anyone on Earth who knew how to make a miniaturized palladium Arc Reactor besides Tony Stark.
Justin adds on that he thinks they can help each other and Vanko asks why he would want to help him and Hammer explains because without him Stark Industries is too big to fail, and that's a bit of a problem in his line of work. Anton listens and Justin continues on that he can pull some strings to get him out of here, and if he shows his team how to make an Arc Reactor, he promises that he’ll get to make Tony Stark pay for everything he did to his family.
At the Malibu Mansion, Pepper is continuing to work until approaching Tony drinking wine in the living room, telling him that she's scheduled an appointment for him at the Pentagon this weekend. Tony adds on so they can tell him they want to take his suits, he'd rather just do it over email. Pepper warns him that he can't hand wave this away, he's gonna lose everything and Tony responds that if he had it his way he'd rip this thing out of his chest and throw it in the ocean, but he can't, and sometimes he wants to be reminded there's more to life than this. He then pours Pepper a drink and asks her to join him.
She awkwardly sits down next to him and after they both have a sip until Tony asks her how life's been and they engage in uncomfortable small talk until Pepper puts her glass down and says that she needs to get back to work, afterwards telling Tony to please try and get ready for this weekend. Once she leaves, Tony becomes disappointed and pours the rest of her wine glass into his before chugging it down. At a Hammer Industries warehouse, Justin Hammer is showing Anton Vanko where he'll work and all the resources he'll have access to, insisting that if there's anything he forgot to just ask and it'll be here in the next hour.
Vanko begins looking through everything that's available to him and Justin asks if he'll be able to work with this. Anton responds it's more than enough to put Stark in the ground. Justin then winces before clarifying that Tony can't die, not yet at least. Anton looks at him disapprovingly and Justin explains that he's going about this all wrong, he needs to after his legacy, not turn him into a martyr. Humiliate him, break him down, give him a taste of his own medicine. Vanko then chuckles and says that he can do and Justin laughs too and says that he knew he was a smart man.
Back at the Malibu Mansion, Tony starts to wake up only to find himself on the floor, hungover, surrounded by empty liquor bottles. He asks J.A.R.V.I.S. what time it is and he responds noon. Tony proceeds to check his phone only to see dozens of missed calls, realizing his meeting at the Pentagon started half an hour ago. He then begins to reorient himself and demands to know what happened to his alarm with J.A.R.V.I.S. responding that he ordered him to snooze through all his reminders. Tony then insists it doesn't matter now, quickly finishing a liquor bottle he picks up off the floor before telling J.A.R.V.I.S. to cancel his flight and get the suit ready.
At the Pentagon, everyone starts coming outside as they hear rumbling in the distance, only to see Tony land on the front patio fully suited in his Iron Man armor. Everyone seems impressed as Tony asks what he missed and they suggest to talk inside. Suddenly, someone flies into Tony, catching him off guard and dragging him through the ground. After he finally lets go the figure is revealed to be Anton Vanko in his Crimson Dynamo suit, who patronizingly greets Tony. The two of them begin fighting across the Pentagon while breaking the entire base apart and putting all of its personnel in danger. Tony, however, isn't able to realize his recklessness until seeing the destruction and afterwards asking J.A.R.V.I.S. about the damage, giving Crimson Dynamo the perfect opportunity to knock Tony out in a powerful blow.
Hours later, Tony wakes up in the Pentagon infirmary with his armor removed and Pepper and Happy standing over him. Happy explains that he passed out fighting Vanko and Tony confirms he escaped from prison than to which Happy says they think he had one of the guards in his pocket, but they're still investigating. Pepper afterwards tells Tony that his blood alcohol content was over 0.20 percent, that's enough for a DUI! What the hell was he doing flying!? Tony tells her "hair of the dog" and they start bickering with one another until Rhodey walks in and everyone goes quiet. He somberly demands to know what Tony was thinking, he just cost the Department of Defense billions of dollars in property damage and put a dozen civilians in the hospital all because he wanted to treat an office building like a warzone.
Tony insists he can fix this but Rhodey assures him it's too late, the contract is dissolved, he's done. Tony asks if he tried to say something and Rhodey insists there's not much to say, Iron Man is volatile and he clearly isn't someone that can be trusted with it. Tony asks if he's taking his suits and Rhodey responds no, because he won't be using them, not outside his own house. Happy and Pepper begin walking Tony out of the infirmary until he sees Justin Hammer mingling with politicians and military personnel. Tony then tells them he'll catch with them as he walks over to Hammer and while no one is looking pins him against the wall, saying that he knows he's involved in this.
Justin begs his pardon and Tony points out Vanko, showing up to schmooze right after he got dropped, this is all coming together a little too well for him, he's calling bullshit. Justin tells Tony that if he really is the man he thinks he is, then he not only orchestrated a prison break for one of the most dangerous men in the world, but also supplied him with the resources necessary to create the perfect alibi to scare the government into supporting the mass production of similar technology, all with him at the forefront. As Tony puts him down he begins to figure out the scale of what Hammer is doing while Justin simply smirks and walks away.
Back at the Malibu Mansion, Tony quickly goes and opens a bottle of scotch, drinking directly from it. A montage is afterwards seen of him spending every day and night getting drunk, cutting to Tony dressed in his Iron Man suit, unmasked, in the basement looking over a hologram of a scathing newspaper article directed towards him until afterwards picking up his helmet and looking into its eyes, Crimson Dynamo simultaneously is shown to be continuing to terrorize Stark Property while finally, Justin Hammer is shown to be making a deal with Senator Boynton over lunch to replace Stark Industries. At the Hammer Industries warehouse, Anton Vanko is performing maintenance on a series of Arc Reactor based drones he's building until Justin Hammer walks in and tells him he needs to make a new suit.
Vanko asks what's wrong with his suit and Justin claims nothing but adds on that he just thinks they need something extra to keep Stark on his toes, throw him off his game so he never knows what to expect. Vanko meanwhile goes back to working on the drones without saying anything as Hammer excitedly adds on that he has so many of his own ideas for what to do that he's gonna be taking a more hands on approach with the development process this time around, hoping he's okay with that, as it shows Vanko's face, clearly annoyed by the request, but still saying nothing. It then cuts to the Malibu Mansion where Tony is celebrating his birthday, still dressed in his Iron Man armor, with a crowded party and loud music going on. Rhodey eventually shows up and asks Happy where Tony is and he leads him to the living room.
There, Rhodey tries to greet him and Tony drunkenly brushes it off, asking why he’s here. Rhodey responds that he just wanted to wish him a happy birthday but Tony insists that he wasn't invited before walking off. He then makes his way over to Pepper, telling her that he got chocolate cake this time because he remembered she's allergic to raspberries. Pepper tells him he's had enough and tries to take his drink from him until he yells at her to stop being such a pain in his ass, isn't it bad enough she had to lead him on for two years, loud enough for the whole party to hear. Disgusted by the ordeal, Rhodey rushes down to the basement while Tony continues to drink and party.
Upstairs, the music suddenly grinds to the halt as Rhodey, decked in the Mark II suit, warns everyone to get out. As they all leave Tony stays where he is, insisting that Iron Man doesn't have a sidekick and is about to tell J.A.R.V.I.S. to shut the suit down until Rhodey punches him across the room, yelling that he doesn't deserve to wear one of these. Now enraged, Tony retaliates by fighting back as they break apart multiple rooms throughout the mansion, Rhodey eventually getting the upper hand as he beats Tony into submission. As he looks over him, wasted and defeated, Rhodey flies away in the suit, leaving Tony in the rubble.
Later that night, Tony is shown to be barfing in the toilet. Once he catches his breath he collapses on the floor until Pepper walks in and begins cleaning him off with a warm towel. As she cleans him off slowly tears begin to well in her eyes as she begs Tony to please get help. It then shows at the Golf Course, Justin Hammer finishes taking his swing before letting Rhodey have his turn. Hammer then mentions to him how he heard that he was at Tony Stark’s birthday bash the other night, knocked some sense into him with one of his own suits. Rhodey insists that he'd rather not get into that if he doesn't mind and Justin claims he was thinking that experience could come in handy.
Rhodey gets himself out of the swinging position and gives his full attention to Hammer who explains that he's got his own suit ready for Hammer Expo next week and he just so happens to be looking for a volunteer, asking him what does he say, if he wants to be the star of the show. Rhodey chuckles claiming if he commits to this it's gonna be more than a one time thing, what exactly is he signing up for. It then cuts to inside, where Justin Hammer begins showing off a series of advanced artillery and firepower including a variety of machine guns, grenades, and rocket launchers, and a single miniaturized Bunker Buster missile. Rhodey asks which one he's gonna put in the suit and Hammer confirms all of them.
It then shows Tony Stark, in his suit, sitting on top of Randy's Donuts eating an entire box's worth working through a hangover. Eventually, Agent Coulson arrives and yells up that he could arrest him for wearing that. Tony says to take him in then until Coulson offers to buy him a cup of coffee and some real food instead. Inside at a booth, they both sit together quietly until Tony says that he can't stop. Coulson comments that he's an alcoholic, that’s not something he can beat through will power alone.
Tony responds that's the only way he knows how and Coulson insists that it's not just about him anymore. S.H.I.E.L.D. has their doubts about Justin Hammer, but not enough proof to make a move against him. If Stark Industries falls out of the limelight too, things are gonna get a lot messier. Coulson then starts putting money on the table to pay for the food while telling Tony that cooperate or not, his country needs him, and then gets up leaving him at the booth.
Back in the Hammer Industries warehouse, Anton Vanko is using a laptop working on schematics until deciding to look something up only to find out the search engine is blocked. He asks why he can't Google and the Hammer Industries employees tell him it'll be a distraction and if he needs something to ask for it. Vanko focuses back on the laptop, but instead of working hacks past the firewall where he accesses the internet and, now suspicious, proceeds to look up Justin Hammer and finds an article by him called In Defense of Peace.
In it, Hammer explains his company's plans to help control the War on Terror with his first course of action being to hunt down Anton Vanko. Realizing that Hammer was only using him as a means to an end to scare the government into signing onto a weapon's contracts with him, Vanko closes the laptop and gets up. He makes a beeline for the door and the Hammer Industries employees demand to know where he's going as Vanko slowly turns his head.
At the wrecked Malibu Mansion, Tony prepares to pour himself a glass of scotch until noticing the door to his closet blasted off containing a box of his father's belongings titled "Stark, H". He opens it and finds under an old Captain America comic a collection of old film reels. He sits down and puts them into his projector, seeing that they're outtakes of his father, Howard Stark, recorded for the Stark Expo. In the first outtake, he introduces himself and begins announcing his diorama for a city of the future and all the advanced technology it would entail, but continuously messes up the delivery getting increasingly frustrated with each take.
Eventually in one of the takes, Howard is seen drinking a glass of scotch before he tries to explain the diorama again, putting his glass to the side until a five year old Tony walks into the frame and takes a sip of it. Once Howard spots him he viciously yells at Tony that he told him to stay in his room and demands one of the assistants to get him out of here. Overwhelmed, Tony turns off the projector and is about to put the film reels back in the box until seeing another at the very bottom that was hidden underneath everything else, with writing on it labeled "For Tony".
He puts it in and once it starts he sees Howard standing in front of his diorama, but instead of reciting his scripted lines speaks directly to Tony, acknowledging that he's too young to understand this now, but that he built this for him, confessing that he's limited by the technology of time but knows that Tony is gonna figure this out, and when he does he's gonna change the world. Finally confessing that in spite of everything he's made in his life, his greatest creation is him. Touched by his father's words, Tony gets up, leaving his scotch glass and the bottle, before telling J.A.R.V.I.S. to start making him another suit.
That night, the Hammer Expo is officially commencing in Flushing Meadows New York, Christine Everhart is reporting on the event while Pepper and Happy Hogan are shown to be in the audience. Happy isn't enjoying himself but Pepper says they should support Rhodey while Agent Coulson is in the crowd as well, stoically waiting for the event to unfold. The Expo then begins as Justin Hammer makes his way onto the stage. Afterwards, giving a speech about how the world is changing, but it's not just here at home, it's their enemies too, Iron Man isn't enough anymore, which is why without further ado, he presents the Hammer Drone.
Patriotic music begins playing as out of the stage begin emerging green arc reactor drones to represent the Army, blue drones to represent the Navy, white drones to represent the Air Force, and gray drones to represent the Marines. Meanwhile, inside the Hammer Industries warehouse, Vanko is shown to be hacking into the Hammer Drones' programming while the corpses of the employees who tried to stop him are scattered behind.
Back at the Expo, Hammer finally announces to the audience that as far as drone technology has progressed, there is still a need for men on the battlefield, and to please give a warm welcome to Hammer Industries own Iron Man, the War-Machine! A man in a silver and black arc reactor suit armed to the teeth with the weaponry seen before emerges from the center of the stage who opens his mask, revealing himself to be Rhodey, while Justin announces Colonel James Rhodes everybody and the audience cheers. It cuts back to the warehouse then where Vanko finally hacks into the system and hijacks the Drones programming, making their weapons turn on and start firing at the audience, causing pandemonium throughout the Expo. Justin Hammer runs off stage and yells at his employees to shut them off but they claim they can't, the whole system is locked down.
Pepper and Happy are then seen taking cover while Agent Coulson starts trying to lead people to safety. War-Machine starts trying to fight the Drones, progressively getting overwhelmed, until someone begins helping him blast them as Iron Man decked out in his latest armor, lands on the stage next to him. Vanko, at the warehouse, becomes enraged seeing him there and programs all the Drones to attack him. Back at the Expo, Tony tells Rhodey they need to get the Drones away from the civilians and War-Machine insists the Oracle Dome as Tony then tells J.A.R.V.I.S. to map them out a route as they both begin to fly off and the Drones follow suit. Justin Hammer is continuing to try and get the situation under control until Agent Coulson arrives and tries to place him under arrest, Hammer insisting he doesn't know what's going on and demanding to see a lawyer.
Inside the Dome, Iron Man and War-Machine both land next to a stream and fight the Hammer Drones, working together to destroy each and every one of them. After seeing the last one go offline, Vanko ominously gets up from his computer while back in the Dome, with all the Drones destroyed, War-Machine admits that he's sorry, for everything. Iron Man responds that he was in a dark place, but he's gonna try and kick this. Rhodey says that he believes in him until rumbling is heard as Anton Vanko, suited in his Crimson Dynamo armor, flies down and lands in front of them. Without saying anything, Dynamo begins battling the two of them and eventually overpowers War-Machine before taking to the skies again and flying back to the Expo with Iron Man following.
Crimson Dynamo begins searching through the crowd of people trying to evacuate until finding Pepper Potts, shoving Happy out of the way before holding her from behind. Iron Man lands in front of him and begs Vanko to let her go, insisting that she didn't do anything. Vanko laughs and says that they’re all the same, expecting strength from everyone else, when they have none to give. Tony argues that his father was a bad man, but he's not him, and he shouldn't be either.
Vanko responds yelling how dare he compare them, his father didn’t have to see his name destroyed, his family broken, his purpose stripped from him, and as he's talking Tony sees in the corner of his eye War-Machine discreetly flying above. Vanko then finally finishes off saying but he will and is about to get Pepper with a plasma electrical blast until Tony flies forward towards him and, with stunning accuracy, tackles the Crimson Dynamo without touching her. He then contacts Rhodey telling him "NOW!" as Tony quickly grabs Pepper and flies away while War-Machine shoots his Bunker Buster at Dynamo, blasting his suit to bits and knocking him out completely.
On a nearby rooftop, they both stand together in silence taking everything in until Tony finally speaks saying how he'll write her a recommendation for any company she decides to move onto and that... before he can finish she starts passionately kissing him. Pepper afterwards saying that she's never going anywhere, “I love you, Tony”. He then claims that she's his anchor and Pepper insists he’s hers too and they kiss again. Once they fly back to the Expo, S.H.I.E.L.D. is shown to be taking Crimson Dynamo away while Agent Coulson escorts a handcuffed Justin Hammer, who is agonizing in pain with his eyes closed shut, to an SUV. Coulson insisting that he resisted arrest so he had to pepper spray him.
Tony then goes up to Rhodey and quips that he could've used him before and asks what took him so long. Rhodey responds that it's a big city and he isn't exactly an expert on flying one of these. Tony just laughs and says that he'll give him a crash course when they get back. The next day, Coulson is working in his field office until Tony pays him a visit by pretending to knock on the door. Coulson politely greets him and asks how his first AA meeting went and Tony says about four people asked for his autograph but other than that it was very wholesome. Coulson says he's glad to hear it and then asks if he needs something in particular.
Tony says that he wanted to give him this, it's long overdue. He then hands Coulson a document which he sits at his desk to read over as Tony begins walking out, seeing that it's a S.H.I.E.L.D. Application Form with his signature on it. Just before Tony can leave Coulson gets up from his chair and calls out his name, saying that it's good to have him back. Tony turns around and responds that it's good to be back.
At the Malibu Mansion in the basement, Tony is drinking something out of a bottle and Pepper concernedly asks what he's doing and Tony assures her it's Root Beer as they then give each other a peck on the lips. Tony afterwards gets suited into his Iron Man armor and goes upstairs before stepping into a boxing ring set up in his home Gym where Rhodey in the Mark II suit is waiting for him. Happy, standing outside the ring, reminds them they're going by standard ring rules, no low blows, no cheap shots, 3 minutes for 3 rounds. He then rings the bell and Rhodey assures him he won't need more than one and Tony quips back he won't last any longer as they both start boxing each other while continuing to banter and the camera pans out.
A S.H.I.E.L.D. SUV is seen driving to the site of a crater until Agent Coulson emerges. He walks forward and then pulls out his phone, telling them that they "found it" as the camera then shows inside the center of the crater to be a hammer.
- Valentin Vanko, Anton’s father, is named after Valentin Shatalov, the sixth Crimson Dynamo from the comics.
- Justin Hammer in the source material is an elderly British Industrialist who originally worked for Stark Industries. Unlike, in the movie, where he was made much younger, more humorous, and an American competitor instead.
- Stark Industries original name, Dynamo Industries, is a reference to Vanko's supervillain codename, which he is never actually referred to as in the film.
- At Tony’s Congress hearing, the clips played showing other countries' attempts at making their own Iron Man armors uses designs inspired by the suits seen in the Armor Wars comic book story arc.
- The alias on Anton Vanko’s ticket to the Monaco Grand Prix, Boris Turgenev, is the real name of the second Crimson Dynamo from the comics.
- Inside Howard Stark's box of belongings is a Captain America Comic Book, revealing not only that Captain America has merchandise that exists in-universe but that Howard had a connection to him.
- Senator Boynton’s first name, Paul, was created exclusively for the movie. In the comics, his full name is never revealed.
- Rhodey putting on and fighting with the Mark II suit in the movie is not only a reference to him staring it down in the first Iron Man movie, it’s also a nod to War-Machine's origin in the comics where Rhodey originally took up the Iron Man suit when Tony was an alcoholic.
- While in the film it's Justin Hammer who manipulates Crimson Dynamo into fighting Iron Man for his own agenda, in the comics it's actually historic Soviet Premier, Nikita Khrushchev, who does it.
- Happy Hogan reffing Tony and Rhodey's boxing match at the end is a reference to the fact, in the comics, he used to be a Boxer before working at Stark Industries.
- The hammer that Agent Coulson finds in the crater during the end credits scene bares a striking resemblance to Mjolnir, the legendary weapon used by the Marvel Comics superhero and Norse deity, Thor.