Actually, funny story, when I was showing Iron Man to my sister for the first time, after Iron Monger aimed his weapons at Pepper, she asked "Does Pepper die," to which her boyfriend and I both replied "Yes." And she believed us, because why would we both lie to her?
|I love you, sis, but that payback was a long time coming after you tricked me into eating red pepper flakes as a kid.|
Hammer soon shows up and gives his little weapons presentation. As I hope I’ve made abundantly clear, Justin Hammer is an idiot. And that’s nowhere as clear as in this scene right here. He shows off a few basic weapons before getting into the good stuff.
Justin Hammer: “This is an M134 7.62 Minigun. Six individual barrels. The torso taker, powder maker. Our boys in uniform call it Uncle Gazpacho, or Puff the Magic Dragon.”
First of all, you’re talking to the boys in uniform. Second, “Puff the Magic Dragon” was what they called the helicopter that carried it, not the gun itself. Third, you’re an idiot, Hammer.
So then he brings up the final bit of the arsenal.
Justin Hammer: “This is a kinetic-kill, side-winder vehicle with a secondary cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine RDX burst.”
Written out in the standard way, that would be a “cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine (RDX) burst.” “Cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine” and “RDX” are two names for the same thing. Hammer just referred to the same thing twice because he has no idea what the words he's saying mean.
Justin Hammer: “If it were any smarter, it would write a book. A book that would make Ulysses look like it was written in crayon.”
Ulysses was written in crayon. James Joyce’s eyesight was so bad that he couldn’t see what he wrote unless he did it in crayon.
|In closing, Hammer. I award you no points, and may Odin have mercy upon your soul.|
Rhodey tells him he’ll take all of it as Tony opens his dad’s chest. He finds the original Arc Reactor blueprints, a newspaper, and a film reel of bloopers from the Stark Expo intro, which he puts on while he flips through his dad’s science notes. The notes are filled with Easter Eggs, whether it be a reference to an "Abnormal Zeeman Effect,” which is a real life thing known as the “Stark Effect,” or a diagram of some kind of hypercube.
|Probably unimportant. Forget I mentioned it.|
|"I love scotch. Scotchy scotch scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly...."|
Howard: “I built this for you. And some day, you’ll realize that it represents a whole lot more than people’s inventions. It represents my life’s work. This is the key to the future. I’m limited by the technology of my time, but one day you’ll figure this out. And when you do, you will change the world. What is and always will be my greatest creation is you.”
True, but I think your wife may have helped with that a little bit. I mean, she had to add half the ingredients herself.
Somehow, the newly-inspired Tony Stark escapes his house off screen, buys some strawberries from a fruit vendor, and drives off to Stark Industries to see Pepper, who is on the phone with legal about the government’s “illegal seizure of trademarked property.” He tries to apologize in his usual rambling way, offers her strawberries (which she’s allergic to), and gets a major talking to about responsibility as “Natalie” and Happy come in to do their jobs, and Pepper leaves to do hers. Before “Natalie” leaves with others, Tony asks if there’s anything real about her.
Tony Stark: “Do you even speak Latin?”
“Natalie”: "Fallaces sunt rerum species."
A Seneca the Younger quote. "The appearances of things are deceptive." Those English/Theatre degrees are finally coming in handy. Life choices validated!
Tony takes note of the old model of the 1974 Stark Expo (probably left over from planning the latest Expo), and takes a long look at it, realizing something familiar to the layout. He drives the thing home and maps it out digitally. With a little tweaking, he realizes that all the buildings are laid out in a very specific way. It’s the blueprint of an atom. Specifically, an atom of an element that should work much better than palladium ever did.
JARVIS: “Unfortunately, it is impossible to synthesize.”
That does seem like a setback, yes.
Tony starts tearing apart his house and creates a particle accelerator. Coulson comes in to ask what the heck is going on.
Tony Stark: “Hey, I’m playing for the home team, Coulson, you and all your Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.”
|Franklin, Phineas, and Fat Freddy. And Phil, too, apparently.|
But he’ll have to be unamused in New Mexico, because that’s where Fury’s reassigning him. Long story short, Tony manages to use both science and lasers to create his new element, burning a line in the wall in the process. I’m not sure how this is supposed to be working, exactly, but it seems to be working well.
|Seriously, is there a particle physicist in the audience who can explain this to me?|
Now, you might be wondering why this element has all these nigh-magical properties. Well, without giving anything away, let's just say that it's based off of Howard Stark's research on a more... cosmic element.
But enough potential spoilers, Ivan has just finished a new Arc Reactor of his own. Hammer calls him up and asks for a demonstration, but Ivan insists that he’ll just have to wait for the presentation at the Stark Expo.
Ivan: “Presentation. No fly. No shoot.”
But that’s not to say they won’t do anything.
Ivan: “I can make salute.”
Justin: “You can make salute?”
But as the camera zooms out, we see what Ivan’s been working on instead of the drones.
|A lightsaber prop for Star Wars Episode VII, by the look of it.|
Tony Stark: “Hey, Coulson. How’s the Land of Enchantment?”
You mean Tahiti? Magical.
But it’s not Coulson. It’s Ivan.
|"Hey, man. Just here with friends, hanging out. It is play on words."|
Ivan: “You told me double cycles, more power. Good advice.”
As Ivan outlines the reasons for his revenge, Tony uses signal triangulation and common sense to trace the signal to Hammer Industries. With little time left before the Expo, Tony has no choice but to use the new reactor. Not only does it work better than expected and suck all the heavy metals out of his body, but it leaves the taste of coconut and metal in Tony’s mouth. Definitely better than dying.
Pepper Potts and “Natalie” arrive at the Expo just in time to see Justin Hammer dance out on stage. This dance is actually something that Sam Rockwell would regularly do to get into character. It’s a nice touch to add it here, it hearkens back to Steve Ballmer’s energetic tech presentations. I like it.
After a failed joke or two, Hammer shows off his Hammertech drones, all decked out and painted for each branch of the military, culminating of the unveiling of the Variable Threat Response Battlesuit, piloted by Rhodey.
|Technically, guys, you're showing off stolen property.|
|Basically, the old suit with a triangle.|
Pepper shows up with “Natalie” to yell at Hammer. When that doesn’t work, “Natalie” cuts the crap and slams Justin down to interrogate him. Being a wuss, he spills everything almost immediately. She goes off to take care of Vanko while Pepper calls the cops.
Tony’s remote reboot of the Mark II proves unsuccessful as the Expo is evacuated. “Natalie” has Happy drive her to Hammer HQ as Iron Man manages to use some of the drones to shoot the other drones. Ivan switches tactics and has the drones start attacking the crowd to draw Iron Man out, including a small boy wearing official Iron Man 2 merchandise.
|Actually, who knows how many lives were saved because this kid distracted the drone? Way to go, shorty.|
|She's broken bones, kicked testicles, and even garroted a guy. But Mr. Mace-in-the-Face gets my sympathy.|
Because Natasha knows her way around Ivan's Russian programming, she manages to give Rhodey back control of his armor and radios Tony that everything's better. Including him, now that he's not dying. Pepper, listening in them through what appears to be a very sudden Skype call, learns that Tony was dying and freaks out accordingly. But there’s no time for that, more Hammer drones are on their way. Or as Tony dubs them, "Hammeroids." He helps Rhodey up and they get to it.
Tony Stark: “They’re coming in hot, any second. What’s the play?”
|This set-up might actually be less common than somebody mentioning a thunderdome.|
Rhodey: “It’s the kill box, Tony, okay? This is where you go to die.”
Cue the Hammeroids surrounding them in the kill box. After some shooting, Tony whips out a one-time use laser weapon and takes the rest out.
|So would this be... a KillBox 360? ...You know, I'll apologize for that pun. Sorry.|
|Why does he have the armor-plated loincloth, you ask? ...reasons.|
|Try bullets. Those seemed to be working.|
Uh, it’s not the tech, Rhodey. Most missiles of that strength have a minimum distance before the charge arms so you can’t accidentally blow yourself up. You’d think you’d know that, seeing as how you're the Air Force guy.
|Also, all that stuff I learned you about Ulysses and RDX and junk? Also Flash Facts.|
|Along with most of Ivan's scenes. I'll get to that in the Review.|
Rhodey: “You look like two seals fighting over a grape.”
Rhodey tells Tony that his car got destroyed in the fight, so he’s going to need to take the suit for a bit. Sometime later, Tony has a meeting with Nick Fury where he gets turned down for Avengers duty, as detailed in Agent Romanoff’s report.
|Well, hello, news report of the Hulk's rampage! As well as Easter Eggs for Thor, Black Panther, and possibly Namor.|
Now… here’s the confusing part.
Tony Stark: “’Recruitment assessment for Avenger Initiative. Iron Man? Yes.’”
Tony Stark: “’Tony Stark not… Not recommended’? That doesn’t make any sense.”
I agree. Basically, the implication is that they want someone else in the suit. This plot point ends up being written around to Hell and back for The Avengers. But Nick Fury tells him that S.H.I.E.L.D. wants Tony as a consultant. Remember the stinger to The Incredible Hulk? Tony was talking to General Ross on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s behalf. And in a week or so, I’ll be talking about the short film that explains that stinger.
But for now, Tony asks for a small favor. He and Rhodey are due to get those medals Tony said he deserves, and he has a specific presenter in mind. As "Highway to Hell plays," Senator Stern gives Rhodey and Tony their medals (Rhodey gets a Meritorious Service Medal, and Tony the Distinguished Service Medal), intentionally sticking Tony with the pin.
Senator Stern: “Funny how annoying a little prick can be, isn’t it?”
They pose for the cameras, and the film ends. After the credits, a car drives through New Mexico. After arriving in the middle of a desert, Agent Coulson steps out to oversee some kind of event.
|Fun Fact: This is not an official S.H.I.E.L.D. excavation. Those are all drunken rednecks down there.|
|A fancy-looking Atari joystick? This must be where they buried all those E.T. cartridges!|