RT Podcast

"Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong" About... Iron Man 2

Tony Stark's second solo outing is arguably the most whipped and lashed (ahem) movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But does the film that first introduced Natasha/Black Widow deserve its not-so-shiny reputation?

by | July 8, 2021 | Comments

Iron Man 2

(Photo by Industrial Light & Magic/©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection)

The heroes of Marvel Cinematic Universe, that expansive collection of movies and now streaming shows that has swallowed up so much of pop culture this century, are known for defying the laws of physics, but the universe itself can’t escape at least one of science’s basic principles: What comes up must come down.

Yes, even for Iron Man.

Listen Now: Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher TuneIn | Google Podcasts | Radio Public | Deezer | iHeart | Art19

That fizzy, joyful feeling that powered critics hearts as they danced out of their screenings for the original Iron Man in 2008 was, for many, not the feeling with which they left their screenings for its sequel. Where Jon Favreau’s introduction of Tony Stark had been deemed a game-changing good time, Iron Man 2 was seen by many as all too much, a sequel with a chronic case of sequilitis that lumbered around under its heavy plot and the weight of having to set so much up for the impending Avengers movie.

They didn’t hate the film – Iron Man 2 is Certified Fresh at 72% – but it was a significant comedown from Tony Stark’s 94% Certified Fresh debut. (Audiences were even (slightly) harsher, giving the film a 71% Audience Score.)

It’s another debut, however, that prompts us to revisit Iron Man 2 in our podcast Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong, this week, and to ask if the MCU’s first solo sequel really is deserving of its place towards the bottom of the Marvel Studios pile. That would be the entrance into this universe of Natalie Rushman/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), who finally gets her own solo film in Black Widow, released Friday. It was here, whooping Happy’s ass in the ring and taking out a hallway of fighters in what remains one of the MCU’s best combat scenes, that the world first met the many-accented, many-hairstyled woman who would become the heart of the mightiest franchise on Earth.

Joining hosts Mark Ellis and Jacqueline Coley to ask whether critics and fans were too harsh on Iron Man 2 ­– and to reminisce about Natasha through the ages… and get into what happened to Rhodey! – is stand-up comedian, actor, and pop-culture expert, Jay Washington. Will he give Iron Man 2 the two-thumbs up its defenders insist it deserves? Or will slice it to pieces like some unfortunate Formula 1 vehicle getting in the wrong guy’s way? Tune in to find out.

Check out some more episodes of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong:

If you have a suggestion for a movie or show you think we should do an episode on, let us know in the comments, or email us at rtiswrong@rottentomatoes.com.

Meet the hosts

Jacqueline Coley is an editor at Rotten Tomatoes, with a focus on awards and indie coverage but with a passion for everything, from the MCU to musicals and period pieces. Coley is a regular moderator at conventions and other events, can be seen on Access Hollywood and other shows, and will not stand Constantine slander of any kind. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter: @THATjacqueline.

Mark Ellis is a comedian and contributing editor for Rotten Tomatoes. He currently hosts the Rotten Tomatoes series Versus, among others, and can be seen co-hosting the sports entertainment phenomenon Movie Trivia Schmoedown. His favorite Star Wars movie is Jedi (guess which one!), his favorite person is actually a dog (his beloved stepdaughter Mollie), and – thanks to this podcast – he’s about to watch Burlesque for the first time in his life. Follow Mark on Twitter: @markellislive.

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

cancelled TV series Pet Sematary cooking Animation TCM game show BBC One Pop TV Drama Chilling Adventures of Sabrina biopic Star Wars Disney Plus cinemax justice league 90s San Diego Comic-Con Ellie Kemper documentary Premiere Dates dexter Rom-Com Countdown Ghostbusters Election Sundance TV psycho RT21 comiccon movie fast and furious archives Rocky CBS New York Comic Con vampires YouTube Red 99% golden globe awards USA Network hollywood Crackle YA rotten movies we love supernatural crossover art house USA halloween Warner Bros. Awards godzilla comic book movie Walt Disney Pictures Television Academy mockumentary harry potter 2016 2021 Kids & Family Winter TV Comedy Central anthology Country Superheroes HFPA LGBTQ Black Mirror Song of Ice and Fire classics Summer adenture Reality halloween tv Disney streaming service comic books Nominations cats period drama cops canceled TV shows Schedule finale critics indiana jones See It Skip It Emmy Nominations tv talk Horror Academy Awards new york ABC Family Tubi BAFTA ABC Signature book adaptation Exclusive Video Podcast sports BET Awards binge History Chernobyl true crime Wes Anderson Cannes 93rd Oscars live action Prime Video Lifetime nature 71st Emmy Awards miniseries The Walt Disney Company BBC VH1 X-Men Film latino Mystery docudrama Super Bowl GLAAD documentaries richard e. Grant Disney+ Disney Plus rom-coms 2015 diversity hist Shudder emmy awards FXX natural history Disney Britbox razzies 4/20 television Quiz Stephen King zombie Tumblr Turner Classic Movies science fiction Year in Review WarnerMedia Nickelodeon 1990s 24 frames 2018 HBO National Geographic james bond Turner live event transformers witnail Toys green book children's TV boxoffice reboot Music singing competition fresh satire Classic Film Showtime DGA genre Hear Us Out talk show best Trophy Talk Pride Month Broadway Photos japan facebook Teen Legendary stoner Hallmark Christmas movies toronto Nat Geo royal family spinoff TV Cartoon Network SundanceTV elevated horror breaking bad rotten batman Pacific Islander Tarantino critic resources criterion Ovation VOD superman Syfy TIFF Acorn TV Red Carpet Western trophy APB 2017 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt adventure Epix The Witch debate Neflix TruTV spider-verse independent Interview Star Trek Fantasy PBS stop motion E3 Lifetime Christmas movies dragons concert Rock japanese dogs Winners Discovery Channel stand-up comedy kaiju slashers a nightmare on elm street wonder woman boxing Creative Arts Emmys Television Critics Association saw Marvel Television basketball MCU Extras HBO Max Image Comics werewolf high school scary TV Land political drama ITV medical drama Oscars Netflix Christmas movies E! Grammys Disney Channel docuseries Mary Tyler Moore Comedy international Spectrum Originals Awards Tour sag awards Marvel Infographic ESPN series space sopranos 2019 AMC Plus twilight marvel comics marvel cinematic universe Apple heist movie Sundance Now sitcom streaming dramedy Spring TV deadpool hispanic hispanic heritage month Captain marvel Comic Book Tags: Comedy action-comedy Sneak Peek The Academy dark Amazon Prime Video Logo A24 disaster cancelled spanish language golden globes know your critic comics versus free movies FOX TCA 2017 Holiday Reality Competition DC streaming service Anna Paquin indie aliens GIFs popular Shondaland AMC Trivia films crime drama Women's History Month name the review RT History Video Games PaleyFest rt labs critics edition Sundance leaderboard toy story asian-american SDCC Mary poppins Fall TV nfl Character Guide die hard IMDb TV worst movies social media 73rd Emmy Awards 72 Emmy Awards Comics on TV king arthur TCA Awards Bravo Hallmark Cosplay festival Mudbound OneApp feel good HBO Go foreign Rocketman Endgame spanish Crunchyroll Pixar child's play theme song ratings biography doctor who IFC all-time kong Valentine's Day nbcuniversal ID revenge Martial Arts Box Office American Society of Cinematographers Apple TV Plus 007 teaser DirecTV romantic comedy pirates of the caribbean 79th Golden Globes Awards GoT Emmys ViacomCBS dc posters Opinion Masterpiece comic CMT Sci-Fi Christmas Comic-Con@Home 2021 robots hidden camera aapi young adult Film Festival Thanksgiving El Rey Pirates Musicals suspense Watching Series award winner Marathons police drama cancelled television laika monster movies reviews FX on Hulu The Arrangement Vudu Starz venice Hollywood Foreign Press Association YouTube crime thriller Writers Guild of America IFC Films new star wars movies Sony Pictures video Paramount Network OWN Avengers book olympics Columbia Pictures VICE 45 Apple TV+ cartoon MTV strong female leads comic book movies spain Paramount Plus Biopics target 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards FX sequels BET french chucky CW Seed Universal Pictures canceled renewed TV shows obituary superhero Brie Larson video on demand politics WGN unscripted black comedy Musical worst anime zero dark thirty Fox Searchlight ABC Holidays lord of the rings Paramount Hulu YouTube Premium NBA mutant DC Comics technology CBS All Access cancelled TV shows franchise war Action news BBC America Fargo Tokyo Olympics remakes Mindy Kaling Pop mob directors prank TCA Winter 2020 sequel First Look Dark Horse Comics blockbuster Spike The Walking Dead joker Netflix spider-man Travel Channel king kong christmas movies animated Certified Fresh new zealand based on movie rt labs universal monsters NYCC TCA Alien movies black thriller The Purge PlayStation DC Universe Family mcc President Tomatazos Mary Poppins Returns Heroines travel cars Funimation scene in color Elton John telelvision A&E LGBT Baby Yoda Instagram Live Lionsgate blockbusters 21st Century Fox historical drama 20th Century Fox vs. Peacock blaxploitation NBC what to watch scorecard parents Esquire italian gangster Polls and Games Trailer Amazon Studios TV renewals psychological thriller Food Network 2020 Arrowverse romance Superheroe TV One Adult Swim Marvel Studios kids jamie lee curtis serial killer discovery jurassic park legend screen actors guild Calendar Fox News casting rt archives Amazon Prime TV movies slasher composers screenings game of thrones TNT women dreamworks Binge Guide quibi zombies MSNBC Lucasfilm trailers scary movies CNN Black History Month Amazon ghosts australia First Reviews adaptation The CW crime SXSW festivals Universal dceu south america football TLC mission: impossible streaming movies spy thriller cults TBS Freeform comedies Best and Worst Set visit