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

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