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

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