Iron Man 2 is a 2010 American superhero film directed by Jon Favreau and based on the Marvel Comics character Iron Man. It is a sequel to 2008's Iron Man and the third film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film was produced by Marvel Studios and Fairview Entertainment and distributed by Paramount Pictures, and was released on May 7, 2010. A sequel, Iron Man 3, followed on May 3, 2013.
In Russia, the media covers Tony Stark's disclosure of his identity as Iron Man. Seeing this, Ivan Vanko, whose father Anton Vanko has just died, begins building a miniature arc reactor similar to Stark's. Six months later, Stark is a superstar and uses his Iron Man suit for peaceful means, resisting government pressure to sell his designs and reinstitutes the Stark Expo to continue his father Howard's legacy.
The palladium core in the arc reactor that keeps Stark alive and powers the suit is slowly poisoning him and he cannot find a substitute. Growing increasingly reckless and despondent about his impending death, and choosing not to tell anyone about his condition, Stark appoints his personal assistant Pepper Potts CEO of Stark Industries, and hires Stark employee Natalie Rushman to replace her as his personal assistant. Stark competes in the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, where he is attacked in the middle of the race by Vanko, who now wields electrified whips. Stark dons his Mark V armor and defeats Vanko, but the suit is severely damaged. Vanko explains his intention was to prove to the world that Iron Man is not invincible. Justin Hammer, a rival of Stark's, is impressed by Vanko's performance and fakes the latter's death while breaking him out of prison and asks him to build a line of armored suits to upstage Stark. Stark gets drunk while wearing the Mark IV suit during what he believes is his final birthday party. Disgusted, U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes dons Stark's Mark II prototype armor and tries to restrain him. The fight ends in a stalemate, so Rhodes confiscates the Mark II for the U.S. Air Force.
Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., approaches Stark and reveals that "Rushman" is actually Natasha Romanoff and that Howard Stark was a S.H.I.E.L.D. founder whom Fury knew personally. He also explains that Vanko's father jointly invented the arc reactor with Stark, but the latter had Anton deported when he tried to sell it for a profit, and was sent to gulag by the Soviets. Fury gives Stark some of his father's material; a hidden message in the diorama of 1974 Stark Expo proves to be a diagram of the structure of a new element. With the aid of his computer J.A.R.V.I.S., Stark synthesizes it. He places his new element in the arc reactor when he learns that Vanko is still alive and ends his palladium dependency.
Hammer unveils Vanko's armored drones at the Expo, led by Rhodes in a heavily weaponized version of the Mark II armor. Stark arrives in the Mark IV armor to warn Rhodes, but Vanko remotely takes control of both the drones and Rhodes' armor to attack Iron Man. Hammer is arrested while Romanoff and Stark's bodyguard Happy Hogan go after Vanko at Hammer's factory. Vanko escapes, but Romanoff returns control of the Mark II armor to Rhodes and together Stark and Rhodes defeat Vanko and his drones, and Vanko seemingly commits suicide by blowing up his suit.
At a debriefing, Fury informs Stark that S.H.I.E.L.D. intends to use him only as a consultant because of his difficult personality. Stark and Rhodes receive medals for their heroism.
In a post-credits scene, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson reports the discovery of a large hammer at the bottom of a crater in New Mexico.
- Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/ Iron Man
- Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts
- Don Cheadle as James "Rhodey" Rhodes/ War Machine
- Scarlett Johansson as Natalie Rushman/ Natasha Romanof/ Black Widow
- Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer
- Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko
- Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
- Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan
- Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
- Leslie Bibb as Christine Everhart
- John Slattery as Howard Stark
- Garry Shandling as Senator Stern
- Paul Bettany as the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S.