Iron Man 2: At the Core of It
Vanko is a determined but minor villain who never rises to Stark's level. Hammer, though naive, is more ruthless in his thirst for power. I imagine him in a future story as enabler for villains. And Pepper mostly stands by her man instead of the angry on-again-off-again relationship. Iron Man 2 introduces Black Widow and War Machine, and sets the stage for the Avengers movie.
1) Focus the movie: WHO is the main enemy? Spoiler: Tony's heart condition.
2) Remove most of the anger between Tony and Pepper.
3) Upgrade Justin Hammer.
The Clash's "Should I stay or should I Go" CD (for noise cancelling).
Danny Elfman's unused "Heroes" from Avengers 2 soundtrack on HDTracks.
- Follow with deleted scene of Tony trying new element combo for his heart, without success. Add Jarvis voice that it's "not a suitable replacement" and it's "killing you".
- Title, followed by partial deleted scene of Pepper kissing then throwing his helmet and Tony telling her "you complete me". This way we start with a smiling couple instead of an exasperated Pepper. Plus this was the intended (alternate?) opening considering the music lined up perfectly between the theatrical and deleted shots. Color corrected the light green tone.
- Keep Stark Expo, with some trims for dialog.
- Rework Senate hearing, add partial deleted scene with Coulson, cut Hammer's dumbest bits.
- Vanko makes whips. Tony continues to try and fail to find a cure-element for his heart.
- Tony and Pepper argue. She focuses him, he makes her CEO, reaffirms the importance of the Expo, and introduces the Monaco storyline.
- Retain Black Window intro.
- Trim Monaco pre-race to remove dumb Hammer and to make Tony's driving look planned (plugging the plot hole that Vanko couldn't have known Tony would drive if it was last minute). It also looks like Pepper knew Tony would drive.
- Trim Monaco fight to minimize the shots showing Pepper and Happy sitting shell-shocked (pardon the pun) in the car a few steps from the fight. Flipped a shot for continuity.
- Trim Tony - Vanko talk in French cell.
- Slight trim to Vanko's escape.
- Trim Vanko meeting Hammer, then going to warehouse, to remove dumb Hammer lines.
- Retain the bird but cut the bird jokes.
- Retain Stark pre-party with Natalie, into heavily edited party. Add partial deleted scene with Munn, to play up escalation of Tony's behavior, to better justify Rhodey taking the armor.
- Retain donut scene.
- Trim Vanko explaining to Hammer that drones are better, making Hammer less a dweeb.
- Rhodey brings armor to army. Fury gives Tony house arrest.
- Overhaul Tony in Pepper's office scene. Shorter, no Natalie, Pepper doesn't leave. Lots of audio got moved around, down to the small detail of Pepper now saying "What?" when Tony sits down (instead of "No", because the preceding question is cut).
- Add partial deleted scene to expand Tony finding the element.
- Vanko tells Hammer "no demonstration". Tony has his A-Team moment, building his new machine. Hammer gets armor from the army, then confronts Vanko (trimmed for Hammer's benefit). Tony completes his A-Team moment (mute "that was easy" because the point is that it wasn't). Vanko calls Tony. Juxtaposing Tony's inventing and Hammer's acquiring reinforces that Hammer is no real threat for Tony. Hammer is no buffoon, he's just not in Stark's genius league.
- Trim the Expo for pacing and Hammer's benefit.
- Many trims to drone battle and Tony-Rhodey dialog. Minimize civilian casualties. Cut dialog of Tony telling Pepper he was dying.
- Add unused shot from drone battle into Vanko battle. After Vanko battle, Tony says " that was easy" (telling the audience that he too is surprised it's over already).
- Trim rooftop scene. No Rhodey. Pepper doesn't resign. Tony and Pepper get to their kiss much faster.
- Insert mid-credit scene of Coulson's "A funny thing happened on the way to Thor's hammer". Retain post-credit scene of Coulson arriving at said hammer.
- Replaced last 2+ minutes of music during credits with the unused Danny Elfman "Heroes" from Avengers 2. Sped up credits 3% to make the tune fit. It referred back to Avengers 1, now it refers forward to that. I decided against Iron Man 3 music because this edit leads into Avengers 1. We haven't arrived at IM3 yet.
- Added FE logo at beginning and end.
- English subtitles.
This tightens up Iron Man 2, which was plagued by a rambling story, and a not terribly exciting plot i.e. bad guys want to get Stark-tech, failing which they copy it; bad guys wear armoured suits. This edit is a lot tighter, things move faster, and Vanko is less cartoonish.
This is definitely better than the original, although there is only so much that can be done with the bland plot (see earlier), and the inexplicable gaps in the story (doesn't anyone want to talk about how criminal it was for Stark Sr., genius and SHIELD co-founder, to have Vanko Sr., a Soviet political exile, framed and deported back to Stalinist Russia because of a disagreement? How about the US military using armoured suits, and Stark effectively going back into the arms industry by handing over the War Machine suit? Surely it would be interesting to think about how Vanko Jr.'s (clearly valid) claims that Stark Industry was built on lies, theft, and war profiteering complicate the narrative of bad Whiplash vs good Iron Man?) No fanedit can fix these sorts of issues.
So thanks gain for the work, its a better film than it was, and probably the best version that is possible.
First of all, a disclaimer: I am a fan of Iron Man 2. It's my second favourite Iron Man, and my 11th favourite MCU film. I understand the flaws people have with it, but I am still a fan of it's 'goofy/wacky' nature and love every second of it. With that said, I do strongly believe the narrative is all over the place in these films.
This edit fully changes those 'problems', however. If you had any issues with the narrative structure of Iron Man 2, I assure you they will be gone when you watch this edit. It puts a clear focus on the main plotline of this film, and really gets to THE CORE OF IT.
Besides a few unfortunate A/V moments, just due to lack of available footage, I assume, this edit is probably the best way to watch this film. Especially if you noticed the scattered plot of the original.
Much more satisfying an experience than the film we have. Much of the edits made here are very smart and fix much of the movie's problems. Good stuff.
Lapis molari cuts the more silly/unnecessary scenes from iron man 2 and adds in some more context with deleted scenes to make the narrative make more sense. I recommend this fanedit highly if you are doing a rewatch of the entire MCU, this pretty much replaces the theatrical cut for me.
I appreciated the more serious approach to Tony's health problems while retaining some of his more charming self, because it really makes a good contrast.
Also, i think Pepper was improved too making her more of an equal to Tony and berating him less. Trimming out Vanko's quirks to make him a more streamlined villain also works better, and I liked that Hammer isn't a complete screwup in this cut. Having them be more serious helps with the tone of the movie and raises the stakes. There are some color grading difference in the inserted deleted scenes, but thats the only complaint I have.
Overall, this movie goes from a 6/10 to an 8/10 in my eyes, and a better follow-up to iron man 1.
Really, all of the previous comments have nailed down any weak points of critiques of what is, unquestionably, a vastly improved version of Iron Man 2.
Yes, some editing issues etc., but this was a much more entertaining and denser film - I was so happy about the improved pace, a result of carefully cutting down the bulk of the film's showboating, and I loved how much extra the re-added deleted scenes gave it, too.
A great example of the real value of a fanedit. Excellent work.