Iron Man 2: At the Core of It

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Iron Man 2: At the Core of It
Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
This is Iron Man’s hero’s journey and the prelude to The Avengers that it should be. Tony’s poison is a clear mortal danger, Justin Hammer is dangerous, Pepper Potts stands by her hero, Nick Fury and SHIELD set the stage for the Avengers Initiative.
Original Movie Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2010
Original Running Time:
124
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
114
Time Cut:
15
Time Added:
6
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
The arc reactor has triggered an arms race and is poisoning Tony Stark. Filled with self-doubt and alcohol, Stark must rise above his inner demons to contain the arms race, to overcome his enemies, and to find a cure.

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.
Intention:
Iron Man 2 was one of the weakest installments in the MCU. No focus, too much snarky humor, a teeth-grindingly stupid Justin Hammer. No longer! This edit is a major overhaul of the storyline. Lots of dialog is trimmed, scenes moved around, deleted scenes inserted. Goals:
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.
Other Sources:
Freesound.org (for sounds to use in noise cancelling).
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.
image
Special Thanks:
Masirimso17, for lots of great feedback, and TinyBreadMouse, including for improving the title, Zarius, Addiesin.
Release Information:
Digital
Special Features
1080p MKV
5.1 Surround
English Subtitles
Cuts and Additions:
- Keep Vanko opening.
- 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.
Cover art by lapis molari (DOWNLOAD HERE)
image

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9.0
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8.3
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This is a soft recommend for me...it really depends on your tastes. While there are some improvements over the theatrical cut, there are also parts that have been made worse through choppy cuts and the removal of key dialogue/scenes. This isn't a shelf replacer for me.

To be specific, we get the alternative opening for example, but not all of it. Tony being sick in the bathroom at the start and putting on a brave face and extra sass for Pepper establishes the narrative thrust of the whole film. Here, their conversation is chopped and noticeably weird. In fact, most of the conversations with Pepper are like that, apparently in an effort to make her less argumentative with Tony. This is problematic because 1. she has every reason to criticize him based on what she knows, 2. this is part of their fireball dynamic already established in the first film, and 3. it has the net effect of just making Pepper a trophy to be kissed at the end. She is never let in on the secret or given agency or allowed to display real emotion in this cut. It guts her character and also flows really oddly in many parts.

There is A LOT of Justin Hammer's stuff deleted, and it's a shame because Sam Rockwell is delightful. His quips are perfect, his dancing is marvelous. All gone. The mission here is apparently to make him threatening, but it's a total fail. There are still parts left in like his dud missile (with a farting noise!), his junk robots, his botched armor test... even in this cut it's clear that he's a Tony Stark knock-off. That's. The. Point. He's all flash and no talent. Vanko is the real talent, and yet he says very little, he's all action. Hammer is supposed to be Stark's distraction, and Vanko uses him as such. Many of the cuts to him are, for me, very misguided. And if you were going to make him a real threat, you'd have to cut much more. You'd also have to not add in scenes of people talking about chili dogs while he's being threatening. The tone management just doesn't work here.

Finally, the credits scenes are placed oddly for me. If you're going to have the one little stinger at the end, cool. If you're going to add in a 3 minute short, cool. But don't stop the credits to do the short, then run again for a couple minutes, then stop them again.... just combine the two Coulson scenes into one sequence! Easy solve.

There are a lot of welcome additions here and many edits that flow well. The music is usually matched well, and it's not typically obvious which are the deleted scenes. A few points are overly dark or have an odd tint though. I did appreciate seeing more of Rhodey in the suit and more of Tony doing inventing. But it ends up being "six of one, half a dozen of another". In the end, I think I miss too many things from the theatrical cut to truly love this one. Plus, that one just flows better. As I said, it may come down to personal choice, but this edit isn't really substantially better than the original film for me. However, if you have the specific viewpoints that the editor highlighted in the description, then maybe it'll work for you.

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Overall rating
 
9.1
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10.0
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9.0
The fanedit succeeds at being what it sets out to be: a more agreeable, less grating version of Iron Man 2. 'Nuff said, right? Well, there's a few gripes I had with the edit, as well as some particular praises:

- Lapis said that "Vanko is a determined but minor villain who never rises to Stark's level," so it feels a little weird to keep the entirety of Vanko's introduction. The primary threat of the movie is Tony's heart condition, but the Vanko stuff overshadows it, seeing as it's much longer than the Stark scene. Maybe cut to Stark after Vanko pulls out the blueprints that say "Howard Stark - Anton Vanko," so both the internal and external threats feel equal.

- Nitpick: it feels weird for Tony to be asking Happy if Kate Mara "comes with the car" if he's supposed to be more dedicated to Pepper in this edit. Ditto for when Tony is oogling "Natalie," feels a little gratuitous, imo.

- At the Senate Hearing, Justin Hammer saying that Howard Stark was "Really a father to the millitary - industrial age" sounds spliced together from two different lines.

- Love the deleted scenes (Coulson at the Senate Hearing, the Nanoball, Tony letting the lady fly in the Iron Man hands) but they need color correction (I can live with the unfinished CGI in the Nanoball scene).

- Tony is cut off when he tells Senator Stern that "America is secure." Wish the rest of the "you can't have it" line was kept, it's Tony's "sometimes, shit happens, and who ya gonna call?" moment and cutting it feels unnatural.

- I agree hard with masirimso17, it's very disappointing that "If you can make God bleed" was cut. It's a big trailer moment, just like Pepper kissing the Iron Man helmet before throwing it out the jet (which was a great inclusion, btw).

- Tony and Pepper in the Jet back to the states works very well, though that may be it's its own scene rather than an add-on to an existing scene with different lighting, lol. Nevertheless, well done!

- Thanks for cutting out the "Iron Man pees in the suit" gag. Upon reflection, it did not age well.

- I can't remember if the music was so dire when blowing up drinking glasses with repulsor blasts, but it was a great choice. Made me believe that someone would've been killed if Rhodey didn't step in.

- When Tony and Rhodey are fighting, there's a weird editing choice. It goes "Tony gets knocked up into his bedroom -- Tony falls on the bedroom floor -- Tony and Rhodey fall AGAIN immediately into the house lobby?" I'd either cut less, or cut it so that it's "Tony gets knocked into the bedroom, then right befor he lands on the floor, cut to him and Rhodey landing in the hallway."

- Nitpick: I miss Howard saying "I'm Howard Stark, and I'd like to show you...my ass." I thought it was funny, as a bit of in-universe corpsing.

- Really appreciate that Hamer got Vanko HIS "burd," as well as cutting out the used car salesman pitch to Rhodey and the millitary.

- It's weird that we cut from Tony inventing his new element, to an establishing shot of his house (where we already know that's where he's been), then cut to...a few moments later, with Tony cleaing up and in a robe? It feels that, after Coulson leaves, we see Tony inventing the new element, then cut to Hammer with the millitary and Vanko, then cut to Tony in his robe, since it flows from "Vanko being watched by Hammer's men" to "Vanko immediately killed Hammer's men" quite smoothly.

- Nitpick: I know it's personal preference, and the edits are really seamless and good, but it's wrong to not see Justin Hammer dancing on stage, as well as him naming which division of the millitary each drone is in ("Army! Navy! Marines!").

- I'm a broken record at this point, but it feels wrong we don't see Pepper learns that Tony almost died of radiation poisoning, since the rest of the edit has been building up to Tony telling her so. I know it's full of the grating improv, but it makes sense for her to be grating and angry, since she's still mad at him for what he pulled at his birthday party.

- Everyone else has said this, but Tony and Pepper on the rooftop goes WAY too fast. Plus I miss Rhodey's comments about how them kissing looks like "two gorillas fighting over a grapefruit," or whatever the line was.

- "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to Thor's Hammer" as a mid-credit scene? Nice!!!

All in all, this was a great edit, with room for improvement. Excellent for MCU completionists. I'm holding out for a version 2! :-)

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Overall rating
 
9.7
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So, this movie was, in my opinion, a great example of great concepts, poor execution. This edit jettisons the crap and retains the jewels. That said, with a revamp on this level, there were a few scenes that were too chopped up to really flow. The office scene ALMOST works (where he brings Pepper the strawberries) but the rooftop scene at the end was just an unbelievable mess. Pepper stops in mid sentence and then the next time we see her she is in a different place and the conversation is on a different topic and in a different tone, and then they kiss out of nowhere. It just didn't work. I have to watch the original scene again, but my recollection of it is that it would have worked better with fewer cuts. That being said, however, it is still better than the original in almost every way, and those two scenes were the only places that were really jarring.

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Overall rating
 
9.3
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10.0
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9.0
I asked Lapis for the link to this back in February last year and I think it was around January I actually sat down to watch the film when I decided to go on a Marvel Binge.

This was a very simple edit, remove the bloat and tighten the narrative, while re-rigging the structure so there's an actual story to tell. Or tell the story that was always there, but make it easier to follow. One thing I like about At the core of it is the way Justin Hammer now mostly comes off as arrogant rather than stupid. He's an inferior Tony and we can still see that, but at least now he feels like less of a caricture. Tonys Declining health actually feels like more of a concern here as well instead of an afterthought.

Good stuff here, sorry I took so long.

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(Updated: September 06, 2019)
Overall rating
 
8.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
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.

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