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.
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.
Some of the changes were great. For example removing the scene where Tony kicks his driver out so he can race, making it seem as though Whiplash logically would have expected him to be racing, and Pepper kissing his helmet before throwing it (taken from the trailer). Removing "that is not my bird" was also nice since the scene was just a time wasting distraction originally.
I appreciate trimming of unnecessary dialog and overall reduced runtime. With that said, some of the changes seemed strange, including a couple of instances where a setup to a joke is trimmed yet the payoff remains, or vice versa.
The relatively large file size was great as it means the video had a high bitrate therefore higher quality, and the inclusion of a 5.1 surround mix (along with optional subtitles) was greatly appreciated.
I didn't like the theatrical version at all, but I enjoyed this version. The original film is a pretty choppy piece of work. It was pretty noticeable that there wasn't much of a plot, and that the actors were improvising. For years I had thought of editing Iron Man 2 myself. I tried more than once, just couldn't get anywhere with it. But this edit is great. I so wish there was more footage out there, more deleted scenes, so that the dialogue could be tightened up even more. I don't mean that as a diss, just that there didn't seem to be enough coverage in scenes so make it easier to cut around. But this edit streamlines the narrative so much better. Sooo much better. Having the true enemy be the palladium poisoning was brilliant. I didn't even realize how serious a threat it was until things were reoriented to make that the focal point. Mickey Rourke's escape from prison works so well now, very solid cut. I could never understand in the theatrical version why he would blow up his cell to fake his death, then kill a guy in the hallway. Overall, everything is a vast improvement. The characters have motivation, most of the silliness is taken out, and the plot is as tight as it can be given what was available to work with. This is my go-to version for this film, and am grateful somebody cracked it.
I've always felt Iron Man 2 COULD HAVE been so much better than it was, and finally I get a sense of what some quality editing can do. Cutting back on some of the Justin Hammer 'humor' was a good thing, and Ivan 'Whiplash' Vanko seems a bit more menacing now. But I must say I really liked the greater focus on Tony's paladium poisoning, making that the real threat. Overall this edit took a very flawed movie and gave it some more gravitas, while also cutting out a bit of the negative Tony-Pepper elements to make them seem happier. Considering the material available and actors in the film, this is going to be my go to cut of IM2 from now on.