Iron Man 2 (2010) – Complete Annotations


Rhodes heads to Edwards Air Force base. This was also used in Iron Man (2008). It’s in Southern California.

We see Major Allen, played by Tim Guinee. It is his 2nd appearance in the MCU, we last saw him in Iron Man (2008).

Stark is having donuts. In the background we hear Groove Holmes by The Beastie Boys. It’s on their 1992 album Check Your Head.

He’s sitting on the massive donut above Randy’s Donuts, 805 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, California.

Asking him to exit the donut is Nick Fury, played by Samuel L Jackson.

Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury in Iron Man 2 (2010)
Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury in Iron Man 2 (2010)

Photography By Brian HamillThis is Jackson’s 2nd appearance in the MCU. We last saw him in Iron Man.

Fury and Stark talk inside the real Randy’s Donuts.

Fury’s problem in the South West is likely a reference to New Mexico, as we will see later.

Also on the scene is Romanoff. Now dressed as Black Widow.

Black Widow in Iron Man 2 (2010)
Black Widow in Iron Man 2 (2010)

Back with Hammer Industries, Vanko gets a bird. Just not his bird.


Vanko has created drones, not suits.

Rhodes presents the suit to General Meade, played by Eric L Haney. Haney is a real combat vet, and has very few acting roles.

Fury tells Stark more about his father and Anton Vanko, in the remains of Stark’s house.

Stark was also a founder of SHIELD in the comics (sort of – a bit more complicated in the comics).

Fury leaves Stark a package, and Agent Phil Coulson, played by Clark Gregg.

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 3.52.19 PM
Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson in Iron Man 2 (2010)

Clark GreggThis is Gregg’s 2nd appearance in the MCU. He previously appeared in Iron Man (2008).

Stark mentions a couple of American coffee chains – The Coffee Bean, Starbucks.

Gregg mentions Supernanny, a British reality TV show that was a huge hit at the time.

Back at Edward’s. Rhodes removes the arc reactor from the Iron Man Mark 2.


Hammer arrives and shows off some guns to Rhodes and Allen. The music here is called Gun Show.

A set-up scene with Rhodes was deleted.

Hammer’s final gun is called the Uncle Gazpacho. Gazpacho is a soup, possibly what it turns its victims into.

Puff The Magic Dragon is a children’s song and film, but also already the name of a type of minigun.

Hammer shows them the bullet and mentions Ulysses, the epic 1922 novel by James Joyce.

Hammer makes more references. The Eiffel Tower, famous landmark in Paris.

Piano Concerto No.3 by Sergei Rachmaninoff. The 1909 work by Russian composer is considered one of the most challenging in the standard classical repertoire.

Pieta is a statue by Michelangelo that graces St Peter’s Basillica in Vatican City.

Hammer calls Rhodes a Sphinx. In mythology, the Sphinx would only move for those who could answer its riddle.

Stark goes through his father’s trunk. Under the Dallas Record is a copy of Captain America #1, first published in March 1941.

 In there is some Kodak tapes.

There’s also a map of Antarctica – could be a reference to something?

He watches the footage of Howard Stark. And a young Tony Stark, played by David Ransom in his most significant role.

He also goes through his father’s notes. The cube within a cube drawing is the Tesseract.


Then Howard addresses Tony from the film.

Stark drives down the Pacific Coast Highway, near Point Mugu State Park.

He buys strawberries from a vendor played by Alejandro Patiño.

In Pott’s office. This is likely a set, it looks different from the first film.

Tony is shown in by a secretary. He later remarks that her name is Bambi. She is Bambi Arbogast, played by Margy Moore.

Margy Moore as Bambi Aborgast in Iron Man 2 (2010)
Margy Moore as Bambi Arbogast in Iron Man 2 (2010)

Iron_Man_Vol_1_118 Arbogast was Stark’s secretary in the comics as well, and minor supporting character for decades. Here she is just passing cameo (and a passing comment in Iron Man 3, 2013)

She first appeared in Iron Man #118 (January 1979), the same issue that introduced James Rhodes. She was created by John Byrne and David Michelinie.

This is Moore’s most significant screen role.

Potts is watching TV presenter Bill O’Reilly and his show, The O’Reilly Factor.

Virginia is also Pott’s real first name in the comics.

Pepper Potts, Natasha Romanov and Tony Stark in Iron Man 2
Pepper Potts, Natasha Romanov and Tony Stark in Iron Man 2


Romanoff’s latin response to Stark is ‘Fallaces sunt rerum species’ or appearances can be deceiving.

Stark takes a second look at the futuristic city his father wanted to build.

Looking at the city, Stark (re)discovers a new element.

The element is never named in the film, but the novelisation calls it Vibranium, an important element in Marvel comics and soon in the MCU.

The music here is New Element / Particle Accelerator.

There’s an extended version of this scene.

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers were characters from an underground comic in the 70s and 80s.

Coulson finds a prototype Captain America shield.

Tony Stark and Phil Coulson in Iron Man 2 (2010)
Tony Stark and Phil Coulson in Iron Man 2 (2010)


Coulson is off to New Mexico. Land of enchantment is the state’s nickname, but it’s a nice play on the mystical elements Coulson will find there.

And Stark builds a particle accelerator – and a new element.

The music here is New Element / Particle Accelerator.

Vanko is at work, and gets a call from Hammer, with Stern. They are playing golf, location unknown.

Hammer isn’t happy, and puts Vanko under watch.

Vanko mutters something in Russian. He says “you talk too much”.


Stark gets a call – from Vanko.

He’s killed his guards, they are hanging from the ceiling.

JARVIS accesses the Oracle grid. Another plug for Oracle.

Stark uses the new reactor.

Back at Stark Expo.

Hogan drives Potts and Romanoff in an Audi A8 L D3.

Hammer does a dance whilst going on stage. Rockwell loves dancing, it’s one of his signature moves.

He is dancing to Pick Up The Pieces, by Average White Band, from their album 1974 AWB.

That song is used prominently in Swingers, Jon Favreau‘s first film as writer and star.

Hammer introduces the Hammer Drones.

Hammer Drones in Iron Man 2 (2010)
Hammer Drones in Iron Man 2 (2010)


The music playing as each set of drones is revealed corresponds with that military branch. The U.S. Army’s “The Army Goes Rolling Along (The Caisson Song),” the U.S. Navy’s “Anchors Aweigh,” the U.S. Air Force’s “The U.S. Air Force (Into the Wild Blue Yonder),” and the U.S. Marine Corps’s “Marines’ Hymn.”

Hammer unveils War Machine, Mark 1.

War Machine Mark 1 in Iron Man 2 (2010)
War Machine Mark 1 in Iron Man 2 (2010)

The look is fairly faithful to the comics, including the signature shoulder gun. In the comics, it is also a Variable Threat Response Battle Suit.

They are interrupted by Iron Man, Mark 6.

Iron Man Mark 6 in Iron Man 2 (2010)
Iron Man Mark 6 in Iron Man 2 (2010)

Very quickly, the drones and a compromised War Machine attack.

The music here is Iron Man Battles the Drones.

Romanoff gets information from Hammer, and goes after Vanko.

The Drones fire missiles into the crowd. In that scene, an Oracle building can be seen.

The exterior is actually Nokia Theatre LA Live, 777 Chick Hearn Court, Los Angeles.

The Drones attack the crowd. One hones in on a child with an Iron Man mask.

5 thoughts on “Iron Man 2 (2010) – Complete Annotations

  1. It would be better if you stopped writing as if the person reading this doesn’t know the plot or characters. It’s annoying, nobody is going to read this without having watched them in the first place so why are you writing things like “Stark checks his blood and there’s something wrong. Toxicity is 19%.”

    Nobody cares about the actual plot unless you have real info to back it up.

    1. It’s more trying to put markers if you’re trying to watch along. It’s supposed to be a written commentary. I get your point. I’ll just need to find other ways of letting people know where they are in that 5 minute section.

  2. You say that “There’s definitely some of [Steve] Jobs in Stark, and it’s the butt of a joke that would feature in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017).”

    How do you know that?

    1. We’ve seen some photos on set of a Steve Jobs film poster starring Nathan Fillion as Simon Williams, Wonderman – as Tony Stark. I assume it will be an Easter egg that I will write about when I ever get there!

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