War Machine's Bottomless Magazines in the second film — with the arc reactor he may not actually be firing bullets, just bits of metal propelled to bullet-type speeds by the arc reactor and some form of on-board propulsion, which would make ammunition easier to store since there's no need for the "bullets" to have casings, primers and powder.
In Iron Man 2, I was initially annoyed that the HAMMER drones Hammeroids were getting torn apart so easily by the standard-issue weapons in War Machine's suit. If they're using Iron Man tech, they should be a lot tougher, right? A concealed FN2000 and a chaingun wouldn't have even bothered Tony's suit. Then I realized that the Hammeroids, aside from being Hammer technology and thus prone to failure, were also showroom models and not production line weapons systems. They were built for show, not combat; no wonder they were getting torn to pieces. Hell, they were probably armored with cheap plastic.
Alternatively: The Hammeroids were just fancy versions of Hammer's Iron Man ripoffs, seen earlier in the film. They were designed to be mass-produced. Tony designed Iron Man to be a one-off, so he can spare no expense in the weapons or armor department. War Machine is an actual Iron Man suit, with all the "no expense spared" regarding the armor. The drones, on the other hand, would require costs to be cut significantly from the Iron Man model if you want to be able to build hundreds or thousands of them.
Much of the need for armor in a weapons system is to protect the human crew. The most badass tank in the world is useless if the crew gets immolated inside of it by an armor-penetrating shell. For an unmanned or remotely-piloted system, one can easily be tempted to shed armor weight/cost for more robust missions payloads, either more weapons or better comm/electronic warfare systems. Then again, it's also possible that Hammer figured he could make more money selling replacements for battlefield losses if the units were a bit more vulnerable to damage. A large force of these things, even with cheap plastic armor, would still be quite the force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. It's also possible Hammer just wanted to ensure a government contract by offering a lower bottom line.
They're also not based on the actual Iron Man armor Tony regularly uses; they're based on his prototype. In essence, the Hammeroids are based on Iron Man from at least two or three versions ago and that wasn't built for combat.
Another thought about HammerTech failures. Vanko is able to effortlessly gain access to the computer system connected to the Hammer Man suits, evidently via Rapid-Fire Typing. He claims that it is because of "Shitty Software". It occured to me later in the film that the login name was "ADMIN". Maybe he just typed in the default ADMIN password for that operating system... because the HammerTech IT guys were too inept or careless to change the password.
Made more possible by the fact that this seems to be a devoted internal-only system; the technicians may not have thought they needed to bother to protect it better because only Hammer Tech employees would have physical access to it in the first place. "Shitty software" is a simplification, easier to say than "Your security protocols suck."
It was pretty clear from the beginning that Vanko/Whiplash was supposed to be an Evil Counterpart to Tony Stark, but it wasn't until later that I figured out just how much he was supposed to mirror Stark. Both men are seen building their first power suits from scratch using substandard technology. Both men were imprisoned and escaped. Both men eventually found ways to use the resources provided to them to build a weapon for someone who thought they were in control in order to build weapons for themselves and exact their vengeance.
Something about the film just occurred to me. A lot of people were complaining about how the Mark II mysteriously had its own separate arc reactor. I was starting to side with them. But then I remembered that Rhodey wouldn't have been able to access the suit unless Tony did something to okay it... Tony knew he was going to die, and he began setting things up so that Rhodey could take over as Iron Man when he died. That's why there was a separate arc reactor. I kinda feel stupid having missed that. —Mackthe Random
The sole fact that Rhodey could pilot the armor without any problem, unlike Tony during his firsts steps at flying, indicates that Tony has previously allowed Rhodey to use the Mark II armor to learn how to fly it. Which is a callback to Rhodey wanting to fly it in 1. It's likely he asked Tony who equiped it with it's own arc reactor. Also the Iron Man armors require a lot of CPU. While Tony's own armor is always connected to Jarvis, this would mean the Mark II had it's own CPU too.
Also he removes the Arc-reactor before letting Hammer see it, showing he fully knows the value and importance of the device and not let Hammer see it and potentialy figure it out.
It's also possible Natalie/Natasha put the reactor in and was engineering to get a suit of armor away from Stark and in government hands. Given her comments to Tony right before the birthday and her statements at the end that Tony's unqualified to operate the suit, the whole thing might have been a plan to replace Tony with War Machine.
Nope, Black Widow says that Rhodes shouldn't have even been able to use one of the suits unauthorized... which means that Tony must have already anticipated Rhodes taking up a suit. Probably not under those exact circumstances, admittedly.
Vanko said he'd be able to make the drones "salute". He makes them pull off a 21-gun salute. —Jonn
Not only that: Added layer of meaning in that, in Russian, the word "salute" (салют, pronounced /salyut/) means "fireworks, firework show"
When Vanko attacks Tony (who's wearing the famous suitcase-armor Mark V) on the Monaco race track, his first strike with the whip – the one that prevents Tony from getting a shot at him with his repulsor – actually tears some of the scale-like plates of armor right off of the suit, sending them flying across the screen. This always confused me as to how his whips would be capable of such an articulated grabbing motion needed to actually pull multiple small items like that. I learned the answer when I read the novelization of the film. The whips in question are actually equipped with small but solid tungsten barbs. They weren't visible in the movie at any particular point, but putting two and two together easily explains how Vanko was able to do something as badass as tear the plating off Iron Man's arm. — Orangejuicer
Very briefly, during Vanko's "Training Montage" where he's building his whips for the first time, you can see what looks like barbs along the wire just before it powers up. They look more like prison razor wire than classic fence barbed wire. ~Mythtaken
When the Mark II suit is refitted into the War Machine armor, one of the more confusing minor details I noticed was the seemingly inexplicable exaggeration of the round plates over the ears on the helmet. Originally, they were nearly flush with the helmet and not that big, but now they were just these big discs sitting on the sides of the helmet and they were confusing. After all, since when would the ears need extra protection from anything? Since the suit was configured so that it'd regularly have a gatling gun firing next to its wearer's head. — Orangejuicer
One meta joke that didn't hit me until after the 2nd viewing. In Iron Man 2, Rhodes shows up unexpectedly during Stark's hearing. Stark puts a pause on the action to go have a little chat with him, where Rhodes (being played by a different actor) says something to effect of: "Yeah, it's me. Deal with it, and let's move on." Just in case anyone in the audience was complaining about the switch.
Whether it was indeed a cut piece from the first film and incorporated into the second as a major plot piece, I must say that I would have to go Tony's drinking of that green chlorophyll goop to try and keep his blood healthy. Isn't he drinking the SAME stuff in the first Iron Man when he's telling JARVIS to use gold titanium for the new MK III suit? He must have caught on early that the palladium in the reactor was already giving him problems and rather heap on a problem with Tony in the first one, they must have shelved it and made it part of the second film. -bw3viper
Conversely, drinking those nutrient shakes was a habit he developed to cope with being 1) a workaholic and 2) an alcoholic. Not stopping to ever eat, he'd solve the problem by just drinking more.
Did anyone else notice that with all the extra kit that was tacked onto the Mark II Iron Man suit (to turn it into the War Machine), the power-to-weight ratio that Tony was so concerned with maintaining in the first film would have been completely buggered? -Novur
I assume the power-to-weight ratio is referring to the thrust needed for lift. Since the Mark III chest piece could power the much larger Iron Monger suit with out a problem, that ratio has nothing to do with the power source. The War Machine armor has enhanced leg thrusters and some on its back that would compensate for its higher weight.
Near the end of the movie, when Whiplash found himself defeated by Iron Man and War Machine, he sets off his suit and all the drones surrounding him to detonate, prompting Tony and Rhodes to fly away very quickly. Vanko could have had the drones on an instantaneous timer, ensuring that Tony and Rhodes would also be destroyed, but instead chose a delayed timer. Why? This gives Vanko more than enough time to simply disengage the explosive device in his own suit and escape himself, with no witnesses to his survival.
Unlikely, given his suit was heavily damaged, he was surrounded by a lot of other drones ready to blow, and we did see the area explode. But... it's possible.
Even if he never actually was able to pull it off, it's probable that he built the self-destruct with "Set timer, escape from suit, run like hell" in mind. He was just too badly injured and/or the suit was too badly damaged when he triggered it to actually do it.
Fridge Logic on the Ex-Wife exchange. Rhodey acts disgusted when the Ex-Wife doesn't work, noting that it's 'Hammertech'. He apparently conveniently forgets that the rest of the perfectly-functioning and very effective weaponry on his suit is also Hammertech. Fridge Brilliance occurs with the Ex-Wife seeing as it's designed for bunkers - probably concrete structures, probably to be fired from great distances or heights, rather than at very dense, metal, man-sized targets. In addition, it's quite possible that it needs to be in-flight for a certain amount of time before arming, since you really don't want something that powerful going off that close to whatever fired it. It's hardly surprising that it wouldn't work against Vanko.
On the other hand, Vanko had proven capable to hack everything in Hammertech's arsenal. What's not to say he hadn't hacked the Ex-Wife so it would not work? Of note, Vanko's visor was quick enough to protect his face from Tony's automatic guns, but he didn't even bother to put it on during the Ex-Wife. Maybe he knew it's going to splutter?
The other guns were only manufactured by Hammertech, but are real-life guns that have their own designers that worked out all the kinks. The Ex-Wife was the only one designed by Hammertech.
I always got the impression that Hammer was fine with conventional weapons - it's when he tried to get fancy like Stark (as with the Powered Armor or the Ex-wife) that he crashed and burned (he's probably not that hot with computer stuff either, going by Vanko...)
Given that he's a highly successful weapons manufacturer that seems probable.
An additional bit of Brilliance that lends itself to a bit of Fridge Logic. The Ex-Wife is mentioned to be designed to bust bunkers. Why it would be so strangely designed so that it can't be fired out of any known launcher but the one we see mounted on the War Machine suit is a mystery, but I digress. You don't bust bunkers from ten yards away. Most explosive weapons nowadays have a minimum distance they have to travel before they arm themselves, to stop soldiers from blowing themselves up. Rhodes firing that thing at point-blank range practically guaranteed that a) it wouldn't have time to get up to full armor-penetrating speed and b) the warhead wouldn't be armed. The Fridge Logic comes in when you realize that as a member of the military, Rhodes should have known this.
The really sad thing is, the Ex-Wife appears to be based upon the rocket Tony used in the first movie, via the Mark III, to take out a tank. Hammer is trying to ape a design that was outdated by the end of the movie it appeared in.
Pay attention to the hallway during the Black Widow flight scene. After Happy beats his one guy, there's a guy strung up from the ceiling who wasn't there before. While he was polishing his guy off, Widow beat up even more guards. — Jonn
I just got the reference to John McCain's statement during the economic collapse of September, 2008, when Pepper's on the phone after returning from Monaco trying to salvage the company - "Yes, but the fundamentals of the company are very, very strong." I hadn't noticed that previously because the line is so perfect to the situation that it doesn't seem forced or worked-in at all.
With Ivan Vanko/Whiplash's suit, it only has the whips as weapons, and nothing else. Granted, the first suit was just constructed in his Russian home, with no logical way to add ranged weapons whatsoever without giving himself away, but he could have stuck a few missiles in his second Powered Armor. Then, looking at Iron Man's loadout, it suddenly makes sense why he only uses the whips: most of the weaponry Tony uses is ranged and explosive. If Tony unleashes a missile, he either misses and cause a lot of collatoral damage, or hits Vanko and damages both of them. The whips are designed so that Vanko can keep Tony close so that he is limited to punches and repulsor blasts, and mangles his armor at the same time.
This may have been obvious for others, but at first I thought it was lame that Tony's father would hide the new element structure in the Stark Expo diorama instead of just writing it in one of the books that came with it, but it's possible that Tony's dad hid it there because he didn't want anyone else to find it but Tony.
Not just a new element structure—it contained his study on the Tesseract, of all things, which gave birth to the arc reactor. Guess who tried to get rich off of it? Anton Vanko.
This might not be exactly Fridge Brilliance but in Iron Man 2 it's seems like Tony is spinning out of control and fights his best friend because he's a drunken mess...except he's dying. He already gave Pepper his company, and now is giving the suit to the only person he can trust with it, Rhodey. While he is severely messed up emotionally speaking, so he can't just tell him what's wrong he knows if he acts fucked up enough, Rhodey will do the right thing and take it, proving he's the right man to be Iron Man's successor. The whole War Machine thing was planed, by him.
And why would he need to convince Rhodey with such an elaborate scheme, instead of, y'know, just asking him? Because he already did ask, and Rhodey refused to participate, in the first movie.
At the end of the second movie, Rhodey asks Tony if he can borrow the suit for a little while longer, and Tony flatly answers no. Considering that much of Tony's dialogue was improvisd, this might have been a throwaway joke - But it could also be taken to mean that Tony doesn't consider Rhodey to be borrowing the suit, because he's already given it to him permanently.
Tony brawling with Rhodes isn't just a dispute between friends. Tony was testing Rhodes to see if he was willing and able to use the suit to fight his best friend if need be. In one go, Tony was training, teaching, and evaluating Rhodes' suitability. Brilliant.
All while drunk.
All of which lends new meaning into Tony's line to Rhodey earlier in the movie: "You gotta trust me. Contrary to popular belief, I know exactly what I'm doing."
The fact that Tony did tested Rhodes while drunk also ties in with a comment from Yensin in the first movie. When Tony said he didn't remember them meeting before, Yensin's reply was "Oh, you wouldn't. If I had been that drunk, I wouldn't have been able to stand, much less give a lecture on integrated circuits." Thus showing that Tony is still capable of functioning quite well when totally plastered...even if he doesn't always remember the finer details of what happened.
When he tries to talk Pepper into taking a European vacation(and tell her he's dying in a relaxed setting), he tries to pine her with a handmade omelette... that looks like some kind of diseased sea slug(and took three hours to make). It's highly possible that he's not a good cook, but here's the Fridge Brilliance moment: at 30,000+ feet, no one is! Low air pressure at extremely high altitudes means that heat transfer is screwed up, and skillets, ovens, etc. don't work as expected - that's why frozen pizzas and such have alternate cooking times for high altitudes such as mountains. It's why airline food comes in little microwave packages - that's the only cooking method that works on a plane.
But aren't planes internally pressurized to mimic ground-level conditions? You know, to keep people from suffocating and dying? He's not cooking the omelette out on the wing. Airline food is probably microwaved not because it's the only cooking method that works, but because there isn't room for a kitchen.
Ever ridden in a plane? When your ears pop, that's when the stove starts acting funny.
Plane cabins are pressurized, but not to ground level. For example, alternate cooking instructions are considered necessary for some things above 3,000 feet above sea level; a 767 is pressurized to the equivalent of 6,900 feet. Even for a business jet which invests more effort into it to make the riders more comfortable, below 5,000 feet equivalent is rare.
Iron Man 2 has what might be a Fridge Stealth Pun. What armour does Tony use on the race track? The Mk. V
Why the hell would the government employ a card-carrying idiot like Hammer as a contractor? Because Stark still isn't selling them weapons! In the first movie, he made it clear that he was shutting down the weapons development arm of Stark Enterprises until someone could reasonably assure him that his weapons wouldn't end up on the black market - as in no guns for Uncle Sam until he plugs the link to the Ten Rings.
Best part? Vanko got the Ten Rings exactly what they wanted. By giving Vanko false ID and a ticket to get him to Monaco so he could pick a fight with Stark, they scared the US government into seizing Iron Man technology. Acting on behalf of his superiors, Rhodey stole a suit, and let Hammer pull it apart. Between Senator Stern's political/military connections and Hammer's criminal connections, Stark's technology is out of the bottle. The Ten Rings, via the connection the military refused to acknowledge, now has its "gift of iron soldiers". And "A man with a dozen of these could rule all of Asia." Say Hi to the Mandarin for me, Stern.
Likewise when Hammer presents all these weapons neither the Air Force officer nor Rhodey seem particular interested or amazed. It's because he is showing two military officers existing and already in-service weapons. He is acting as if he is dealing with two civilians who have never used a gun in their life and trying to impress them. The worst part: He calls the M134 minigun "Puff the Magic Dragon". The two Air Force officers know that Puff the Magic Dragon was the nickname for the first AC-47 gunships used in Vietnam, not the guns.
In the scene before Hammer arrives to see the Iron Man Mark II armor, Rhodey is removing and hiding the arc reactor, with the air force officer not complaining but just asking about it's importance. Fridge Logic kicks in when one realise that the air force officer does not trust Hammer either and that the US government must have given Rhodey the right to hide vital informations from a private arms manufactor like Hammer. Especialy the heart of the suit.
Genre Savvy fans have questioned why the government stuck Rhodes in a suit and let him introduce Hammer's demonstration at the Stark Expo with no training, given that War Machine is not only rendered completely helpless by a simple suit hack, but ends up doing more damage than the drones. Brilliance: They didn't expect him to have to fight because they haven't yet figured out that their universe is becoming a comic book. The Abomination begins his rampage at approximately the same time that Vanko turns loose the Hammeroids for his own. They don't find Thor's hammer until the next day. Captain America: The First Avenger has been lost for seventy years. The government thinks its biggest problem is the reckless mad scientist who re-invented both ground and air war in his garage. They don't understand that they're alienating the most stable of their potenital allies. But they will. Oh, yeah, they will.
While re-watching Iron Man 2, I was wondering why Agent Coulson looked so miffed when Tony put an old shield under the energy pipes to level it out. Then I remembered from The Avengers, that Phil was a huge Captain America fan. Considering that The Avengers movie came out years later, I thought it was an awesome piece of foreshadowing!!
It might have seemed like a convenient coincidence that the old model of the Stark Expo, which was in fact a hidden model of the new element's atom, just happened to be Pepper's office for Tony to find. But of course it would have in the CEO's office: they needed it for reference when they planned the new Stark Expo!
Mild case, but Vanko taunts Stark early on by saying how people will cease to believe in God if you can make Him bleed. That is possible, but then remember that one of the largest religions in the world is based around God (or, really, His son) coming to Earth and bleeding (specifically, from nails in his hand). Within the film proper, Tony does get beaten up a bit in his first fight with Vanko, but as we see in later films, he's still got a lot of people rooting for him as a superhero.