* The Angst. I love it. I love the layers Rdjr brings to Tony. I love that he is all of Tony rolled so perfectly into one - that outer layer of snarky, douchey, womanizing, club boy that he shows the world and that broken boy underneath that never felt like he was good enough, or worthy enough, or doing enough with himself until it becomes this neurosis that consumes him. I love that they brought the events of NY so heavily into this, the idea that there are things out there that even Tony Stark and his brilliant mind aren’t necessarily capable of bringing down or protecting against. And that his over-the-line near-death experience really sunk into him hard. The ptsd, the anxiety attacks, the overwhelming feeling of not having control when Tony Stark is all about control.
* That moment when Pepper is kind of exasperated with him and he isn’t telling her what is really going on with him and then he just blurts it out. That moment more than anything shows so much about their relationship. The way they communicate, the way Tony wants so bad to hang onto her that he does the one thing Tony would never do with anyone else and just…lets it out. Admits his failings. Admits he doesn’t know what to do. It was a beautiful moment and despite all the other awesome moments in the movie, I think this was my favorite one of all.
* Everyone is badass! Pepper in the suit, saving Tony’s ass for a change, and then kicking ass at the end! (Fuck, but I thought she was really dead for a second). Rhodey, omg, Rhodey! You know what? Rhodey doesn’t even need a fucking suit cuz he is just serious hardcore badassery, like when he and Tony are suitless and for once Rhodey is leading the way. (actually, a bit of theme, other people stepping into save Tony because Tony doesn’t have to do it all himself). You guys, my love for Rhodey is limitless, okay. Happy, because he seriously saw that there was a problem and Tony wasn’t really in a place to hear what Happy was saying but Happy just had this gut instinct and he followed it and yeah, he got blown up but come on, how could he have seen the human-bomb coming? Happy is awesome.
* The kid. When the kid came on screen I was like, ‘Huh, a little tropey,’ but you know what? It worked. It wasn’t clichéd or badly done and that kid was amazing and I mean, if you think about it, Tony has always kind of been emotionally stunted at the level of a ten year old, so having one lead him through it really worked for me. In fact, some of my favorite exchanges were between Tony and Harley and I kind of want to write some future-fic for Harley about what he does when he grows up.
* The ending. I mean, yes, I want Tony in The Avengers 2 and of course, I would like more Iron Man movies, but really? Really I just felt like that was the end of Tony’s story. It was a good end. It was a place Tony should be now. I was happy for him at the end. I was so glad to see him pull Dum-E out of the wreckage too! Their bro-ship is awesome, despite one being a robot arm.
* The tag ending! Science!bros 4evah! Look, yes, I had started my Awesome Time of Month that day, so I was having some hot flash issues, I’ll admit that. But that does not account for the actual spike in my body temperature that occurred when the camera showed that it was Bruce he had been taking to all along! Just the two of them on the screen together had me flipping out. I wish there had been a scientific study of fangirls body temperatures before/during/after the tag scene. I had been having a conversation with one of the aides at therapy the day before about The Avengers and she said her favorite thing was Tony and Bruce together and how much she loved Ruffalo’s Bruce. I made sure to let her know to stay until the mother-fucking end, because for serious…SCIENCE!BROS.
In short, I was contemplating how I liked Iron Man 2 better than 1, and wondering if 3 would be better than 2, and you know what? IT WAS.