Iron Man 2 is a decade old this month. The movie was released back in May 2010, and although it made over half a billion dollars globally, it also received mixed reviews from the critics.
It's important to remember that this was only the third movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first team-up movie, The Avengers, was still two years away. The success of this soon-to-be a multi-billion dollar franchise wasn't set in stone. And so, Iron Man 2 had a lot of heavy lifting to do. It had to further Tony Stark's self-discovery, but it also had to set up the umbrella narrative of the Avengers initiative.
Iron Man 2 is not as focused or hard-hitting as the first Iron Man, but it wasn't meant to be. Instead, it's a deconstruction of Tony Stark. The movie dares to portray its hero, not as a lovable jerk, but an actual jerk who's too selfish and ego-driven to hold himself accountable. It does more to dig down into the myth of the superhero than most of the MCU movies that followed.