Overthinking it: Tony Stark in Iron Man 2

I re-watched Iron Man 2 the other day, and was thinking about the scene where Tony Stark sets up the particle accelerator in his house to invent a new element; and I was thinking about the backlash about the scene.

I liked it.

I am a Journeyman Cabinetmaker, Red Seal Certified; which means that (theoretically) I am a skilled woodworker. If you were to put me into a reasonably well set up shop I could make some pretty cool things. During my apprenticeship I had some very skilled coworkers who taught me WAY more than my schooling did. Some of my more experienced coworkers could build more elaborate things with a few hand tools than I could with a fully kitted out, modern workshop. They were that skilled!

That’s how I view the scene in Iron Man 2.

Tony Stark is so intelligent, so skilled, and so inventive, that he can bash holes in walls, take whatever random equipment he had laying around, and do things that most people couldn’t dream up. In the first Iron Man, the villain, Obadiah Stane, literally shouts “Tony Stark was able to build this in a cave, with a box of scraps!” in order to drive home the point that Tony is a once in a generation genius. How difficult is it to believe he could create an element in his basement?

Of course, it is just a movie. I watch them to have a good time, and I got that scene, so it wasn’t a huge leap for me to “suspend my disbelief”. I suppose I might have a similar, doubtful, reaction if it were a real world situation, but if it were the real world, Tony Stark would be a real person; reputation and all. So maybe I’d give him the benefit of the doubt then, too.