Iron Man 2 Actor Mickey Rourke Loves SVU, But Not The MCU

Iron Man 2 actor Mickey Rourke has called the acting in Marvel movies "crap", while professing his love for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Mickey Rourke as Ivan Hanko in Iron Man 2
Photo: Marvel

Actor Mickey Rourke was part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe when it was barely a universe.

In 2010, Rourke starred as the villainous Ivan Vanko a.k.a. Whiplash in Iron Man 2, the third entry into the MCU canon after Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. Since then, the franchise has expanded quite profoundly with 23 films in the fold, many more to come, and a thriving TV universe getting started on Disney+. Now Rourke has shared his thoughts on the state of the MCU via his Instagram and it amounts to a decisive “not a fan.”

Tucked into the very end of an appreciation post for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (more on that in a minute), the actor praises the performances in SVU while sending some friendly fire Marvel’s way.

“Respect to all of you,the work that you all do is real acting, not like that crap that all on Marvel shit,” Rourke wrote. 

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While it’s a little strange to denigrate the acting in a film universe one was once a part of, Rourke maybe gets a pass here. The superhero movie landscape was a very different place back when Rourke took his turn as a Marvel villain. Now the 68-year-old actor is undoubtedly experiencing some superhero fatigue. 

Rourke first came to prominence in the ‘80s with roles in films such as Diner, Rumble Fish, and 9 ½ Weeks. He largely abandoned acting in the ‘90s to become a professional boxer, before returning in the aughts to headline comic adaptation Sin City and Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler, the latter of which he received an Oscar nomination for. 

The actor has a reputation for being a bit eccentric due to his hardened physique from his boxing career, love of small dogs, and occasional charmingly bizarre public statements. For a good example of the latter take a look at the rest of that Instagram post for Rourke’s Law & Order: SVU thoughts. 

It is a little strange to present Law & Order’s most popular spinoff that’s going 22 seasons strong as a COVID-19 era discovery, but that’s what Rourke does here, writing “I heard this show is been on for 20 yrs,i never knew anything about it before until the lockdown since i have all my gym equipment in my living room…”

But with that unusual explanation out of the way, Rourke does nothing but spit pure truth, calling the direction “top class,” star Mariska Hargitay “a very concentrated actress”, and mentioning that co-star Christopher Meloni “brings a lot to the table with his physicality.” That last bit seems to pay accidental homage to the Internet’s never-ending obsession with Chris Meloni’s caboose. 

The rest of Rourke’s musings are lengthy but there are very few lies detected within them. Law & Order: SVU rules and the acting within it is underrated. It’s one thing to perform in a film or miniseries with a clearly defined ending, it’s another thing entirely to play the same character for several decades. Both Hargitay and Meloni have received Emmy nominations for their work on the show (with the former winning a Golden Globe). But now they have something even better: Mickey Rourke’s approval.

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With one Instagram post, we’re less likely to see Mickey Rouke return to a Marvel film than we were yesterday. One the other hand, we’re more likely to get a Mickey Rourke SVU episode, so it’s mostly a wash.