Ivan a.k.a. Whiplash, serves as a sort of mirror to Tony Stark.
Pretty much like Tony; Ivan is a genius and the son of a well-known scientist. However, their similarities end, with the fact that Tony Stark basks in the limelight of fame for his creations, while Ivan Vanko languishes in the cold; miserable & widely forgotten.
For reasons that I cannot disclose since it may deem to be a spoiler, let’s just say that Ivan doesn’t like that one bit, and decides to ruin the man who he believes destroyed his family’s legacy; Tony Stark.
Mickey Rouke’s performance as the electric wielding Russian bad-ass was spot-on. He was just menacing and intimidating, that his on-screen presence was enough to scare the shit out of me. And those effing whips… THEY’RE JUST FREAKIN’ AWESOME!! In fact, I love em much more than Iron Man’s new slew of suits. Man how I’d love to have those whips. XD
Now speaking of ruining Tony Stark, Ivan isn’t the only one who’s out to get Tony…
There’s this guy; Justin Hammer (played by Sam Rockwell) who would do anything it takes to steal the limelight off Tony and put him out of business.
Pretty much like Whiplash; Justin Hammer serves as Tony Stark’s doppelganger (as I told you earlier, this movie IS about Tony Stark), as being a business savvy multi-millionaire, but lacks the charisma that Tony naturally possess as well as genius. Together with Ivan; they create a formidable duo that perfectly compliments each other in putting Tony Stark out for good (both financially & literally).