My wife and I, and my friend Dave, went to see Iron Man 2 last night. We all enjoyed it. It kept up the fast-paced balance of action, comedy and character development that the first one had.
I had actually been expecting it to not be as good as the first, since it was a rushed sequel in order to capitalize on the popularity of the first movie. Was it worth pushing back all of the other Avengers lead-up movies for this? I'm not sure about that yet. We'll have to see how the others end up before I answer that. But it was a fun, entertaining movie that didn't get bogged down in techno-babble exposition or simply trying to repeat what made the first one a hit.
Don't want to add any spoilers, but the major weak point of the movie is the simultaneous reveal of Howard Stark's legacy/solving the palladium poison problem, which was basically deus ex machina thanks to Samuel L... I mean Nick Fury. The fact that the story didn't stop long enough to dwell on it makes it passable, but IMO the elements should have been introduced earlier in the film so Tony would have had some time to mull over the problems. As it is, Nick Fury gives Tony a MacGuffin that instantly solves two problems in short order, with no real complications.
Other than that, though, I really enjoyed it. I think the final battle with Iron Man and War Machine against the Hammer Drones and Vanko was better than the Iron Man/Iron Monger showdown in the first one. I still need a day or two to think over things from a screenwriting perspective, but from a fan perspective it was worth the price of admission.
See this movie if:
You're a fan of superheroes, Marvel in particular. It's well done superhero fare, without the need for Shakespearean dramatics (The Dark Knight) or silly self-parody (Superman III).
You enjoy a popcorn action movie that doesn't treat the audience like total idiots (Avatar).
Skip this movie if:
You're not into superheroes or action movies.
You expect Oscar level dramatic tension and acting in any movie you want to see on the big screen.