Not to cast such an early taint, but I'm completely torn on the film. There were just so many things that bugged the hell out of me about it, chief among them Sam Rockwell's overly obnoxious Justin Hammer. Dude just would not shut up throughout the entire thing.
The way the characters are constantly tripping over one another when delivering their rapid-fire lines of argumentative dialogue (something that was done in moderation to good effect in the first film) is like a jabbering mess here. It makes some of the exposition-heavy scenes a pain to watch.
It's nigh-impossible to tell whether the music score was good or not, since Debney's compositions were mercilessly buried under the rest of the movie's soundscape. About the only memorable cue I could make out sounded like something of a faint throwback to the first score's "Vacation's Over" main theme during the last part of the D.C. senate meeting sequence. The rest of the soundtrack is so overly reliant on AC/DC and licensed stuff that it can manage to take you out of the movie. You will, however, lol with wowness at the Expo theme that plays over the end credits.
The scenes with Starks tinkering with tech, which were my favorite parts in the first movie, has been toned down to just one key sequence here. It's a good one, but it doesn't come anywhere near the level of enjoyable intrigue as when he was incrementally refining the suits in the first film.
Favreau's Happy Hogan plays a far more extensive role here, but talk about giving a character too much of a good thing. It's a self-indulgent and mostly unnecessary part.
Don Cheadle, sad to say, made for a poor substitute for Terrence Howard, the camarade lacking the spark and wit that Howard made work so well in the first. And seriously, Cheadle's pencil-neck physique does NOT fill out the War Machine suit well.
Those are what sucked. What's awesome are the thrilling Monaco sequence and action-packed final act. Rourke played Whiplash with just enough of an intelligent yet criminally-dangerous flair, and I was surprised to find myself liking Johansson's Black Widow as much as I did by the end. But the film's biggest plus for this New Yorker was seeing the majority of it taking place in Queens. Especially the Flushing area, which is exactly where I'm situated; getting to see our Unisphere act as a big set piece put a definite smile on my face. Also, the joke that involved the return of..... Leslie Bibb's Everhart character elicited the biggest laugh out of me. Yeah, I'm dirty.
So, lots more going on in this film, but its execution isn't as sharp or focused. The first film deserved points for its consistency, so despite the sequel's shining pros, the numerous pitfalls I've outlined manages to knock this down quite a few notches.