Am I the only person who thought the middle was dullsville, population Mickey Rourke? I mean, let's face it--Iron Man is at its best when it is blowing something up or shooting off zingy one-liners. Watching The Wrestler and Mr. Sean Hayes wannabe (I kept waiting for him to say "Just Jack!") go back and forth about English as a second language skills is really a buzz kill. Give me pyrotechnics! I came for butt kicking, not exposition.
(Semi-interesting tangent: although Sam Rockwell, who played Justin Hammer with a Just Jack twist, has been in 67 films and TV shows, I'm pretty sure the last thing I saw him in was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 1990. I don't exactly remember that movie in detail.)
Don't get me wrong, it's still a good time. Robert Downey Jr plays the most lovable jerk in recent history. Lots of explosions, lots of quips. For the most part I did enjoy it. I don't know if I'd say it was better than the first one, but it wasn't a disappointment. (Unlike X-Men 3. Sigh.) Overall, a thumb's up.