From the beginning, it is obvious that Tony Stark has parlayed being Iron Man into celebrity status. His behavior is erratic and unpredictable, but that is because the power cell in his chest is making him sick. Despite that, the point is quickly made that others have tried, and failed, to replicate the success of his Iron Man suit. It's like he has become the country's only defense, and the reason for world peace. But that is about to end, because evil Ivan Vanko (Rourke) is working on replicating the suit, and gets backing from billionaire Justin Hammer (Rockwell).
There was more of a plot than I expected. The visual effects were awesome, and there was plenty of action. I think Iron Man's alliance with War Machine (Jim Rhodes' alter ego) and Natasha Romanoff added a lot to the story.
I liked the characters. Specifically, the strong character portrayal. Robert Downey was very narcissistic, which was the main requirement for his character. Mickey Rourke was diabolical as Ivan Vanko. Sam Rockwell was annoying as Justin Hammer. Don Cheadle was a better fit as James Rhodes than Terrence Howard was. Scarlett Johansson was very weak as Natalie Rushman, but better as her alter ego Natasha Romanoff. However, the best acting was Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts. Samuel Jackson was flat as Nick Fury.
When watching a sequel, it is natural to draw comparisons between the two, In this case, I think Iron Man 2 was much better than Iron Man. I think at least some of the audience agreed; at the end, the audience applauded.
2 words: SEE IT!