There are some directors who make just sequels and then there are some directors like Jon Favreau who make a sequel into a whole new film. That's what Iron Man 2 felt like to me. I was more impressed with this film than the first one. From Robert Downey Jr.'s awesome performance to the "mini" subplots, the entire film was an extremely rewarding experience.
Let's start with the amazing cast. Of course, Robert Downey Jr.'s performance as Tony Stark was the perfect mix of cockiness and comedy. Don Cheadle surprised me in the role as Rhodey/War Machine, the role that originally belonged to Terrance Howard. The villains Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) and Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) worked together to form a super villain, which I felt worked for this film. The ladies of the film Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) also kicked some major butt and gave the men a run for their money. Once again Favreau casted some amazing actors for the parts.
Of course there are some critics out there who don't like "mini" subplots in films. Well, Iron Man 2 has alot going on, but it all works together. The Avengers subplot is awesome because it's setting the stage for the future film. Make sure you stay after the credits for a surprise. Also look for Stan Lee's cameo!