I went to see this with a friend, and, although I did not particularly object to this choice, it was not a film I would have chosen to see. I had not seen the first one, and did not think I would enjoy this. I was pleasantly surprised.
The film did contain all the usual fights and special effects, but these did not utterly dominate proceedings. Although I had not seen the first film, this did not mar my viewing too much, although I would undoubtedly have understood more had I seen it. The film for me was made by Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. He was a slight anti-hero in that he appeared arrogant and shallow, and yet retained our sympathy. I first came across Downey in Sherlock Holmes earlier this year, and he played this part in the same, slightly sardonic style, which ensured we did not take everything too seriously. A good effort, with a memorable soundtrack!