Saw it twice this weekend, one with family and the other with someone special.
I liked it for the most part though it's not what some fanboys/girls were expecting and there are some spoilers that are already driving some insane.
I will say this: apparently this story is based loosely on an Iron Man story from years ago and upon hearing some of the specifics of that story, I'm glad that the writers/director took some liberties.
Speaking of which, Shane Black (who might very well have one of the coolest names in history) is to be commended on this being only his second film directing. Though upon reading his IMDB page, I had NO idea that he wrote the Monster Squad in the '80's.
He made the movie "darker" for sure but ironically it's the funniest of the three. Jon Favreau is to be commended on getting the franchise started on the right foot but I think over all the film works. If you're a fanboy of the comics then you're gonna be pissed. I think the plot twist in the middle was daring and you didn't see it coming but I don't know if I agree with it. Would have been better if the Mandarin was who he said he was.
Kind of a shame that Happy has more to do in this film and is quickly dispatched, but at least they didn't kill him off like Cyclops. Shame that the Iron Patriot gets hardly any screen time and it was kind of pointless that they changed his name. Also Pepper was a better character than Mary Jane Watson was in the Spidey films but here she is kind of subjected to just being the damsel in distress. Still a pretty good character all in all.
Now when it comes to movie trilogies to which the over all story arc is not present in all three (Star Wars was in essence one story in three films) then I think film makers would be wise to look at the Iron Man trilogy and learn from what it did right and where it stumbled. I think it succeeded more than it failed.
Way better than The Dark Knight Rises.