*Spoilers* Problems caused by the MCU
Now I just want to start by saying I liked this movie, and I am simply trying to explain how the MCU has lead to the Iron Man series inability to live up to the initial installment.
When Iron Man came out back in 08, one reason people connected with it so well was because, despite some superheroics, for the most part it was rather grounded. The superpowers in the films universe were high tech and the whole thing seemed like it could happen. S.H.I.E.L.D. was a bunch of guys in black suits, Tony had a long trial and error process with the suits, people reacted accordingly. I remember sitting in the theater and thinking that it was like they were trying to do what Nolan had done (at this point) with Batman Begins, but in a more fun adventurous way.
Now the franchize was in a position to inevitably have to connect with the likes of the magic universe of Thor and the giant green monster the Hulk, and this sense of realism would have be adjusted accordingly. One of the big things I noticed immediately with Iron Man 2, was not only how much it was setting up with cameos, but with tone. Things were much larger in scale and much more over the top, right from the beginning with the completely ridiculous in scale Stark Expo. Of coarse they had to change the dynamics of the world in order for us to believe that Thor could coexist with Iron Man, but it has been a bit detrimental to the series.
No longer is there a technopunk kind of vibe on the screen but rather just that of another flashy comic book movie. It has become more difficult to believe whats going on, hence it has become more difficult to as effectively connect with the hero. Anyway am I alone in this observation or has anyone else come to a similar conclusion as well?