So, if I understand correctly, Marvel is the more the ass here the Favreau, right? Because I've always been a fan of Favreau's work and I thought Iron Man (the original) was a great movie and 2 was a huge disapointment as it did seem like it was trying to do about four different plot threads at once there.
I don't wish to point fingers, especially since this is only one side of a likely multiple-sided story, but if you follow Marvel's history dealing with clients then it makes a lot of sense. The falling out with Terrence Howard, payment disputes with Mickey Rourke, and then of course what just happened recently with Edward Norton.
It begins to make sense. Especially since Favreau almost didn't direct Iron Man 2
after the disagreements they had over payment.
As for the story problems with Iron Man 2
, I think had Marvel not pushed for some of the Avengers
elements like they did and allowed Favreau to make his own film like he did with the first film then Iron Man 2
could have been considerably stronger.
The Avengers elements weighed this movie down greatly which I think hurt the struggles Stark was having with his inner-demons and the infection from the reactor. The drunk/birthday scene was just embarassing which I'm not sure who to blame for that (Faverau, Downey, the studio, etc.) but the whole movie just seemed jumbled up and like it was more setting things up than telling a story.