I didn't have any major problems with IM2. Things about the first film were better than the second, but the reverse is also true. Happy's expanded role is an example. It's also just too hard for me to say that a movie with SJ sucked; can't do it.
Since IM2 was commercially very successful, I don't see it being ignored in terms of continuity; nor do I see a need to ignore it. Improving
on it is perfectly fine, though.
Happy to hear that production of IM3 is underway.
P.S. I love Wilmington, NC.