I just returned home from the midnight viewing. I believe I enjoyed this film as much as I did the first. It does have some drag in the middle, but at least what's going on during this time is important to the film. I plan on seeing this again within the next week because I enjoyed it so much. The performances were good all around, in my humble opinion, and as much as I am a stickler for continuity, I didn't miss Mr. Howard as much as I thought I would. I am pumped for the next Marvel masterpiece.
FYI: Stay after the credits.