Robert Downey Jr’s third solo outing as wisecracking billionaire inventor Tony Stark, aka superhero Iron Man, finds him trying to unmask the terrorist mastermind behind a series of global bombings.
Ben Kingsley’s The Mandarin, part Osama bin Laden, part Fu Manchu, has more than one surprise up his sleeve, but two figures from Stark’s past – old flame Rebecca Hall and tech guru Guy Pearce – also spell trouble.
With Stark also suffering anxiety following the action of 2012’s Avengers Assemble (see BBC1 Saturday 16 March at 11.00pm), it’s no wonder Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts is left to hold the fort at Stark Industries.
However, the plot hardly matters. It’s Stark’s snarky one-liners, delivered by Downey Jr with a whip-cracking snap, that make the film a winner and, with Shane Black taking over directing duties from Jon Favreau and co-writing the script, you can be sure he gets plenty of zingers.