Robert Downey Jr gets a dream role and relishes every moment of his debut as rich, boozy, playboy industrialist Tony Stark, who’s forced to build an armoured suit and then uses its technology to battle evil as Iron Man.

It’s a cracking comic-book caper, with a smart, funny script and flashy visuals. The action is paced to keep you on the edge of your seat and the special effects dazzle.

Gwyneth Paltrow, as Stark’s aide who has a good line in withering put-downs, and Jeff Bridges, as his scheming nemesis, are also on entertaining form and, while it’s a little slow to get going, once this superhero movie hits its stride, it soars.