This second sequel flashes back to Downey as arrogant genius scientist Tony Stark.
Dorky-looking boffin Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) hopes to pitch an idea at a New Year's Eve party, but gets snubbed by Stark.
Fast-forward to a present-day US scarred by a spate of terrorist attacks, carried out by shadowy villain, The Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley). When Stark, by now the familiar billionaire industrialist, discovers a friend caught up in an attack, Iron Man flies again.
He uncovers a shocking connection between Killian, the scientist he rebuffed all those years ago, and the evil Mandarin, and faces his ultimate test.
If Iron Man 2 was a letdown, this third, big-budget instalment regains the franchise's reputation with an entertaining blockbuster.
Adrenaline-fuelled, epic and explosive, with an unmissable finale, it combines wit and humour to relieve the tension of a two-hour-long terror hunt. For the first time, fans get to see Iron Man's softer side for squeeze Pepper Potts (Gyneth Paltrow).
YP Rating: 3/5