Iron Man ★★★★
Another Marvel Comics superhero brought to the screen. Still, never mind – this one is considerably better than most, thanks mainly to Robert Downey Jr, a somewhat unlikely choice to play the eponymous hero. You think of Downey not as a supercharged crime fighter but more as light relief, someone sharp, witty and sardonic. Refreshingly, he brings all those qualities to bear as Tony Stark, an amoral, playboy weapons dealer who, captured by the Taliban and told to assemble a missile for them, instead develops a metal suit of wondrous properties in which to escape and, most significantly, a conscience. Henceforth, he declares war on warmongers everywhere, starting in Afghanistan and moving to America, where the chief villain is his own weapons-dealing business partner, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), and where Stark is tended by his loving and curiously named assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). All three are excellent in Jon Favreau’s highly enjoyable, though preposterous, romp.
For more of today’s free-to-air films, see our TV listings
Order your copy of the Radio Times Guide to Films 2017