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Iron Man

    (12A)

    Producer Avi Arad, who successfully helped spawn superhero hits like Spider-Man, X Men and The Fantastic Four, succeeds again as yet another character from the seemingly endless library of Marvel Comics soars into the sky.

    The screenplay keeps up with current affairs by having playboy arms billionaire Tony Stark (played with relish by Robert Downey Jr) devising the prototype of his invincible armoured suit while held captive by terrorists in Afghanistan.

    Stark escapes and decides to seek redemption by assuming the identity of Iron Man, a dangerous flying avenger. His climactic battle with evil associate Obadiah (an unrecognisable bald and bearded Jeff Bridges) is one of the exciting action highlights staged with gusto by director Jon Favreau and his excellent special effects team.

    Action, some witty dialogue and an entertaining sense of the ridiculous, is the name of the game here, and Iron Man delivers. Gwyneth Paltrow brings innate charm to her somewhat underwritten part as Stark’s right-hand-girl Pepper Potts, a role destined to be beefed up in the inevitable sequels.

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