Iron Man picks up where the Avengers left off

Undated Film Still Handout from Iron Man 3. Pictured (l-r): ROBERT DOWNEY JR. as Iron Man and GWYNETH PALTROW as Pepper Potts. See PA Feature DVD DVD Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature DVD DVD Reviews.

Undated Film Still Handout from Iron Man 3. Pictured (l-r): ROBERT DOWNEY JR. as Iron Man and GWYNETH PALTROW as Pepper Potts. See PA Feature DVD DVD Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature DVD DVD Reviews.

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It is more of the same with the latest installment of the Iron Man franchise - but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Billionaire industrialist Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) is used to hogging the headlines for his showy antics but he finds himself in the spotlight when diabolical foe The Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley) destroys personal relationships and nudges the inventor to the brink of self-annihilation.

Cast adrift from the people he loves, Stark must survive by his own devices, using his ingenuity and instincts to protect girlfriend Virginia “Pepper” Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), chauffeur and bodyguard Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) and dear friend Colonel James Rhodes (Don Cheadle).

As he fights back from the brink, Stark encounters groundbreaking scientist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and discovers whether it is the Iron Man suit which makes him great.

Set after the events of The Avengers, Iron Man 3 is an entertaining, special effects-laden romp that pits Stark against his most deadly and determined foe yet - a terrorist leader who will stop at nothing to achieve his despicable ends.

With Shane Black, director of the Lethal Weapon series, installed at the helm, the third film certainly doesn’t skimp on the pyrotechnic-laden action and the dizzying array of digital effects looks stunning, not least in 3D, available exclusively on Blu-ray.

Downey Jr embraces the jittery mood swings of his comic book hero in between deadpan delivery of Stark’s customary one-liners, while the imperious Kingsley dominates the second half of the film as the plot takes a surprising and dark turn.

The 130-minute running time is a tad excessive but you certainly get plentiful bangs for your buck.

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Sir Ben Kingsley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Rebecca Hall.

Iron Man 3 (Cert 12, 130 mins, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, Sci-Fi/Action/Romance/Comedy, also available to buy DVD £18.99/Blu-ray £22.99/3D Blu-ray £25.99).

Also out this week: 21 and Over, The Assassins, About Cherry, Play, Suspension of Disbelief.

Top Gear season 19 and 20 and season one of The Returned are also out now.