Iron Man 2 ★★★★

It’s too long. There’s too much talking. There’s not enough action. Whine, whine, whine. Jon Favreau took the things most people seemed to love about the first Iron Man movie – Tony Stark being a smartass in formless scenes that lean heavily on the wisecracks – and multiplied them, turning the increasingly tired template of the summer blockbuster on its head. The box office was great, but no one seemed to be happy with what they got.

Pish posh. The talkiness and loose nature of the Iron Man franchise has proved to be its greatest strength. This plays more as a semi-improvised comedy than a set-piece-heavy explosiongasm, a good-time free-for-all that still finds time to test Tony Stark’s character and build the Marvel Universe inbetween the rambling asides and coolly tossed-off non-sequiturs. It’s the most unconventional superhero movie yet: irksome if you’re not onboard but pure joy for the rest of us.