The latest piece of the Marvel Universe jigsaw is in place - and it fits quite nicely.
This third instalment of Iron Man continues in a similar vein with its predecessors - plenty of action, decent plot and, thankfully, plenty of time for some humour.
The latter point makes Iron Man a cut above his fellow Avengers - Captain America is the ultimate patriotic hero so no time for fun... and Thor just shouts and snarls a lot.
We are due Guardians of the Universe (a strange mix of characters), another Thor coming shortly, another Captain America, the introduction of Ant Man and the second Avengers movie.
However, it’s good to have a decent Iron Man film in the bag. As all these movies tentatively link up we see Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jnr) still recovering from the last Avengers outing, trying to come to terms with meeting Norse gods and aliens.
He isn’t sleeping and he spends much of his time tinkering at home in his workshop.
Trouble is brewing, though, as a mysterious and frightening figure called The Mandarin (Sir Ben Kinglsey) is behind various acts of terrorism.
Also working in the ‘shadows’ is a scientist, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), who Stark treated rather badly years before.
Sir Ben is excellent and Pearce is superbly over the top. Downey Jnr seems to revel in his role and the gentle humour is well thought out. In particular there’s a great rapport between him and a young lad he meets (Ty Simpkins).
The plot may seem straightforward but there’s a nice twist that I confess I never saw coming which makes the film far more enjoyable.
As expected, there’s a mass of action that is well put together by director Shane Black and his vast team, although it’s debatable whether the 3D adds anything at all.
I know it’s a vast team because I watched all the credits as these Marvel movies invariably have a short sequence once all the names roll by.
However, if you’re in a hurry then you won’t really miss a massive taster for future films if you decide to give it a miss.
Film details: Iron Man III (12A) 130mins
Starring: Robert Downey Jnr, Sir Ben Kinglsey, Don Cheadle Guy Pearce, Gwyneth Paltrow
Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley