The anticipation in the lead-up to last week's release of Iron Man was palpable.
It's been a long time coming. Like so many others, I've loved Iron Man since I was a kid.
There's just something about a nerdy guy who, through sheer brains and smart-assery, gets rich, gets the girl(s) and kicks some serious bad-guy bollocks, that really appeals to nerdy 12-year-olds. Can't think why.
He's sort of like Batman, but so much more fun.
So this movie had a lot of expectation riding on it.
And once the nerds of the world had shot their collective load? Was it a satisfied grin, followed by a simple peck on the cheek and rollover? Or worse, was it abject disappointment, a damning lack of eye contact and an awkward discussion about having to leave to feed the cat?
It was none of this. The verdict has been, unequivocally, that it's tops.
And I couldn't agree more. This film was everything it should have been.
It may well be the Platonic Ideal of the superhero movie.
Robert Downey, Jr. was perfectly cast as Tony Stark, even managing to impress the notoriously difficult wives-and-girlfriends demographic. Jeff Bridges was brilliant and almost unrecognisable as the slimy Obadiah Stane.
Even Gwyneth Paltrow managed to not be annoying for a whole two hours.
Jon Favreau's direction moved seamlessly between Sam Raimi stylisation and a Robert Altman-style gabfest. There is absolutely no reason why this kind of thing should work. Yet it does.
There were cool cameos, with Favreau Hitchcocking it up as a bodyguard in the opening scenes, and the obligatory appearance from Stan Lee.
But the best was right at the end of the credits (so stay in your seat) where a familiar face gives us a glimpse of what's to come next.
So excited. So very excited.
And a little sleepy.
4.5 out of 5