Captain America and Iron Man come face to face in an epic battle in your Sunday night movie, Captain America: Civil War, on M-Net. Now, we don’t want to pick sides, but seeing as Steve Rogers has the whole movie named after him we thought we’d give Tony Stark a moment in the spotlight (although let’s not forget he’s in both Avengers, cameos in The Incredible Hulk, has three of his own movies, and is set to appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming).
The man behind the mask is Robert Downey Jr. (as most people will already know) and we’ve handpicked seven of his most brilliant performances to reminisce over before Sunday.
- Julian, Less Than Zero (1987)
Avengers: Age of Ultron saw Robert Downey Jr. and James Spader face off, but this was hardly their first time together on screen. In 1985 they appeared in high school drama Tuff Turf and two years later came together for the film Less Than Zero, based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Although Downey Jr. had already established himself with roles in Weird Science, Tuff Turf and The Pick-Up Artist, it was Less Than Zero that really made critics sit up and watch.
- Charles Chaplin, Chaplin (1992)
A dazzling cast portrays the crème de la crème of old Hollywood in this biopic of comic genius Charlie Chaplin. But the cherry on top of this Tinseltown pie is Downey Jr. in the title role, conveying all the depth, humour, and pathos of this cinematic legend.
- Wayne Gale, Natural Born Killers (1994)
This brash, bold film by Oliver Stone casts Downey Jr. as the equally brash, bold tabloid journalist Wayne Gale. It’s a fast, frenetic performance made all the more enjoyable by the unexpected Australian accent.
- Larry Paul, Ally McBeal (2000 – 2002)
Long before every major star in Hollywood starting making the move to television, Downey Jr. did it. With the show’s ratings falling, it was Downey Jr’s character Larry Paul that gave it a much-needed boost. Charming, cheeky and shrewd, Larry served as the perfect foil to Ally, and we’re still upset that these lovebirds didn’t make it.
- Tony Stark/Iron Man, Iron Man (2008 – present day)
Many were somewhat baffled when director Jon Favreau picked Downey Jr. to play Iron Man, but when the movie was released, the actor blew all doubt out the water. His slick portrayal of Tony Stark perfectly encapsulates the hero’s wit, style and swagger, while subtly probing his insecurities. The actor has come to personify the character so much that, like Ryan Reynolds and Deadpool, the two have become synonymous.
- Kirk Lazarus, Tropic Thunder (2008)
From Tom Cruise’s sleazy producer to Matthew McConaughey’s overzealous agent, the whole cast is a delight. But it was Downey Jr. who really got audiences rolling in the aisles with his egomaniacal, method-obsessed, Aussie actor.
- Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Just like the debate about the best Bond rages on, so does the one about the best Sherlock. Whoever your favourite is, there’s no denying that Downey Jr’s is one of the best. Dropping the fussy, fusty stereotype that had come to plague the famous detective, Downey Jr. and director Guy Ritchie breathed new life into the character. With his penchant for violins, boxing, and brilliant deduction the actor’s Holmes paid faithful tribute to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation.
Watch Robert Downey Jr. in one his most iconic roles in Captain America: Civil War, your Sunday night movie at 20:05 on M-Net.
Not a superhero fan?
Pick one of your other Sunday night movie selections.
On M-Net Movies Premiere at 20:30, Tina Fey plays a war correspondent in Afghanistan in the biographical dramedy Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
On M-Net Edge at 21:00, Juliet Binoche plays an explorer bound for the North Pole in Nobody Wants the Night.