Iron Man: Rise Of The Technovore
Blu-ray | DVD | Instant Video
Directed by Hiroshi Hamazaki
Starring Norman Reedus, Matthew Mercer, Eric Bauza
Marvel Entertainment/Sony Pictures/Madhouse Studios
Release Date: April 16, 2013
Suffice to say that I am an Iron Man fan. Got the iconic character tattooed to my back years ago (along with a couple dozen others) and I buy almost as much Shellhead merchandise as I do Caped Crusader stuff. So yeah, I asked to review Iron Man: Rise Of The Technovore as soon as it was offered up. I did, after all, pretty much like the Marvel Anime: Iron Man- The Complete Series that I reviewed here a while back. So I naturally thought it would be a fun watch. And it’s totally like I jinx myself every time I think like that, because “fun” didn’t even get near this mess.
To be honest, Iron Man: ROTT was well animated, there was nothing with which I could find a complaint (other than words not syncing with lip movements). And it wasn’t the voice actors that made me unhappy as they were okay for the most part, though the trademark Tony Stark glibness wasn’t really to be found here. No, I’m going to just have to say it was because the main story made almost no sense. Honestly, it was ridiculous at the very least and the iconic characters were not represented well at all.
Everything from Pepper Potts being on vacation to the random and awkward pseudo-romance between her and Tony pretty much invalidated her character for me. She served almost no purpose in the movie except to cause a couple of distractions. I’ve almost always liked her regardless of the story as she always seemed to balance the overwhelming personality of the larger than life Tony Stark. But where she is brilliant in nearly every other incarnation, she merely falls flat in this one.
We see bits and pieces of Nick Fury, Black Widow, and Hawkeye but they seem to almost be comic relief as they spend the whole damn movie chasing Iron Man around the globe. Even when he saves their asses at the end, they still want to haul him in. Seriously? When did everything become so simplistic? Fury is well known for his devious nature but in this he looks like he couldn’t dump water from his combat boot even if the instructions were on the bottom of the heel.
But let’s not forget that the Punisher makes an appearance. He’s almost kind of random but that’s okay, he is definitely the best scripted character in this video. A little toned down, which I find unfortunate…but he at least seemed as if he was written with the original Frank Castle in mind (and he’s voiced by Norman Reedus). He kicks in and saves Tony but ends up in the line of fire with Black Widow and Hawkeye, who are seemingly trying to kill them at every turn.
But sadly, the worst one of them all was Iron Man himself. Gone is the billionaire playboy with a cocky grin. Gone is the genius entrepreneur who has invented countless weapons and armaments. Instead we are left with a hesitant, confused little man in a mechanical suit that he doesn’t seem to utilize very well. Even War Machine appears and outdoes the Armored Avenger before being struck down. The entire movie seems to revolve around Tony being confused about how to deal with this elusive enemy who has mastered the use of nanobots to further his New World Order-like agenda. Sure, there’s a learning curve for heroes in any film but he was tottering around like he couldn’t even spell the word science. It was the dumbest version of Tony Stark I have ever seen, bar none.
I cringed my way through this movie, just hoping it would get better, though it never did. But as I stated before, I liked the artwork and animation…pretty much from start to finish. I really enjoyed what Madhouse Studios did for Sony Pictures and Marvel Entertainment and I hope to see more visual arts from them in the future. Plus, there are so many overly long dramatic pauses that you can check out the details in certain screenshots without having to go near the pause button! I know I’m supposed to be contemplating the philosophical meaning to which the bad guy is eluding, but honestly it just gave me time to check my Facebook account.
I’m sure there are a plethora of fans for this type of movie, I’m just not one of them. The big bad fight scene at the end is probably supposed to be inspirational and illuminating but it just looked like a typical anime movie to me…like a cross between Akira and Star Blazers. But again, I blame the script almost entirely for my lack of enthusiasm with this one. I know to expect long runs of drama and non-action in anime films, just like I expect those pregnant pauses…but it felt like the movie just never captured my attention. Worse than that, it made me dislike a part of the Iron Man franchise.
Now, I’ll probably buy this on Blu-ray but only because I’m a completest. And if you’re like me, then you’ll pick it up, too. But if not, I’d say wait until it’s on sale to give a whirl…unless you really love anime, then you might very well love this film. I don’t know and I won’t judge. The ball is in your court. You have been warned.