Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore

Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore
Marvel animated movie, direct to disc release

This is not at all what I was expecting.  I guess I should have read a little more about it before I made the impulse buy when I saw the disc at the store.  I knew we were in for something different when I popped the disc in...and the default language was Japanese with English subtitling.

This movie spun out from the Japanese anime series of Iron Man.  There is some anime I enjoy a lot, but much of it doesn't appeal to me.  I did watch the initial anime episode of Iron Man (on G4, I think) and it entirely failed to capture my attention.

The movie starts out promising enough with a lot of aerial goodness as Iron Man and War Machine zip through canyons racing each other.  The initial attack of the Technovore is creepy and disturbing, and though it does devolve into bigger and bigger explosions, the artwork of the devastation and blazing fires is impressive.

But soon, the tropes kick in and the plot holes loom large.  The action just stops for still pauses and brooding, both among the villain and the good guys.  When the action picks up, it is in the form of S.H.I.E.L.D. running Iron Man to ground with orders to use lethal force because they want to protect Iron Man as the only witness to the initial attack.  Yeah, it makes that much sense.  (Maybe they had bad translators.  When I initially switched the language to English with English subtitles [before I turned off the subtitles] they were not equivalent.)

I didn't like the Technovore, at all.  He is a petulant boy with biotech armor whose sister/girlfriend (they never said) reads him Nietzsche while he stares at himself in a pool in a sterile white room.

Compare that with the bug-like version of the Technovore I was first exposed to via The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (which, btw, is a very enjoyable series.)

I prefer the big techno-bug, myself.

Besides dead air brooding moments and still frames, another anime aspect I can do without is the fuzzy/cloudy lens.  I prefer sharp animation, and if muted, okay, but you don't need to further obscure the visuals and make me wonder if I need to clean my glasses again.

Another annoyance, outside of the movie itself, is the disc.  We were forced to sit through all the previews - bailing to the menu was not an option.  I hate it when discs do that.  It makes the likelihood of me putting it in the machine and watching it again even less.

So, if you like the tropes of anime and enjoy Marvel heroes, you might like this one.  If you're looking for a straight-ahead style of animated action, you're not going to find it here.


  1. I very nearly impulse bought this for me and the kids, glad I hesitated and got a review I can trust. Thanks Paul.