Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore – 2 out of 5
I’m not an anime fan. Every time I say this to someone who is I’m always told that I’m watching the wrong anime—like, somehow, anime is something everyone is suppose to enjoy and you just have to find the right anime for the right personality. However, when I do watch the “right” anime (which is always the one they like) I find I still don’t like it. However, you would think that watching some anime on one of Marvel’s best properties would be something I would really get behind…but you’d be wrong.
|"Jarvis, my one leg seems to be noticiably larger than the other..."|
Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore is an anime feature (in case you couldn’t guess from my opening paragraph about anime) that tells the story of Tony Stark—everyone’s loveable drunk/iron clad superhero; Iron Man—who is framed for destroying a super satellite of his own design by a man with armor light-years beyond his; armor seemingly organic in nature and that practically reacts to the wearer’s thoughts. Now Tony is on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D. and soon learns that the wearer of this Technovore armor has a past that is connected with his own.
|Dat ass...dat organic, Technovore ass.|
The true showcase of this film is the animation; however, it acted as a double-edge sword to me. While it looks good (even though the film is dark and muddy in its presentation most of the time) it still suffers the same drawbacks that I find unpleasant about anime. The character designs all comes off as your run-of-the-mill anime look where all the people look the same and only have small features like hair style, skin color and the presence of facial hair in order to tell them apart. All their noses are the same, the eyes all look similar and, for some reason, everyone has to have some part of their hair spiked. Of course, that’s just a minor complaint with the overall look but the real drawback comes when the action unfolds.
|Um, Hawkeye? Are your arms okay? Because there is either something wrong|
with them or the perspective is off.
Whenever there’s a fight sequence (which, believe it or not, is rare in this film), the animation gets sloppy and hard to watch. The focus remains tight in the fracas and it’s hard to tell what is going on when you spend a lot of time looking at Iron Man’s batch or a bad guy’s chest. Then there’s times that the “camera” is constantly spinning around the action to the point I found myself on the verge of getting dizzy…but I guess I can’t complain since most of the anime I see involves still images of action occurring and yelling superimposed over it.
|"Shit...I forgot eyeholes on this damn thing."|
The film also suffers greatly in the story department. While on paper, Rise of the Technovore sounds cool and even offers up a nice surprise, watching the events unfold is painfully boring as we have deal with the villain spending more time waxing pretentiously to himself than actually doing any battling. Of course, this is just another staple of anime that keeps me from enjoying this particularly popular art form. You know, the whole villain who is so in love with himself that he has to spit yarns of poorly thought-out and mistakenly believed deep thoughts about morality and we never get to experience his badassery until the end...and just moments before the good guy rises up and destroys him entirely.
|And that's how baby Technovores are made.|
There also just didn’t seem to be enough substance or enough detail to the story to warrant a feature length animated film here because, with what unfolds, it really just seemed like a two-part episode of a Iron Man animated series…and even then there’s still isn’t enough going on to warrant two episodes of a show let alone a single animated feature.
|"Pew pew. Got you."|
Finally, the voice acting is just plain weak in this one. Matthew Mercer provides the voice of Iron Man and is just fine—it’s just hard to not hear Robert Downing Jr. in the role that he basically set the standard for. Our favorite walker-slayer; Norman Reedus, is in the film providing the voice of Frank Castle (a.k.a. The Punisher) and, while Reedus is a talented guy, I just don’t see his voice as Punisher—or I don’t hear his voice as Punisher? You know what I'm saying.
|Thanks to Reedus' stardom, The Punisher ended up getting top billing in|
a freaking Iron Man Movie.
The supporting cast, even Eric Bauza as the villain, all comes off weak and emotionless in their portrayal of the characters they are playing. While this delivery may fit the lackadaisical pace the film takes it does little to make this feature worth viewing. Of course, at least the characters aren’t rambling their lines or yelling like a Dragonball Z episode.
|"I can't hear you over the firing of this extension of my manhood!"|
Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore was just not a film for me—that whole not being a fan of anime really hurt my chances of liking this film—but aside from that fact, the slow moving story that really doesn’t fill up an hour and a half (they probably could have told this entire story in a twenty page comic), weak voice acting and all the clichés that I don’t enjoy about anime to begin with, it was an almost certainty that this wasn’t a film for me. I don’t want to speak for anime fans because I’ve known so many people with different tastes within that genre but maybe those who like anime and Iron Man may find this enjoyable but I just found this one boring and lacking in all the traits that make Tony Stark and Iron Man enjoyable to watch.
|Dammit...it wouldn't be anime without the tentacle sex...|