Iron Man: Rise of Technovore (2013)

If it ain’t (Marvel) broke, don’t (Anime) fix it!

Iron Man - Rise of Technovore

Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan in association with Madhouse and Marvel Entertainment present…

Based on and influenced from Marvel’s direct collaboration with Madhouse anime series of the aforementioned Golden Avenger! The Direct to DVD serves both as catalyst and a curtain raiser for the movie “Iron Man 3” which had mixed critics on the given premise but still hauled in an amassed 1.2 billion dollars worldwide!

Directed by Hiroshi Hamazaki (Highlander: The Search for Vengeance) who started as an animator with great epic anime films like “Ninja Scroll”, “X”, “Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust” and “Metropolis”. Having laid all his cards and had a near perfect run from his last projects, it is clearly shown that he was definitely green in directing! It was bearing enough to just follow the “unfortunate” fugitive on the run while planning a counter offensive to his “invincible” opponent and the Director has no idea on how to give a narrative to be spontaneous and focused.

As we go back to the main protagonist who was exactly on the run from the authorities and from S.H.I.E.L.D., Tony Stark who was voiced by Matthew Mercer (Resident Evil: Damnation) have jump started the space program that will launch his “father” in outer space (pun intended). Matthew had a little resemblance with Robert’s flair while making it grounded when the situation arises. He wanted to ensure people from around the world that there is someone (or something) “watching” over them which has come to a standstill when a megalomaniac attacks and kills everyone on site!

While his overeager opponent’s objective is to make a new world order out of his image and at the same time to make Tony Stark’s technology become obsolete, Eric Bauza (G.I. Joe: Resolute) as insane in the membrane Ezekiel Stane comes steps into the spot light! Created by Writer Matt Fraction and Artist Barry Kitson, he first appeared in “The Order” No. 8 published on April 2008. A genius level intellect who is literally a “ghost in the machine” someone who has no permanent address, no bank account, no loyalty nor respect for any creed or the law. He was the son of Obadiah Stane who worked for Stark Industries and was a former friend of Tony Stark. His penchant for superiority overcomes even his desire to get the attention of Iron Man while babbling his nonsensical, personal ideologies and showing off his “knock-off” ingenuity to the same person he stole it from!

Same grit and less the talk more on the walking away from bullet riddled criminals Norman Reedus (Walking Dead) portrays The Punisher who was actually a sight for sore-eyes seeing that he was less than expected to appear on an “only Avengers” leaned on adventure (okay Civil War junkies don’t get upset he was a member for a short period). I believe the character was only included as if it was necessary to prolong action sequences, dialogue and a little bit of diversity upon stating the obvious premise. Norman has come a long way with his career and “frankly” has the experience already working with these guys way back in 2002’s “Blade II”.

To add, keeping these two agents from the Armored Avenger’s back, Natalia Romanova aka The Black Widow is played by Clare Grant (Black Snake Moan) and her wily partner Hawkeye aka Clint Barton was portrayed by Troy Baker (Avenger’s Assemble) both talents have the same mindset on how their roles are going to played, seek out and capture the perpetrator and make use of the time so as to compensate it’s lack of intuitive and intellectual content.

To be honest I was really not aware with these people yet but James Mathis III (The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes) who also voiced a few characters from the hit recently concluded animated series. He plays best buddy Col. James Rhodes who now wears the War Machine armor and acts as liaison with the United States and Tony’s weapon projects. While Pepper Potts really does need a vacation especially with the kind of boyfriend she has Kate Higgins (Naruto Shippuden: Inheritors of the Will of Fire) sets the tone for the affable assistant turned CEO.

The dialogue written by Brandon Auman (Dead Space: Aftermath) together with Voice Director Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (Ghost on the Shell) was absolutely boring! It was not even enough that delivery was dead pan with all its seriousness but worse was that how it syncs in with the storytelling with all the hyper activity influenced and placed by Madhouse to bring it front and center deteriorates it more. On the good part, some elements on the Marvel Cinematic Universe were injected here and there like the use of his “armor brief case” which was used in “Iron Man 2”. While a short background of Obadiah Stane as the father of the villain who was played by Jeff Bridges in the first live action film “Iron Man” was set to make it relatable to new viewers.

The film became a visually stunning which is taken already, anime has always been a chameleon by nature when needed, flamboyant or serene whatever the case may be. When east meets west dynamic had ante-up the capacity and potential of animation putting it on balls to the wall. Madhouse’s creativity with imagery has been one of the greats but only into that extent. We take a look further on its plot which was ambitious but never gotten too far in terms of content and direction. First, we always have been asserted that Iron Man has very few foes and to capacitate someone or something that can actually throw him off the ground with enough ingenuity or firepower has been an overstatement.

So it goes without saying, the film was like watching a cockroach whose antennas were cut off and does not know where to go or how will it stand up, well until it dies anyway and gets devoured by ants before its remains are swept off with the wind…or someone with “repulsor technology” passes by!

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