Iron Man: Rise of Technovore – DVD Review

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In the 50 years of Iron Man’s existence there have been times that the armored avenger’s storyline can be at its peak or at it’s lowest. Iron Man for the past couple of years has never been hotter with the fantastic films (Avengers included) and also with the Matt Fraction run in the comics. The anime series on the other hand has been a miss a massive miss, but can things change with the feature film Iron Man: Rise of Technovore?

Unfortunately, Rise of Technovore’s mix of philosophy and action has done nothing but create an overall weak film. Animes that attempt to mix philosophy and action can be a mixed bag at times. When done right, it can become one of the greatest animes of all times (see: Neon Genesis Evangelion or Akira), but at its worse it can be too smart for its own good or it can be bland and boring.

Iron Man: Rise of Technovore follows Tony Stark (Matthew Mercer) as he launches the Howard, a satellite that watches the entire planet for any form of suspected criminal behavior. Enter Technovore, a super villain with biomechanical armor that wants to shut down the Howard. This brings in the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D. as Technovore bests both Tony and Rhodey and attacks the Howard. S.H.I.E.L.D. complicates things for Tony as they try to detain him as they investigate what happened. With Iron Man on the run, he must face the mysterious Technovore while keeping the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. off his back. Also, somewhere within the film is a slapped on appearance by The Punisher.

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The storyline sounds great when given the cliff notes treatment, but the actual film itself isn’t so great. So what the hell happened? First, the anime follows the same formulaic stereotypes found in most anime. Our villain, Technovore/Ezekiel Stane, kid that thinks he’s God and spouts philosophical nonsense as the majority of his dialogue. Which under the right circumstances would normally be fine, but it’s the flat delivery of the lines that makes the already boring dialogue even more boring. Not that the dialogue for anyone else is better. These characters all have distinct and lively personalities, so I cringe when I see such rich characters broken down to boring characters. This isn’t helped by the lazy performances by the American voice actors. Any piece of bad dialogue is partially saved by the actors that passionately give the lines, and in this film I saw none of that.

As a big Iron Man fan, I wanted to like this, I really did but ultimately Iron Man: Rise of Technovore manages to take a cool story and awesome characters and manage to mess it all up. The film manages to take all the most interesting ideas and toss them out the window in favor of trivial plot points. If you’re a fan of Iron Man like I am, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

Movie Grade: D-

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Video

Iron Man: Rise of Technovore is presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation. While the overall film has an overall solid color palette, the artistic choice to wash out the colors seems to be a poor choice on their part. The washed out aesthetic at the same time gives way to some mediocre contrast as well. Which is sad because the film has plenty of detail with the HUDs and the film seems to lose that with the aesthetic choice. The film does have some solid blacks, which can be seen throughout many of the films dark scenes and the cel shaded shadows. Although the transfer is solid, the overall aesthetic of the film has prevented me from giving the video a good grade.

Video Grade: C-

Audio

The DVD is presented in Dolby Digital Japanese, English, and French 5.1 tracks. The film’s mix is surprisingly front-loaded considering this is an Iron Man film. The rear channels seldomly get used as they’re mainly used for the score and ambient sounds. That’s the one thing about this mix that I liked was that the audio mix had a great sense of creating a sense of atmosphere for the film. Granted if there actually was a film to go along with the atmospheric audio then the film would’ve been much better.

Audio Grade: B

Extras

For an anime, I never really expected much extras for this film. I was surprised though to see how invested I was with the documentaries. Tale of Technovore gives brief interviews with Marvel executives Joe Quesada, Cort Lane, Megan Thomas Bradner, Harrison Wilcox, and screenwriter Brandon Auman about translating Iron Man to anime, and making the picture bigger than the anime TV series.
The other documentary in the DVD is S.H.I.E.L.D.: Protecting the Marvel Universe. The documentary gives great in-depth info as to the history of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the primary agents involved within the organization. I always find it fun to learn the history of the subject matter I’m interested in.

Extras grade: B+

Iron Man: Rise of Technovore is out on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download today. If you still on the fence about the film, check out the trailer below or else you can buy the film now on Amazon.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”366″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC_AU3ADyrE[/youtube]

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1344 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.

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