THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN
General Release 2007
83 minutes approx
Iron Man 2
Tony Stark is a brilliant inventor, but also an inveterate playboy who takes very little with any great seriousness. It is, therefore, fortunate that he's a billionaire. Using modern technology, he is raising a lost Chinese temple from underground (not him personally, you understand. He's at home frolicking in a hot tub with naked lovelies. When a local band of terrorists take out the operation, he flies over, is taken prisoner and almost dies. Only a Tibetan monk and his best friend's engineering keep him alive. The local warlord forces him to find a way to destroy his own project, but he uses the time to build an impenetrable suit of armour with rockets in the shoes. Using this he escapes, but then learns that the ancient prophecy about elemental warriors searching for rings of power to bring back the most vicious Chinese emperor ever are actually true. Using the array of advanced armoured work suits that he had already prepared back in the US, he sets about stopping the elementals, but eventually is forced back to China and the jury-rigged suit that he built there to face the reincarnated Mandarin.
Absolutely not created to ride in on the wave of expected interest in advance of Jon Favreau's live action version (note tone of irony), THE INCREDIBLE IRON MAN takes one of Marvel's more conflicted and unusual heroes and makes his completely bland. This is a man whose life is shattered and then held together only by his reliance on the technology keeping his heart alive. This is a man who makes up for his arms dealer days by fighting evil with well-armed super suit. well, he was in the comics. In this film he barely mentions the fact that he's got a see-through pacemaker and the whole arms manufacturer thing has gone, which makes us wonder how he can justify creating ultimate warrior suits.
'Ah, but it's only a cartoon' you cry. Ah, but it's not, we answer. The 12 certificate notwithstanding, this is a film that has naked women in hot tubs (shown from behind you understand), execution style killings and acts of terrorism as well as bringing in themes of conflict between Tony and his father. This is adult stuff and if you are aiming at a more mature audience you need to cater for them. THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN will be lapped up by the younger audience brought up on a diet of saturday morning superhero cartoons, but the older members of the family are much less likely to be satisfied.
The animation is one step up from the saturday morning cartoons, with more detail, shadowings etc, but it's still a long way from the quality that major studios can manage. There can be no doubt, however, that the arrival of the famous red and gold suit is something of a thrill for anyone who knows anything about the hero. It's a shame it doesn't feature more.
The test of any superhero film, though, is the action. The bar has been set by films like X-MEN and SPIDER-MAN and there's no excuse for an animation film to skimp on that. This is where the CGI comes into its own and the fight scenes are quite destructive and spectacular, taking place at the bottom of the ocean or inside an active volcano, but too short and never establishing the elemental warriors as truly viable threats to our hero. And when the Mandarin is reborn (Oh, come on it was never in any doubt) that big finale turns out to be a bit of a fizzle.
The documentary on the origin of Iron Man is a talking heads piece about the making of the film. The visual history of the Iron Man suits is a much more interesting extra.
For kids in the age range of the certificate, THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN provides and entertaining enough introduction to another Marvel hero, but for anybody older than that, it is found wanting.
The teenage reviewer on the panel thought it was 'nifty', which is positively gushing.
THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN
If this page was useful to you please sign our