Iron Man: Rise of Technovore (2013, 88 minutes)
Plot: A techno-organic villain tries to seize control of a Stark Industries satellite, sending Iron Man on the run to try and stop him.
Source Material: This is so clearly trying to be set in the MCU without legally being able to say so. Every version of the characters we see is the MCU version except for The Punisher who wasn’t in it yet. There are even suggestions the first Iron Man film happened in this canon. If you just assume it’s a 4th IM film, it’d make sense.
Animation: There are moments when this would not only look good on the big screen but even the biggest screen. The flight scenes are great and the action in the first half looks dynamite. Then as it goes on it starts to look cheaper and cheaper. Still images abound. At times it’s dark to the point of pitch black. Also this has a very bad habit of leering at the female characters. There’s at least a 20 second shot of Pepper Potts’ cleavage and nothing else. A shame the early promise fizzled so.
Script: OK, when this gets the score it gets, blame this all the way. This is a very clumsy melding of the MCU and anime tropes, which are in complete opposition to each other. There’s an inevitable showdown with a tentacled monster that feels completely out of place in an Iron Man story. Also the villain is terrible. He spouts more poetry about the order of the world than Lex Luthor. He’s a lame creation that fits more with the anime tropes.
Voice Acting: Thoroughly ok. I watched the English dub and it wasn’t anything notable or offensive, really. The only “name” was a quick cameo by Norman Reedus as The Punisher and he’s quite good. Matthew Mercer does provide a solid bit of work as Iron Man. He’s clearly trying for RDJ and not doing a bad job. But nobody else gets a chance to shine really. I can’t blame Eric Bauza for bugging me as Technovore but he didn’t redeem it.
Final verdict: I really, really did not want to hate this movie. At first, when it was a solidly conventional Iron Man story, I had hope. But as this went on, I kept checking the time. This is the longest film I’ve watched for this project and it makes me appreciate the efficiency of something like Doctor Strange. This was hopelessly padded, boring, and in the end didn’t really feel like an Iron Man story. Afraid this is an easy 1.