Matt Donabie looks back at Marvel's 2007 animated release, The Invincible Iron Man.
Debuting a year before the live action series of movies, The Invincible Iron Man is an off-putting take on the character and his world. If you're coming to this as a fan of the movies, then chances are you won't enjoy it, and if you're a long term Iron Man comic book fan then you'll likely feel the same way.
The writers of this tale decided to change the origins of both Iron Man and the movies main villain, the Mandarin. Which is OK to do if successful, but they are not here. Iron Man comes across as something of a weak hero, especially when the Mandarin is defeated as he actually does very little in the final scene whatsoever. Tony Stark's character arc feels quite forced and takes far too long to be
set up, in fact the first 20 minutes of the movie kind of drags, with some cliched writing not helping.
The CGI animation is pretty smooth (although often conflicting with the hand drawn elements), and the vocal acting is good throughout, with one very notable exception -
Gwendoline Yeo who plays Li Mei. She has a very limited range and comes across
as insufferably bland, although it is not helped that her character is very stereotypical and does little more than annoy the viewer. The Mandarin (when we see him) lacks any sense of threat, but the biggest let down is the story. It's just very very predictable, and you'll see the 'shocking' ending coming a long time before you really should.
All told, it feels cheap, and as if it was rush produced to cash in on the promotion the debut movie was likely receiving. If anything it's worth watching this DVD just to make you even more appreciative of some of the other brilliant superhero animated movies that there have been over the last decade. Because this really is not one of them!
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