“Iron Man: Rise of Technovore” is the latest in a partnership between Japanese anime studio Madhouse and Marvel Animation, the same team-up that brought us all four Marvel Anime last year. Personally I liked them all to varying degrees but was pretty pleased with them for the most part. I had really hoped Japan would take more license with the characters but hey what we got was pretty fun, and Iron Man was actually one of the ones I thought had a very unique story for. However “Rise of Technovore” cannot make the same claim.
Let me start with a quick rundown of the plot. Tony Stark has created a new satellite dubbed “Howard” after his late father. The purpose of the satellite is the ultimate big brother to would-be terrorists and criminals, with everyone’s favorite peace keeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D. in control. The launch site is attacked and in the calamity Colonel James Rhodes aka War Machine is fatally injured. The perpetrator wore a suit of highly advanced bio-mechanical armor, and all but made a fool of Tony. Nick Fury wants Stark to stay aboard the helicarrier as to help figure out who their new enemy is, but Stark being gung-ho and well, Stark wants to head out on his own.
There really isn’t much more to the plot than that sadly. The film consists of Iron Man fighting S.H.I.E.L.D. robots as they try to detain him from looking for their quarry, at one point even using “Howard” to find him. All I could think of was why didn’t they use it to find the bad guy? Wait, that would’ve ended the film too early. Along the way Tony comes across a Norman Reedus voiced Punisher, and has to briefly battle fellow Avengers Hawkeye and Black Widow.
The movie takes cues from both the cinematic universe and the comics as well, giving the world a familiar feel. The action is fast and furious and the battles more kinetic since there is less CGI used on the Iron Man armors allowing for more fluid action. Backgrounds however were glossed over. They look like CGI backgrounds from video games. The cities, when briefly seen, look good, but the CGI landscapes are very bland and sometimes distract you.
If you like anime or Marvel I’d suggest checking this out. It’s worth a watch or two for the action. If you’re looking for something with story this is not it. Go watch the 12 episode anime series instead or even Marvel’s “Iron Man Animated Adventures” but this is just something to get your Iron Man fix til “Iron Man 3” comes out.
Hiroshi Hamazaki (director) / Brandon Auman (screenplay)
CAST: Norman Reedus … Frank Castle / The Punisher
Matthew Mercer … Tony Stark / Iron Man
Eric Bauza … Ezekiel Stane / Technovore
Kate Higgins … Pepper Potts
James C. Mathis III … James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes / War Machine (
Kari Wahlgren … Maria Hill
Clare Grant … Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow
Troy Baker … Clint Barton / Hawkeye / J.A.R.V.I.S.
Tara Platt … Sasha Hammer
JB Blanc … Obadiah Stane
John Eric Bentley … Nick Fury