A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Iron Man: Rise of Technovore is a direct-to-video animated superhero film, linked to the theatrical release of Iron Man 3. It is filled with cartoon violence, fighting, shooting, chasing, explosions, and attempts to take over the world. Language includes a couple of uses of "s--t" and "bastard." And Iron Man shares a kiss with his girlfriend, Pepper Potts, who is shown in a bikini. There are also jokes about Tony Stark's drinking and womanizing. The video was produced in Japan, and Japanese is the default language on the DVD; U.S. viewers who wish to view the film in English must choose it from the menu. The DVD also contains trailers at startup for more violent video games and movies.
What's the story?
Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man (voiced by Matthew Mercer), faces one of his greatest challenges: Ezekiel Stane (son of Obadiah) has developed a frightening new kind of nanotechnology that gives him the power to freeze Iron Man's armor; he also wishes to use it to take over the world. During a massive surprise attack, Iron Man's best friend Rhody appears to have been killed. At the same time, Iron Man is in trouble with S.H.I.E.L.D., and his colleagues Hawkeye and Black Widow are out to catch him and bring him in. But he receives help from a most unexpected place: the vigilante hero The Punisher (voiced by Norman Reedus). Can Iron Man save the world?
Is it any good?
IRON MAN: RISE OF TECHNOVORE was produced in Japan and plays more like a violent, complex anime than a standard American superhero movie. Director Hiroshi Hamazaki was a veteran animator on well-known classics like Ninja Scroll, Metropolis, and Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. Unfortunately, the hybrid really doesn't work.
The filmmakers vainly attempt to re-capture some of the character banter from the live-action Iron Man movies, but can't re-create the energy and chemistry of Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, etc. Moreover, the plot is highly convoluted. When the characters aren't attempting to make wisecracks or trying to explain the plot to each other, the movie focuses on explosive battle sequences. The finale has Iron Man facing a giant, mutated villain, struggling to find logical ways to attack. Sadly, it barely makes sense.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's violence. How does it affect you? Is it thrilling? Is it too much? Does it always advance the story?
Does Iron Man set up impossible standards for men's body image? Do you think boys are as affected by images of masculinity and unrealistic male bodies as women are of female versions?
Is it considered heroic for Iron Man to ask for help from others? Do superheroes usually need help to succeed? What about regular people?
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