[IMDB link] [Netflix link] I said it before — comic-book based movies are, lately, forming into animated projects which happen about a year earlier. Sometimes it’s a series (X-Men Evolution for the first X-Men Movie, Wolverine & The X-Men for the impending Wolverine movie); sometimes it’s an animated movie (as is the case here). Wew were lucky enough to catch this in HD.
VOICE-ACTORS: Gargoyles fans may be curious to know that the voice actor who played Pepper Potts in this movie was the same one who played police chief Maria Chavez in Gargoyles. And X-Men fans who are watching the latest X-Men Series — Wolverine & The X-Men (so far, the truest animated adaptation out of the 4 X-Men cartoons) — may be curious to know that The Mandarin in this movie is voiced by the voice of The Beast in Wolverine & The X-Men. Anyway, Iron Man is played by Marc Worden, who is also in Batman: The Brave And The Bold, Batman Beyond, Justice League, The Zeta Project, Teen Titans, and even Six Feet Under. But usually only in bit parts.
DIRECTORS: Director Patrick Archibald previously worked on Spider-Man Unlimited, and even one episode of X-Men:TAS. Director Jay Olivia is working on the new Batman: The Brave And The Bold cartoon, and has worked on other toons such as Justice League, The Boondocks, The Batman, He-Man & The Masters Of The Universe (2002), Jackie Chan Adventures, and even Extreme Ghostbusters.
WRITERS: Avi Arad, who has produced tons of superhero projects, but only written a few. Greg Johnson, a current writer for Wolverine & The X-Men who worked on X-Men: Evolution as well as Beast Wars, Iron Man:TAS (1990s), and one episode of The Incredible Hulk:TAS (1990s). Craig Kyle, a current writer for Wolverine & The X-Men, as well as the very-recent Fantastic Four:TAS (2007-2008), and X-Men: Evolution. He also produced some superhero stuff as well.
QUIRKS: The plot is not quite your typical Iron Man plot and very well may not be part of official Iron Man canon. Basically, this movie primarily deals with the awakening of The Mandarin, and how that inspired Iron Man to create his armor. Which is not at all the same origin story in the excellent 2008 movie. But since I’ve never read the comics, and since it’s been awhile since I saw his origin in the 1990s animated series… I really don’t have much to compare this too, other than the 2008 movie.
BAD STUFF: Of the high-end superhero animated movies that have been released these past 2 years (Ultimate Avengers, Superman:Doomsday, Justice League: The New Frontier, Batman: Gotham Knight), this is unfortunately not the best. Specifically: Superman:Doomsday, Batman: Gotham Knight, and Justice League: The New Frontier are all better than Ultimate Avengers or this Invincible Iron Man movie.
Also, my standard subculture vs pop culture quip: How many people saw the Hollywood-based Robert Downey, Jr., and concluded that hollywood is good and they should see more movies, but didn’t actually decide to be interested in Iron Man, or explore any of the other Iron Man offerings out there? Probably most. People watch what they’re told.
Finally: the plot itself resembled the plot of The Mummy 3. But this was written first, I believe. Still, watching both movies within a week (see COINCIDENCES, below) felt like a rehash of the same plot.
RECOMMENDATION: Completists and Iron Man fans should see this… But people who only saw the Hollywood movie will most certainly be disappointed. Which is a shame. The Mandarin is a BIG part of who Iron Man is, and he’s not really covered in the 2008 live-action movie, is he?
MOVIE QUOTE: (not a great quote, but IMDB is lacking)
Tony Stark: I’ll explain later, Pep. Right now I need into my office.
Virginia ‘Pepper’ Potts: That’s going to be a bit difficult since I have S.H.I.E.L.D. agents crawling up my …
Tony Stark: Pepper, I know. Can you arrange it?
COINCIDENCES: (The Mummy 3, The Invincible Iron Man) Within a week, watched 2 movies that had relic (stone) armies of Asian soldiers being resurrected (or about to be resurrected) to fight…. As well as both movies having a female Asian character who seemed to have a family destiny spanning thousands of years — to prevent/ensure this from happening. The similarities were startling. I’d almost accuse The Mummy’s people of stealing this plot from Iron Man, except that “waking a sleeping army” isn’t eactly the most unique plot.