Invincible Iron Man DVD: Review By Evan "Mushy" Jacobs

An interesting story that examines the origin of a very intriguing comic book character.
  • OVERALL
    3.5
    GREAT
  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE GOOD
An interesting story that examines the origin of a very intriguing comic book character.
THE BAD
I wish that the animation hadn't been so anime inflected.
THE FEATURE
The Invincible Iron Man is not your typical comic book story as it tells a tale of billionaire Tony Stark from the perspective of his origin and beginnings. After accidentally digging up the prophecy of the Mandarin, one of China's most vicious dynasties, Stark realizes he must confront this force head on. Building an armored suit that is filled with dazzling weaponry, Tony Stark comes to understand that it is his destiny to be Iron Man.

Now, on mission to spare the world the fate of the Mandarin, Iron Man (or the Iron Knight) must travel far and wide to due battle with his henchmen aka the Four Elements. Using earth, water, wind and fire with nothing but malevolent intentions, Iron Man meets these foes head on in a battle to save the world. It's a tall order but if anyone can do it, Iron Man can.
THE EXTRAS
Alternate Opening Sequence

This isn't fully animated which was a bit jolting at first. Made up of what I can only describe as poster art cut outs, this segment was narrated and told the story of the Mandarin dynasty. The camera moves glided over all the pieces of artwork and I couldn't figure out why they jettisoned this approach. It doesn't appear to me that the one they ultimately went with was much different, but I guess to the people who created this it was.

Iron Man Concept Art

Origin of Iron Man Featurette

We are treated to people like screenwriter Greg Johnson and other creative types as they talk about how this project came together. Apparently, they had been having some difficulty getting their heads around which way to tackle this story. Eventually, they realized that the best way to go would be to start with Tony Startk's origin as Iron Man. They then talk about fleshing out that story, casting, and the other usual things discussed in these featurettes. The talking heads are cut against footage from the movie as well as a lot of the concept art they came up with along the way.

The Hall of Iron Man Armor

A Look at Dr. Strange

A sneak peek at how Dr. Strange became the person he is. Sadly, I wasn't so familiar with this story that I was able to follow it intimately, but I will say that this movie starts off with a bang, literally. We see a whole assortment of very detailed and interesting looking characters, there's a lot of gun shots, helicopter action and other effects, and I just wish I had been able to orient myself more so that I understood the story. Overall, I think this is a cool treat for the fans of Iron Man and the characters in this forthcoming film.
THE VIDEO
Widescreen - 1.78:1. While I may not be that big a fan of the anime look that this movie has, on DVD, they have done a fine job of compressing this show. While I think they could have used a wider palate of colors (sometimes I felt this film was almost too dark), I was really taken with the sharpness of all the images that had been created. There's a great deal of battle scenes, explosions, and other things that might seem like they would have been better suited to the big screen. The people behind this film have done a great job of containing everything so that it still plays big but on a smaller canvas.
THE AUDIO
English and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio. The score to this film can only be described as big. It wasn't overwhelming like it sometimes is in comic book movies, but it certainly had a presence that was very much on par with the film. When the music wasn't working to enhance the plot, it mainly underscored the actions of all the characters. What I liked most is that all the main characters sounded very distinct. They stood out but in a way that helped this story be one that was easy to follow.
THE PACKAGE
Iron Man emerges out of flames on this embossed, slipcase cover that is made up fiery orange and yellow. The back features Iron Man in the midst of battle, as well as two more images from this movie. There is a description of what this film is about, a Bonus Features list, a cast list and technical specs. This case fits around a regular amaray case that has the same artwork all over it. All in all, Marvel has made this release look really nice, while keeping things lean so as to not be cost prohibitive.
THE FINAL WORD
Overall I was very taken with The Invincible Iron Man. I found the story to be well told and conceived, and there seemed to be something about this release that went deeper than a lot of other so called cartoons. Sure, this is certainly a movie for kids, but I feel that screenwriter Greg Johnson and directors Patrick Archibald and Jay Oliva really went out of their way to make the story accessible for adults.

I think what really comes out in the telling of this story is just how big it is. This isn't Iron Man staying in one place and battling bad guys. He travels all over the world in his quest to battle the Mandarin dynasty. While at times I was somewhat bothered by the anime look of the production, overall I really felt that what Marvel was putting across here was more than just an animated movie.

At it's core, The Invincible Iron Man is not only something you watch, it is something you experience as well.

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