Sunday, March 9, 2014

Movie Review: Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore

Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore is an Iron Man quasi-anime movie, made in Italy by a Japanese man for American audiences, and I hope that's not too confusing because that is the least nonsensical part about this movie.

Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, has just completed work on The Howard, an awfully named high-tech satellite that allows Stark Industries to link into and control any computer system in the entire world, from personal desktop computers to top secret military satellites, which for some reason is heralded as a great step in the advancement of modern society, as opposed to Tony Stark basically crowning himself King of the Earth. If that sounds stupid well strap in, because the crazy train is just getting started.

The launching of (ugh) "The Howard" is nearly stopped by Technovore, aka Ezekiel Stane, who is played here by Cliche Anime Villain #42, a moderately attractive teenage boy who wants to destroy the Earth for no adequately explained reason, and who spends a significant portion of the film's runtime half naked.

You'll be on the edge of your seat as Zeke Stane proves himself to be an extremely effective and frightening adversary for the first 30 minutes of the movie when he slaughters 300 people by himself, kills Colonel James Rhodes aka War Machine, and nearly kills Iron Man too. Then you'll be facepalming repeatedly for the rest of the movie as he proceeds to become one of the most incompetent supervillains in history.

It all starts going downhill as soon as we discover that Ezekiel didn't build the Technovore nanites himself or even find them in some alien crash site or something, he just bought them at an auction. Everything spirals out of control from there. Tony Stark tracks the kid down in about thirty minutes, and the only reason it even took that long is because of a ridiculous subplot about global peacekeeping agency S.H.I.E.L.D. deciding Tony tried to blow up the Howard himself and trying to kill him. Then Tony finally confronts Ezekiel and manages to defeat him with relative ease even though it's made clear that Technovore can disable and destroy the Iron Man armor with a single thought, because right when Ezekiel is about to kill Tony he randomly loses control over Technovore and gets blasted. Oh yeah, and this happens THREE GOD DAMN TIMES over the course of the movie. Seriously, the only reason Tony Stark even wins in the end is basically because Zeke sucks at his job. This is why most supervillains wait until they're at least old enough to drive before they decide to take over the world.

Oh, yeah, and the Punisher appears for what's basically a glorified cameo despite getting top billing for the movie, even appearing before Iron Man in the credits.

KR Rating: [2] BAD

I'm not lying when I say this movie is one of the most nonsensical things I've ever seen, and this is coming from a guy who once read the Time Cube website from beginning to end. This movie will leave you with nothing but questions. Questions like:

Why does Nick Fury decide that Tony Stark was the terrorist who tried to sabotage The Howard? He knows Tony way better than this. I mean, sure Tony's an asshole, but does Fury really believe that he would destroy his own greatest achievement and murder his best friend for no God damn reason? Sure, he says that he just wants to keep Tony in custody because he's their only witness, but then he publicly declares Tony Stark to be a terrorist and even goes so far as to order lethal force against him. Why?

Why does Ezekiel keep randomly losing control over Technovore whenever he's about to kill Tony? I thought that maybe Technovore didn't want Zeke to control it and wanted to destroy the Earth on its own, and Ezekiel even accuses it of betraying him at one point, but then he says he's still in control of it, and it even sits and reads to him in its human form when he's in his coma at the end of the movie. What the Hell?

Speaking of the villain, what the Hell is even his motivation? He says that he hates humanity for letting technology control them, but then he says that he hates Tony Stark because he's a "relic" and the Iron Man armor isn't technologically advanced enough. So... does he believe that technology is good or bad? And if he believes that technology is bad and that he needs to destroy it so that humanity can start over, which he claims he wants to do at one point, then why does he later say that his goal is to end all life on Earth? That doesn't seem like it would help at all!

For that matter, why does Tony Stark tell Ezekiel that there's "still time to turn his life around" after Ezekiel has already killed hundreds of people including Tony's own best friend? Are we supposed to buy that Zeke deserves a second chance just because he's a kid and his dad was mean to him? And why does Technovore bring Rhodes back to life at the end of the movie AND rebuild his War Machine armor? Why does Nick Fury suddenly believe that Tony Stark is a good guy after all as soon as they apprehend Ezekiel Stane? Why was Pepper Potts saying the word "vacation" the super secret password to let Tony Stark regain control of The Howard from Technovore, why did Tony randomly forget about it until the last moment, and why did he have to trick her into saying it instead of just asking her to do it? Why did Tony have to let himself be devoured by Technovore to blast it with that proton cannon satellite? Couldn't he have just had it lock on and attack Technovore directly? And how the Hell did he survive getting shot with a blast big enough to take out a creature that had grown to the size of an entire city? Hell, how did the city of Shanghai survive for that matter?

I'll be honest. The movie wasn't terrible. There were a lot of cool action scenes and it never left me feeling bored, but it was just so stupid. Seriously, this movie was even dumber than Ballistic, and that's saying something.

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