Movie Review: Iron Man & Captain America: Heroes United
Marvel has been knocking it out of the park with their live-action movies for years, but for some reasons their animated releases aren’t treated with the same level of care. Yet, I continue to believe that the next one will be the one to turn around my opinion. And here we are with Iron Man and Captain America: Heroes United, a somewhat pseudo sequel to Marvel’s The Avengers. It isn’t a bad film, but it isn’t a great film. Let’s break it down.
- The Iron Man/Captain America Story – Perhaps, it’s because I’ve caught up on Avengers Assemble recently, but it seems like there is one Captain America/Iron Man story that Marvel’s animation side loves to tell. A man who is too dependent on technology versus a man who loves doing things the old-fashioned way. They butt head over this constantly, but come to the same conclusion every time, they would both benefit from being a little more like the other. Problem is, it’s cool the first time, novel the second, and tiresome the 5th.
- Hulk Smash! – The Hulk makes a late game introduction to this film, and since they only really bring him in to SMASH!, it makes for a fun time. The Hulk is at his best when he gets to get creative with his carnage.
- The Red Master – The villains of this feature are the Red Skull and Taskmaster. They make for interesting bedfellows, always trying to outmaneuver and out-think each other while also working together for a common good. It makes for an intriguing story when you’re never quite sure where the enemies are coming from. It also helps that they tend to be physical equals to the two leads.
- Moves like Jagger – Marvel has started using a new animation style that seems to be a rough mixture of hand-drawn animation and CG animation, and it isn’t necessarily for everyone. I’ve grown accustom to it until this film. I don’t know if it’s because Iron Man and the Hulk were easier to hide or didn’t pay attention to it, but the animation style comes off as really stiff at times. It can make some transitions and movement really awkward, and really dampens some of the better action set-pieces.
- Say Cheese – The biggest offended of this animation style seems to be the mouths. It has a weird robotic movement to it, and it’s extremely distracting. Once you notice it, it’s impossible to look away. It gets really bothersome when they have close-ups of the characters speaking back and forth among themselves. I knew it was a problem for me when I noticed how poorly animated Red Skull and The Hulk’s mouth movements were, and those are people who you can provide a certain level of suspension of disbelief.
- Loose Connections – This is a smaller part of a larger problem, but Marvel’s tendency to have this really loose connectivity between their products and their films. If you’re going to connect everything go all the way. This film is loosely tied to the MCU (It shows a flashback to the climax of the original Captain America movie), but never takes time to explain how the Red Skull is back or does more than lip service to the connection. The same way this feature uses the voices from Marvel’s animated universe, but doesn’t really show if or how it’s connected to stuff like Avengers Assemble!
- The Trimmings – The movie seems to do just enough to get through. The voice actors, as noted above, are from the TV show and don’t seem to put in a better or worse performance. The music is… well utterly unremarkable. The credits (opening and closing) are actually really nice. Probably the best part of the movie. Decent enough length (about average for these films).
Review 3 (out of 7) – The movie isn’t terrible, but if you skip it your life won’t feel empty.