05 May 2015

Movie Review: "Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United"

Rated: PG for sci-fi action violence and brief mild language
Starring: Adrian Pasdar, Fred Tatasciore, and Dee Bradley Baker
Released: 2013 (DVD)
Synopsis: Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, is all about intelligence and technology; The Hulk is purely brute strength.  Despite their differences, they must come together to save the world once again, this time from Zzzax, an alien speck that feeds on energy, and wants to drain our planet of electricity entirely! Alone, they don't stand a chance...but, can they put aside their differences to save the Earth? Even if they can get along, their combined powers still may not be enough to defeat Zzzax.  Will they succeed?

The Good: This may be the first time I've seen comic book superheroes in fully computer-animated form, but this film's graphics are outstanding! The Hulk and Iron Man are both very detailed, and the lighting and shading effects are superb.  All of the action sequences are well-done, and the voice cast does a great job.  Zzzax is a very despicable villain, while the two heroes are rather admirable, which is how I like my stories of good vs. evil.  Nothing to complain about, except...

The Bad: This movie should not have been rated "PG".  As much as I love superhero stories, the violence is quite frenetic and rarely lets up; as soon as the opening credits finish, you're thrown into the first of many fights.  True, there are some breaks here and there, but they're rather brief.  The villains are also a bit scary, which is something I'm surprised the MPAA didn't worry about; Zzzax in his full form is rather hideous, as are some other creatures that Iron Man and Hulk fight.  For older fans, that isn't a big deal; still, parents may be duped into buying or renting this for their young children if they don't know that it abuses its "PG" rating.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: None. 5/5
  • Nudity: The Hulk is shirtless throughout the entire film. 4/5
  • Language: The MPAA warned about "brief mild language," but, I didn't notice any profanity, even with the closed captions turned on.  However, name-calling is present. 4/5
  • Violence: Right from the get-go, it becomes obvious that this movie contains plenty of intense violence.  The two heroes, the villains, and other characters are thrown, hit, kicked, slammed, blasted, etc., countless times, all in a mere seventy-one minutes.  The end credits also contain comic-book-style background images of violence. 1/5
  • Drugs: None. 5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Along with the frenetic violence, most of the bad guys are rather hideous. 1/5
  • Other: Evolution is briefly mentioned. 4/5
Conclusion: Back in the 1990s, kids everywhere were fascinated by the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, five teenagers who used their special powers to fight evil and save the world.  Despite its insane popularity, some discerning parents were rather wary of the franchise, mostly because of the Rangers' reliance on violence to defeat the bad guys.  That wasn't enough to ruin it, though; even twenty years later, a version of the Power Rangers is still on television...but, some parent advocacy groups still have a problem with that and other entertainment entities that market violence to children.  Well, if you think Saban's multi-million dollar franchise is intense, you haven't seen anything until you've seen this.  Older fans such as myself will love this film, but it may be too much for many children; proceed with caution.  If you do decide to watch this, make sure you stay tuned for a bonus scene after the credits.

Score: 4/5

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