BLU-RAY REVIEW: Iron Man & Hulk - Heroes United
Marvel's Most Recent Animated Adventure Hits Home Video...
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If you're a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the fan-favorite live-action films including The Incredible Hulk, the Iron Man trilogy and the awesomely successful Avengers film and you don't mind animation, you might actually appreciate Marvel's most recent home video release, Iron Man & Hulk - Heroes United. While it may not be anywhere near the same caliber of story or production seen in the live-action films; it provides some interesting moments of action, adventure and fun for fans of two of Marvel's most successful characters.
Obviously aimed at the younger audience and die-hard fanboys, Iron Man & Hulk - Heroes United pairs the always popular Iron Man with the Hulk in an adventure that's almost too simple. Two HYDRA agents have captured the Hulk and the Abonimation with the goal of using the two monsters' gamma radiation to create a weapon of their own. However, when they succeed and the weapon becomes a living creature with superpowers, it'll take the combined strength of the Hulk and the wits and power of Iron Man to stop it!
With Iron Man & Hulk - Heroes United, Marvel seems to be attempting to expand the reach of the MCU to include a broader age range. And while I don't blame them, this film seems short-sighted, out of character and lackluster compared to even other Marvel animated shows like Avengers Assemble and Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Iron Man & Hulk - Heroes United introduces fans to an awkward and uncomfortable pairing between Tony Stark as Iron Man and the Hulk which, while may not seem that unlikely; comes off as inconsistent and down right strange. Unfortunately, no where does Bruce Banner make an appearance which is sad, though viewers do get the "smart" Hulk. In fact, it's the "smart" Hulk who actually figures out how to defeat the bad guy and, while kids will love it, fans will wonder how that happened. No matter; if you can tolerate and even enjoy the film to that point, there's little doubt you'll finish. Indeed there is a scene following the credits (as with other MCU films) which provides a hint at a possible future Marvel animated release teaming Iron Man with Captain America.
As far as the film presentation goes, the 1.78:1 picture comes across well. The style of animation is simple and clean and will probably remind most adult fans of a computer game though no doubt younger fans will enjoy it. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio provides plenty of room rumbling action throughout the surround speakers. As for special features, the movieincludes an 11-minute “Marvel Team-Up with Ryan Penagos and Joe Q” featuring Penagos and Quesada talking shop and three “Marvel Mash-Ups” episodes including “SHIELD,” “Betty Ross,” and “Lil’ Hulk" that'll have most fans laughing.
Overall, Iron Man & Hulk - Heroes United will appeal to die-hard fanboys, who'll probably enjoy it no matter what as well as younger kids who will appreciate seeing the Armored Avengers and the big green monster duking it out. That said, the film tries to appeal to both adults and kids a like and, in this instance, fails. While this is one Marvel film that won't appeal to mass audiences, some might just find it fun and entertaining.
Iron Man & Hulk - Heroes United is available now on Blu-ray hi-def and DVD wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess C. Horsley