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DVD Review: Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)


I was confused when I first started watching this movie. Was it a really crappy animated film or was it a really animated motion comic? The artwork wasn't what I would expect from a motion comic, but just to be sure I went and re-checked the box to see if it said Marvel Knights anywhere, as that's what Marvel calls their motion comics. Nope, I didn't see that anywhere, so I guess this is just a poorly animated movie. It's CGI, but not all that detailed and really looks more like a videogame cutscene than a movie. It's hard to explain and screenshots don't really convey how weird this looks in motion, so check out the trailer:

Unfortunately, that's not the only thing wrong with this film. The story is really simplistic, and there seems to be a lot of completely pointless action. Now, I like action, but the story should feed it. Here, it doesn't. For example, the first fight scene is between Hulk and Abomination. This occurs because two doctor scientist dudes from the evil organization Hydra hire the Abomination to capture Hulk and bring him back to their lab. So the two monsters go at it, and since they're both basically invincible it's just a long scene of them being smashed and thrown, until finally two Hydra robot drones spray knockout gas in Hulk's face causing him to pass out. So why did they need Abomination and what was the point of that fight?

The next fight is between Iron Man and Iron Man's Hulk-Buster armor, as a test, with Iron Man's AI Jarvis controlling the Hulk-Buster. So this is a long fight just to see if Iron Man can beat his Iron Man Hulk-Buster armor. And he does... by using an EMP (electromagnetic pulse). Because Hulk has an EMP? Shouldn't Tony Stark be in the Hulk-Buster armor and testing it out against Hulk?

After those two long and pointless battles, the story finally gets going. The doctor scientist dudes use Hulk and Abomination to power their verion of an arc reactor, but of course something goes wrong and instead of generating energy it starts feeding off energy, which causes a blackout and creates some energy ball creature. Iron Man heads out to the power station where he detected the gamma energy and runs into the Hulk. They fight for no reason at all. Yep, another pointless action sequence.

Anyway, long story short, the energy create takes over Iron Man robots and goes around trying to suck up all energy it can and Hulk and Iron Man have to stop him. But Hulk gets blinded and Iron Man's leg servos break so the two have to work together. I like seeing heroes work together, but I don't think it should have been so forced. I felt they should of had the characters choose to team up after realizing it's the only way to accomplish their goal.

So, super-simple story, simple artwork with odd animation, lots of pointless fighting, what else... well, simple dialog as well. And no real character development. And it's short, like 70 minutes long. I just don't get the point of this movie, other than they wanted Iron Man and Hulk together in one movie. It's really too bad, as I think that would be a cool team up if they could ever do it in better movie.

This release contains both a blu-ray disc and a DVD disc, plus a code to download a digital copy. But also, it contains an offer for a free-ish Iron Man MiniMate figurine and digital comic. I say free-ish because you'll need to cough up $2.59 shipping and processing. It's a reasonable shipping cost, unlike Chevy's who wants $6.00 to ship a lousy gift card.

If you watch any of the Marvel cartoons currently on TV then you're probably familiar with Marvel Mash-Ups where they take clips of old Marvel cartoons and re-dub them with funny dialog. Some of these are included as extra features and are definitely the funniest things on the disc. The only other extra feature is conversation between two guys, Marvel's Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada and Ryan Penagos (Agent M). They talk about Iron Man and Hulk, and also Spider-Man and Wolverine in the New Avengers. It's interesting to watch, I'd venture to say even more interesting than the movie.

Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy), released by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, is available starting December 3, 2013.

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