Not wanting DC to have all the fun in the animated movie market, Marvel continues it team up series with Iron Man and Captain America: Heroes United (To see how the pervious team up movies did, please read Valkor’s review “Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United). Back to this movie, I have to say that I was impressed. Sure there are some rough spots that needed to be ironed out…. no pun intended. Yet Marvel actually did an okay job with its two most iconic characters, so let’s dive right in.
In Iron Man and Captain America: Heroes United, Hydra and Red Skull are out to take over the world again. This time by building a superhuman army that has Captain America’s skill and tactical ability and Iron man’s repulsion weapon. To achieve this aim, Hydra and the Taskmaster breaks into Iron Man’s ship to capture Captain America and steal Iron man’s prototype cannon. They’re initially stopped by our two heroes, who have a bit of a rivalry going on - Captain America believes that Iron Man’s improv fighting style is reckless. And Iron Man believes that Captain America’s strategic nature makes him too predictable. Taskmaster turns the battle around by helping to steal Iron Man’s weapon, “bring down Captain America,” and steal Iron Man’s stealth suit for himself. What can I say, Taskmaster was busy that day.
In any case, Captain America has his skills and strategic mind stolen from him by Red Skull’s machine and he is brain washed into becoming a Hydra soldier. Iron Man manages to track Captain America down, but he is too late to save him. Instead, Iron Man has to fight against a brainwashed Captain America, who lays the smack down on Iron Man. It took Iron Man’s sonic cannon to wake Cap up, who then lures Taskmaster in with fake acting to bring him down. Yet before they can rest, Iron Man and Captain America have to travel to Antarctica to foil Red Skull’s plan. Unknown to both of them, Taskmaster escapes and makes some changes to Iron Man’s stealth suit in his attempt to overthrow Red Skull. Captain America continues acting like a Hydra soldier to gain access into Hydra base along with Iron Man. They witness the creation of new Hydra soldiers, who are complete with the Hydra version of the super soldier serum, repulsion cannons, and a giant Captain America-like shield. Iron Man and Captain America decide to close down the workshop, but are stopped by Red Skull and the new and improved Iron Taskmaster.
After a failed coup by Taskmaster, he joins Red Skull in his attack on our heroes. With Red Skull, Iron Taskmaster, and the new Hydra soldiers, Cap and Iron Man are quickly overwhelmed until a surprise cameo by the Hulk turns things in their favor. I leave it to you the reader to watch the movie to see how this one ultimately turns out.
When I saw the previews for Iron Man and Captain America: Heroes United, I was a little worried that Marvel was going for the cel-shaded look over DC’s stylized hand drawings. Yet this movie made me a believer. Red Skull never looked better and the other characters’ designs were crisp and clean. I also loved the Marvel movie treatment of the title and credit screen - I almost felt like a live-action movie was about to begin. It’s the little things like this that brings a smile to the faces of fans. It would almost be criminal if I forgot to mention the visuals of Captain America’s brainwashing scene….hail Hydra….sorry. (This website does not endorse or condone the views or actions of Hydra. Valkor’s Note: *whisper* Hail Hydra). Finally, my biggest like of the movie had to be Captain America, who I believe, stole the movie. The voice, character design, and the way he used his shield were spot on. They could have just put him in this animated movie alone and it would have been a done deal. My second favorite was Red Skull. The details of his skull, the voice acting, and his movements made him a great villain to watch….and this is not the brainwashing talking.
If Cap stole the show, it was because Iron Man became the Jar Jar Binks of it. The voice acting became annoying and it felt more right for Hawkeye than Tony Stark. It is easy to curse Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Iron Man for setting the bar high for everybody else, but the voice actor who did the Iron Man animated series in the 90s, would have been a better fit. Also it felt that Iron Man was becoming a one trick pony in his fighting scene. Blast with his repulsion beam, missiles, or a sonic beam seemed the only things he could do. I know Iron Man is no Iron Fist, but Captain America managed to add variety to his shield throwing to keep things interesting. In this movie, it felt like Iron man was the predictable one. During the movie, Taskmaster commented that there were no more original ideas and I am starting to find this true with Marvel constant surprise cameos. The main characters get beaten down and suddenly a member of the Avengers shows up to save the day. In this case the Hulk. Just as I said in my previous review (Punisher Black widow), I believe this approach cheapens the characters that are actually in the movie and makes the movie too predictable. In their defense, they did a better job in justifying the cameo than in the Black Widow and Punisher movie.
Iron Man and Captain America: Heroes United was better than the last Marvel movie I reviewed, but Marvel needs to go back to the drawing board on some issues. The visuals and Captain America were A++++, but Iron man and the surprise cameo routine sinks the grade down to Ds and Fs. In the end I am hoping for more out of Marvel, but I liked most of what I saw. Iron Man and Captain America: Heroes United gets a 4 out of TOV 5.