|This article is written from the Real World perspective|
|The Invincible Iron Man|
|Release date||January 23, 2007|
|Editor||George P. Rizkallah|
|Distributor||Lions Gate Home Entertainment|
|Music By||Guy Michelmore|
|Running Time||83 Minutes|
|Previous Video||Ultimate Avengers II|
|Next Video||Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme|
While uncovering the ancient temple of the mysterious Mandarin, Tony Stark and his best friend James Rhodes are take captive by the Jade Dragons, whose goal is to stop the resurrection of the Mandarin at all costs. They believe that the two are fulfilling a terrible prophecy. But one of them holds a dark secret. Meanwhile, Tony's father Howard is taking control of the company away from him. To make matters worse, the government agency S.H.I.E.L.D. has a warrant for Tony's arrest. To save his company, clear his name, and save the world Tony will have to fight the very elements themselves and embrace his destiny as the legendary Iron Knight.
As the man goes to get more tools he suddenly hears a voice coming from the statue. He goes back and stares into the eyes. He sprays them and whips them off. As the voices continue the eyes suddenly begin to glow.
The man screams and backs up falling off the scaffolding into the dirt below. He runs away screaming.
James Rhodes watches through a pair of binoculars as the man runs across a large dragon painting etched in the ground. He realizes that they're going to need another man. Around him, large cranes help to excavate the area.
A group of Chinese call out to Rhodey as they walk towards him. Another hands him a clipboard and Rhodey begins his logging in. The first man, Mr. Lee, tells Rhodey that they are behind schedule and the "rains" are nearly upon them.
However, Rhodey claims it is not his fault. Lee points out that the underground rivers are swelling and the ruins will soon collapse. Rhodey blames the Jade Dragons, whose raids keep them too busy to dig.
Lee points out that security is Rhodey's responsibility and Tony promised to help. Rhodey laments that Tony promises a lot and walks over to a landing VTOL.
As the pilot shuts down the engines Rhodey wonders why he was not there yesterday like planned. The pilot claims he was held up in inspections at Shanghai and threatens to raise his price.
Rhodey then reassures Lee that they now have enough liquid steal to pump under the temple and raise the excavation site. Lee does not think it's enough to raise it above the ground but Rhodey assures him that they'll do their best.
Rhodey looks at the manifest to see that weapons were included in the shipment. He stops a man carrying boxes from Stark Enterprises and opens it. When he sees the weapons are gone he is disappointed by Tony. Rhodey searches through his cell phone and prepares to call Tony Stark.
Before he does a rocket blows apart the plane behind him. Rhodey is knocked forward onto the ground as the plane blows up behind him. Rhodey gets up to see the entire area devastated. He then sees two masked figures with bazookas slink away into the forest.
Rhodey stands to see fallen workers all around him. One is able to stand and helps another sit up but four do not move. He puts an earpiece on and call Tony.
In his room Tony is entertaining a woman in a hot tub. The room is steamy and there are glasses of champagne around.
The phone rings and a small screen with Rhodey's image pops up but the naked woman pushes it down. She turns to make out with the also naked Tony. However, the phone rings again and the screen once more pops up.
Tony stops the girl and talks to Rhodey who tells him of the attack. Tony wonders if the ruins are fine. Rhodey is mad that he's more interested in the ruins than him, but says they're both okay. The woman begins sponging Tony.
Tony puts on an earpiece and closes the screen. He gets out of the tub and puts on a towel. He tells her to finish dessert without him as he needs to take this.
Tony then asks Rhodey what happened. Rhodey claims they can't defend themselves and Tony points out they've been over this before. Rhodey feels that that's why he took the weapons off the shipment. However, Tony did not authorize any weapons on any shipment. Meanwhile, Tony gets dressed while the woman continues to play around.
Rhodey tells him that he went behind his back to request them. The woman gets out of the tub and wraps herself up too. Rhodey claims he didn't have a choice since the closer they get to raising the temple the more aggressive the Jade Dragons get. Tony points out that the terrorist team is not trying to kill anyone but would if guns were involved.
Rhodey then asks if he stopped the shipment of weapons. Tony says he didn't but would have. He figured the weapons would probably get stolen. Rhodey points out that he needs support there. Tony promises to head out there. But Rhodey points out that he's made that promise before. Tony assures him that he'll clear his schedule this time.
Tony begins to walk out and hangs up the phone. In the doorway he turns back to the girl and says there's something that really needs his attention.
A helicopter flies towards New York City and Stark Tower. Inside, a woman with large high heels impatiently taps her foot. Outside, the helicopter lands on one of the two landing pads.
The woman stops tapping as Tony Stark leaves the helicopter and enters the room. Pepper Potts holds a jacket for him and tells him he is forty minutes late. Tony walks right by her saying he wants to keep it casual so she throws the jacket on the ground. She follows him and whips the lipstick off his cheek. He then enters the meeting room.
Inside the meeting room Howard Stark and the Board of Directors wait for Tony to appear. One of the directors pulls out a pocket watch to look at the time. Tony finally enters and the man puts the watch away.
He jokingly says they're not here to form a softball team. Tony walks over to the bar and gets himself a drink. The man with the watch, Boyer, claims that Tony has no respect for the company or its shareholders. Tony thinks the shareholders would love a softball team.
With a drink in hand Tony sits down at the end of the table opposite his father. He puts his feet up on the table as Boyer says they are going to correct the mistake of handing him his own advanced technology division. He says it was a major error in judgement, one he was against from the beginning. He says Tony has too much freedom and is being charged with gross malfeasance.
He says the price of the China excavation is too high and keeps climbing while they're doing it all for free. However, Tony retorts that the Chinese government is so grateful that they're rewarding them with contracts worth twenty times that much. Tony throws him the paper work to look it over.
Boyer then points out that Tony is spending half a billion dollars in some secret project without board approval. Tony claims that what he has been working on is the future of the company. He points out that his innovations have made the board incredibly rich even if they only get in his way.
However, Boyer says they need to control loose cannons like Tony. He proposes that Tony be dismissed and his division be shut down. He starts to protest but another board member agrees with the motion.
Tony asks his father to help but he moves forward with the vote. The board votes unanimously to relieve Tony. Frustrated, Tony says that alone his father will ruin the company and storms out. The man tells Howard that it was the right thing to do. Howard doesn't look too happy.
Back in China, Rhodey looks at a holographic projection of the excavation site. He tells the workers around them that they get to see the 3000 year-old city rise once again. Rhodey begins the sequence.
The liquid steel gets pumped into the pipes underground. The workers below begin a sonic bombardment with large guns. Rhodey explains to the men that the sonic blasts are causing the metal to expand like cotton candy or steel wool.
In the caverns, the foundation bags holding the liquid steel begin increasing in size. They reach the roof of the caverns and begin pushing against the metal braces. Outside, the city begins to rise out of the ground. The sonic bombardment stops and the steel hardens.
On a nearby hill, a man, Wong Chu, watches the city rising out of the ground. He stands and readies a Sten machine gun. Behind him, a dozen masked figures rise out of the forest.
He tells them to move and they do, all except for a woman named Li Mei. He walks over to her ordering her to go. However, she refuses to take innocent lives. Wong says that anyone involved with raising the city is not innocent, and if she does not kill he will kill her. She puts on her mask and follows the others.
Mr. Lee is glad to see the East and West working together. However, Rhodey notes that not everyone is that thankful. Lee points out that the Mandarin Dynasty was the most violent and darkest in all of China's history. Rhodey claims that's just ancient history. But Lee says others feel that raising the temple means history will repeat itself.
Outside, the Jade Dragons move towards the site. Two workers are suddenly knocked aside by an explosion.
In the command center Rhodey tells the others to run after they are all knocked down.
Explosions rock the city as the armed Jade Dragons race through. One pulls the pin out of a couple of grenades and drops them into a crevice. They fall to the liquid steel below and go off.
Above ground, one Dragon begins firing a machine gun while the other readies a rocket launcher.
Rhodey walks through the city checking to see if a man needs help. He walks along a building and a Dragon, Li Mei, walks around the corner. She readies the gun but does not fire. Rhodey knocks the gun out of her hand and knocks her out.
As he looks at her fallen body he is hit in the head from behind by another Dragon.
In the bathroom off of his office, Tony Stark takes a shower. Pepper walks up and Tony teases her about not being able to stay away from him. She opens the top of the glass door and tells him the ruins were once again attacked.
Tony tells her to tell Rhodey that he'll be out there as soon as he clears up this thing with the board of directors. However, Pepper tells him that Rhodey is missing and all the workers are dead. Tony looks determined to help his friend.
Deep in the mountains of China in a hidden base, Rhodey is dragged by two men and thrown against a box of supplies. He looks up to see the Stark Enterprises name on them. He stands and asks what they want. The leader tells them that they want Tony Stark.
Elsewhere, a VTOL lands and drops off three armored vehicles. They drive through the town and Tony peers out at the people outside. The driver informs Tony of a broken down vehicle blocking their path. Tony looks at the screen then decides to drive around it.
A man with a Jade Dragon mask watches the group go down in alley from the truck's cab. More Dragons lie in wait in alleys and rooftops as the vehicles go by.
One of the drivers points out that the streets are never empty. Tony looks out to see that there's no one around. The vehicles continue, each person getting nervous.
Suddenly the lead vehicle blows up. The second one swerves out of the way. The driver of Tony's vehicle gets on the radio saying they need back up. The vehicle is hit and spins around. It stops, opens the back, and lets out three soldiers. Tony watches as a rocket kills all three.
The explosion rocks the vehicle. As the smoke dissipates Tony can only hear his heart beating. He looks around and sees the vehicle heavily damaged. He then spots a Dragon using a crowbar to get him out. He then passes out.
Later, he wakes up to see two armed guards watching a monk. The monk looks as though he's performing some kind of ceremony. He then grabs a large piece of metal and lifts it out of Tony's chest dripping blood everywhere.
Tony can hear again and Rhodey runs up to him. Rhodey then angrily punches one of the guards but is quickly subdued. The other guard hits him in the stomach with his gun.
Li Mei watches them drag Rhodey off then looks sadly at Tony. Wong asks the monk, Ho Yen, if Tony will live. Yen says he will and Wong states that if Tony dies he will die. As Wong leaves Li turns her head in disgust. Wong snaps his fingers informing Li and the two guards to leave.
Rhodey stands and says they need to keep him alive. Yen asks if he knows medicine and Rhodey states he was an army medic a long time ago. Rhodey opens a box and begins pulling out supplies.
Outside, the guards are locking the door. Li looks concerned but when she turns around she is confronted by Wong. He is angry that she shows concern for Tony and slaps her saying he may have doomed them all. Li angrily slaps him back knocking off his glasses.
Wong pulls out a gun and aims it at her head, blood still dripping from her lip. She stands her ground in defiance. He laughs and puts his gun away wondering why she does not act this way in battle. She states there is a lot he does not know.
As she walks by him he grabs her hand. He reminds her of her responsibility and pulls down her sleeve revealing a green dragon tattoo. She pulls her hand away from his saying that she is only there for her responsibility. She then walks away.
That night a Jade Dragon watches over the temple as a fog rolls in.
Back at the temple, the eyes in the image of the dragon begin to glow. The fog rolls up closer to the statue of the Mandarin and the four surrounding him. A creaking sound is heard just before the ground explodes upwards and the pieces swirl around the statue.
Suddenly one of the statues bursts into flames, another becomes surrounded in an eerie wind, one becomes surrounded by dirt, and the last freezes. The dragon removes his mask to witness the strange events.
Suddenly the statues burst revealing four of the Demon Elementals. Earth Spirit carries a large hammer. Ice Spirt carries a large spear. The feminine Fire Spirt holds two flaming swords. Wind Spirt has two fans.
They each drop off their pedestals and gather on the image of the dragon. Wind brings its two fans out and begins twirling them around. A large storm is call forth and the four elementals are carried off.
The Dragon contacts Wong to tell them of the elementals. Wong asks where they are going and the man tells them they are off to find the rings. Suddenly the fog creeps up on him and surrounds his feet. He looks down.
On the other side, Wong hears screaming and crunching. He throws the phone onto the ground in frustration. Two men enter carrying large containers.
Back at Stark Tower, Howard stares out over the city. A lawyer tells Howard that Tony's disappearance may be the best thing for the company. Howard turns and angrily tells him that this is his son they're talking about.
The man says that they have been contacted by the Chinese government to inquire into how the Jade Dragons got Stark's supplies. He says that if they start blaming Howard the board will cut him loose. Howard states that they would never do that. But the lawyer claims the board will do what's in the company's best interest.
Howard turns back to stare out on the city.
Back in their room, Rhodey finishes completion of an iron lung for Tony while Yen meditates. Tony suddenly wakes up and panics as he looks around. Rhodey calms him down and pushes his head back onto the pillow.
Tony looks and sees the iron lung with a window on top that shows his heart beating. He asks what happened and Rhodey says he was attacked and the machine is keeping him alive. Tony thanks him but Rhodey says it was all thanks to Yen. Tony looks over to see Yen standing next to him and thanks him. He falls asleep.
Later, Yen is painting on some paper when Li walks into the room. She asks how Tony is and Rhodey tells her to ask him. Rhodey introduces her as the only decent person in the place and walks off.
Li is glad to see Tony is alive. She pours some water into his mouth and he thanks her. He then asks why they are prisoners but she immediately leaves. She knocks on the door to signal the guard. She gives a quick glance back before leaving.
As the guard closes the door Rhodey laughs at the idea that for once Tony scared a woman off. Tony thinks it has something to do with the iron lung and looking like Frankenstein. He then suggests they streamline the device.
Outside, Li stands on a bridge near a large waterfall. She looks down at the bracelet on her wrist and the scars underneath. She flashes back to her father.
She stood next to her father who sat in a wheelchair. He was disgusted at her "weakness." She apologized saying she wanted his strength. But he told her he wanted a son and was disgraced by her. He started to roll away but she called him father which further drew his anger.
He told her how he should have been the one to face the Mandarin not her. She told him she didn't want this life. He told her her life was meaningless except to serve another purpose. He held up her wrist saying not to fail again.
Back in the present, Li covers up her arm and begins sobbing.
In a far off city a large dark cloud moves over a plaza. The wind blows the hat off one man while another takes a picture.
A large tornado appears over England and drops off the four elementals. People go flying and buses crash into each other because of the wind. The four land and Earth slams the ground opening a large hole. The four drop down to see a decayed skeleton wearing a shiny ring.
Later, Wong watches a news report explaining how four beings attacked the city. Li enters and he tells her that the elementals have the first ring and they are running out of time. She points out that Tony has not yet recovered and he slaps the tray of food out of her hand. He walks out of the room claiming they need to start now.
Rhodey is working on a large piece of machinery when Tony, with a smaller machine in his chest, walks up to him saying they need to figure out what's going on. Rhodey says that it won't be good while Yen claims that Wong will kill them in the end.
Tony sits down next to Yen and asks what the Jade Dragons want. He tells Tony that they spent three-thousand years trying to prevent the rising of the city he just uncovered. He tells him of a prophecy that foretells the return of the Mandarin.
He also tells him of the elementals that will find the Bands of the Underworld to resurrect their master. At the same time Yen begins drawing a map.
Tony doesn't believe him but gets Yen to continue. Yen goes on to explain that the bands were conduits to the afterlife and that monks sacrificed their lives to hide four of them after Mandarin's death. They were the first Jade Dragons and the group knows where to find the rest.
Yen holds out the map for Tony. Tony realizes that if all five were brought together the Mandarin would return. Yen hears footsteps and tells Tony that if he can stop the elementals he would stop the Mandarin.
Suddenly, three armed men break into the room. Tony hides the map in his shirt just before two of the men pull him up. The third brings Rhodey over. Wong enters asking if Tony wants to live. He tells him to undo what he did to the city.
However, Tony does not think it can be done since the fiber-steel is pretty indestructible. Wong walks over to Yen who is sitting peacefully and aims his gun at the man's head. He reminds Tony that Yen saved his life just before he shoots him.
Yen's body falls to the floor shocking Tony and Rhodey. Wong then walks over and points his gun at Rhodey's head. Tony quickly agrees to help. Wong walks out saying he has a week before he kills Rhodey.
Li watches from the doorway and moves out of the way for Wong. She looks on Tony with pity as two men drag Yen's body away. Li follows the men out the door and closes it behind her. Rhodey asks what they should do now. Tony responds that they should get to work.
Getting to Work
Later, Tony lights a blowtorch and begins welding while Rhodey moves machinery into place. The two begin soldering wires and computer components together. Together they build large arms that Tony puts his hands in. He pulls on the controls moving the fingers. They then pour liquid metal into a mold and use a sonic gun to shape it. After it cools they pull it out to begin assembling.
As the two continue to work Li enters and hands Tony a cordless drill. He thanks her and she asks what they are building. He tells her it is a micro-biotic nullifier and if it works should soften the metal holding the ruins. She wonders if it will be finished in time. Tony hopes so and she leaves.
Tony follows her out to a balcony where she looks over the canyon at the waterfalls. A guard stops him but she lets Tony by and the guard leaves. Tony tells her that she doesn't belong there with those other murderers.
She goes on about the Mandarin killing so many people but Tony asks why she is there. She tells him that she has a responsibility that has been passed from father to son since the Mandarin Dynasty. Before Tony can ask she tells him that she had no brothers and her father is dead.
He tells her that she's not the only one who has disappointed their father. She asks if Tony knows why he is on the Earth, but he doesn't know. She says she does and always has known. Tony asks if this is the life she wants to live but she claims her life doesn't matter. She then walks away leaving Tony alone.
In a snow capped mountain range in Switzerland a storm builds and the four elementals descend once again. They land on a small ledge on the side of a cliff. The four burst into a cavern to find another decayed body. The ring on the skeleton's finger begins glowing as the four approach.
Back in the cave, Rhodey asks where Tony came up with the idea. He claims he just came up with the design.
Suddenly Li runs into the room claiming that Wong is coming and they must escape.
As they run over Wong appears and slaps Li across the face. He pulls out his gun as Rhodey readies to hit him with a pipe. He tells the two to demonstrate the device immediately. The two walk over and Rhodey begins the "demonstration" by speaking in technical gibberish.
With Wong distracted on Rhodey Tony slips behind a large device. He walks over to a suit of armor hanging from the roof.
Rhodey continues the distraction and begins pounding the device. Wong pushes him aside and lifts the control panel revealing that the panels are not even connected to anything. He aims his gun at Rhodey intending to kill him. Rhodey closes his eyes and flinches when he hears a gun shot.
He opens his eyes to see that he is perfectly fine. He looks to see blood coming from Wong. Wong turns around as another shot drops him revealing Li with a smoking gun. She lowers the gun behind her back when more guards come after hearing the shots.
They enter the room to see the fallen Wong. They look up to see Rhodey who tries to calm them down. Suddenly they hear something powering up behind the machinery. The machinery blasts outwards and the room fills with dust. In the chaos large footsteps can be heard.
As the dust clears the large suit of armor stands ready to attack. Li is horrified at the suit and the men begin firing at it. However, their bullets to no damage.
The armor raises his massive arm and fires a beam at one of the men knocking him back. Another man begins firing but the armor grabs his head, lifts him up, and throws him at another man.
The armor walks towards Li who freaks out, but Tony's voice assures her that it is fine. She tells him to leave but he won't without her. She refuses to go and tells him never to return.
Tony relents and gets Rhodey to climb on his back. As more guards come Tony activates jets in his boots and blasts off through the roof. Together they fly away from the Jade Dragons.
By the time they fly to the airport it is pouring down rain. Tony enters an aircraft and puts Rhodey down. Rhodey runs to the cockpit, starts the engines, and takes off.
In the back Tony relaxes and takes off the helmet. He sits down telling Rhodey that he doesn't want to work with this suit again. He tosses the helmet into a storage container.
Back at their hideout, Li watches as the rain comes in through the ceiling. One of the men asks her what to do now that she is the senior member of the group. But she does not care. She walks over and opens a panel revealing a large mural. It shows the Mandarin and a dragon battling a man in a suit of armor that looks suspiciously like the one Tony built.
A man walks up to her saying that Tony is the one, though Li denies this. He looks at the mural and states that the resemblance is undeniable and that Tony is the Iron Knight, destined to battle the Mandarin. He thinks the Mandarin can now be defeated, but Li retorts that they know the two will battle and one will die but not which.
Li walks away and the man turns back to gaze at the mural.
As they return to the United States Rhodey pilots the aircraft towards Runway Three. There they are met by a group of men in cars. The two exit the craft and the men tell them to put their hands in the air.
Tony and Rhodey comply and walk down the stairs as the men point guns at them. Tony asks what is going on and the leader introduces himself as Agent Drake of S.H.I.E.L.D. and places them under arrest.
Drake says that the Chinese government is accusing Stark and Rhodes of selling weapons to the Jade Dragons. Tony and Rhodey deny it but Drake says they have documents confirming a sale. As he is being lead to a car Tony suddenly looks over and sees the grim face of his father watching it all.
Tony quickly turns and grabs the man behind him. The agent fires a few shots but misses. Tony knocks the gun out of his hand and pushes him into an oncoming agent. He runs to the car with Rhodey in it and gets in.
The agents fire at the car but do no damage, obviously being bulletproof. Tony finds the key and speeds away, knocking Rhodey around in the back. Rhodey crawls into the front seat next to Tony.
The agents continue to fire but Drake stops him. He knows Tony knows the car is bulletproof because Tony built it.
Back in China, the Jade Dragons wander through the foggy forest. Li then notices that the others have stopped. She asks them why and they wonder about the fifth elemental. She holds up a detonator saying that if they destroy the temple the dragon will fall. When none of the others move she promises to go in first and leaves. Soon after she tells the others that it is safe.
The Dragons enter the city and move past Terracotta soldiers. They move past large construction lights that illuminate the area. They get to the central temple and Li tells the others that they are far enough.
The group begins activating the explosives while two ready rocket launchers. As the bombs are placed around the temple more soldiers ready their rocket lauchers while Li keeps her gun. Suddenly they hear a sound in the wind and soon screaming is heard.
Other soldiers run to see but a large reptilian foot grabs three of them and tosses them aside. Li turns to see the three landing on top of them and her groups scatters. One takes his mask off but is hit by the gun of one of the falling three.
Li looks to see the other members of the Dragons pulled under the fog or whipped around. She backs up but quickly turns around to see an enormous dragon looming above her.
She takes off her mask and drops her gun. She then kneels down before the statue of the Mandarin asking for forgiveness.
Back in New York Tony and Rhodey hide in an alley just outside of Stark Tower. Rhodey sees a newspaper and picks it up. It has a large article on the cover, one about he and Tony evading arrest. Rhodey throws it on the ground.
Tony points out that they are closed off from their offices. He then looks down at the paper to see an article about the elementals' attack on the city. He sees a map that shows how two strange tornadoes appeared in England and Switzerland.
He pulls out Yen's map to see that the two attacks correspond to locations of the rings. The other two locations are in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and South America. He realizes that Yen was right though Rhodey doesn't. He walks away intending to find the third ring.
Inside Stark Tower S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are tearing apart the offices. Pepper's cell phone rings and she grabs it before any of the agents can. She answers and starts talking to her mother and walks away.
On the street at a payphone Tony wonders about her mother. Rhodey stands guard outside.
Pepper keeps up the act as she heads to the women's bathroom. The two male agents following her are stopped at the door. She walks into a stall and asks Tony what is going on.
He tells her he needs to get into his office. She tells him it will be difficult with all the agents running around. She tells him that she will make sure the East door is unlocked. Tony smiles at the plan.
Pepper returns to the office with the agents. She looks at all of them then drops a stack of papers. The agents quickly dive in to look them through. She then calls her own cell phone and pretends she is talking to Tony. She loudly asks how they got into the lobby and the agents go running.
Pepper backs up into the office and opens the emergency exit. Tony and Rhodey come through and thank her. Tony runs over to his desk and opens a secret drawer. He pulls out some files and hands it to Pepper.
He tells her to make assets from three of the accounts available. Rhodey walks up wondering why they would come there just to do business. Tony clears a spot off his desk, puts his hand on it, and says the code word Maria.
The computer accepts the code word and fingerprints and the desk suddenly drops, the back wall moves away, and a large door opens up. Pepper and Rhodey are astounded as they first see the armory hidden behind there.
Tony thanks Pepper and steps through the door. Rhodey joins him just as the door closes. Pepper is left standing there alone.
Tony and Rhodey head deeper into the room. They enter a large dark room and Tony turns on the lights revealing a large collection of armors. One armor is enormous, one has large weaponary, one that is futuristic looking, and one is big and bulky.
Tony introduces Rhodey to his series of interactive exo-suits. He claims that each one can accomplish what would otherwise take months to do. He says he has suits that could go into the sea, a volcano, space, or any other hostile environment. He is confident that they will change the world.
He notes that since the next location is in the Atlantic ocean he should use the aquatic suit to get there.
He looks over to see that Rhodey is obviously distressed. Rhodey is angry that Tony lied to him about coming up with the suit. But Tony wanted to keep it top secret. Rhodey gets angry and storms down the stairs.
He tells Tony that he is his best friend and was hired to work alongside him. Tony claims he would have brought him in eventually. Rhodey stops in his tracks and yells at Tony about not trusting him. Tony thinks he is overreacting and walks down to him.
However, Rhodey reminds him of a time when Howard took Tony's designs and used them in the weapons program leaving the son feeling betrayed. He claims that Tony is just like Howard causing Tony to lower his head.
Rhodey leans next to the aquatic armor and Tony walks up to him. He puts his hand on Rhodey's shoulder saying that he is right, but they have more important things at the moment. They both look up knowing what they need to do.
Over the Atlantic the elementals form another storm and drop into the ocean. As Wind Spirit creates a funnel down to the underwater temple, Ice Spirit freezes it around them. Deep below, soot covering the temple is uncovered as air is brought down. The entire temple is frozen around them.
The four enter the ruins to find the hovering body of the monk perfectly preserved in the center. Earth hovers over to him and breaks the ring off along with the finger. The finger soon turns to dust. Soon the rest of the monk's body shrivels and turns to dust until all that is left is the clothes.
Tony, in his aquatic armor, flies over the Atlantic until he comes to a large icy vortex. He dives into the water and follows the ice down.
The four elementals leave the temple but hear the ice breaking. Suddenly Tony breaks through the icy barrier allowing water to pour in. He flies out of the stream and scans the elementals. However, the spectral analysis comes up with nothing.
Ice flies up to attack Tony so the hero fires his beams at him. However, he is knocked back into the temple. The elementals fly around him as he gets up. Earth destroys a large pillar and Wind blows it towards the hero. He flies back into the ice opening another hole. The force of the water push him onto the temple steps.
Fire then walks up behind him and fires at him. Tony fires his beam knocking the elemental back. Tony and the elemental fly over the water but a wave catches the female force and she falls. She tries to get up but Tony blasts her apart destroying her.
Earth soon appears and slams Tony into the temple. He rises up and slams down on the top of the temple causing it to collapse trapping Tony underneath. The three remaining elementals fly up as the water rises.
Tony struggles to free himself as the armor's integrity is comprised allowing water to flood in. As the life support systems begin to fail Tony gets the idea to use his boots to propel himself out. It works and he soon makes it to the surface where the icy bits of the vortex float.
Tony flies back to the city and enters the armory. He lands on the central platform and Rhodey notices that it didn't go so well. He uses puts out some sparks on his chest. Tony exclaims that it's all real, everything he heard about the Mandarin and elementals. Rhodey tries to tell him that it's not his fault.
Two arms move over Tony and grab onto the armor. He tells him to release the armor and the suit unscrews allowing the arms to lift up the top. The legs open up allowing Tony to lift himself out.
However, Tony says that he was the one who raised the city setting all this in motion so it is his fault. He walks down the stairs blaming his father for making things worse. Rhodey tries to stop him but Tony keeps going.
Plan of Escape
After getting dressed, Tony bursts into his father's office blaming him. He claims that Howard cooked up a phony arms deal so that Tony could be blamed. Howard stands from his desk retorting that Tony is the one how does underhanded deals.
Tony blames him for putting weapons on the planes despite his objections. He points out that the Jade Dragons used his weapons to kill people. Howard walks over to his bar and gets a cup of coffee. He claims he was trying to protect Rhodey since Tony left him out there with nothing.
Tony believes that if Howard stayed out of it everything would have been fine. Howard points out that military contracts built the company. Tony counters that he built it after the military projects started it.
Howard notes that Tony sounds just like his mother. He laments that she hated Howard's work on weapons and passed that along to Tony. Tony points out that she defended Howard even if she didn't like it.
Howard feels that Tony blames him for her death and claims he lost her too. Tony storms out saying he lost both his parents. Howard is left alone in his office.
Agent Drake gets a drink from the water fountain when he spots Tony casually walking around. He pulls out his gun and runs to follow.
Tony casually walks past Pepper sitting distracted at her desk and says hello. She says hello back then realizes who it was. He enters his office and shuts the door. She stands just as the agent runs in.
Quickly, she pushes her lamp over causing him to trip. He gets up telling her she is helping a fugitive. He runs into the office but doesn't see anyone. Pepper follows but is startled when he points the gun in her direction. He puts the gun away and arrests her for helping Tony. Pepper relents saying she needs the rest.
Tony watches on the monitors as Pepper is put into handcuffs and taken away. He gets up and walks into the other room with Rhodey. He's searching for the fourth ring and believes he found it in the center of an active volcano.
Tony tells him that they have bigger problems. He tells them they arrested Pepper and are on to them. He pulls up an image of the rooftop to show agents on the helicopter pads. Rhodey walks away saying he will lure them away.
Tony tries to stop him by saying he will be arrested. Rhodey points out that they're trapped and Tony needs to get to South America.
On the rooftop, Rhodey opens the door and calls out to the agents. He quickly runs as the agents chase him. When the agents clear the roof, Tony blasts through the helicopter pad in a different armor. He flies up and out of the city.
The next day Tony makes it to the volcano. He scans inside and detects the strange energy signature of the elementals. He dives right in through the smoke but stops when he encounters a large pool of lava. He activates an energy shield and dives in.
Deep within the twisted caverns of the volcano the three elementals spot the last decayed corpse with the ring. Just as Earth is about to grab it, Tony fires his beam knocking the ring into the lava. Tony then dives into the lava after it. However, Earth also follows the ring down.
Wind and Ice walk up to the lava's edge waiting for Earth to emerge. Suddenly a large fountain of lava bursts up. Tony flies up and his shield goes off. He lands on the side and the ring drops out of his hand.
Suddenly the ground beneath the ring forms a hand and Earth rises up. The other two elementals hover over to join him. Earth opens a hole into his belt, drops the ring in, and closes the hole.
The three elementals run up to Tony and Earth smashes his hammer into his chest. Tony falls but it hit once again. Earth pushes him against the wall lifting him up. Tony scans the other two approaching elementals. He then activates his chest beam and knocks them all away.
Ice attacks but Tony drops down to dodge. He dodges Wind's first attack but is hit by the next two. He is pushed back onto the ledge which breaks off. As Tony rides the rock over the lava Ice and Wind hover over the lava coming towards him.
Tony stands and fires his beams that they easily dodge. Wind leaps into the air and Tony hits him dead on. However, Wind simply dissipates and reforms behind him. Iron Man tries to fly away but Wind will not let him.
He spots Ice coming at him and fires his beam at Wind's feet. Wind gets distracted and Tony falls down barely missing Ice's spear. However, the spear hit Wind who freezes and falls into the lava.
Iron Man flies around and grabs Ice. Though his hands freeze he lifts him up. He activates his energy shield and dives into the lava. Once under he lets Ice go causing him to quickly dissolve.
He heads back up and sees Earth reforming himself. He tackles Earth and starts punching his head. However, Earth merely grabs his head, stands, and reforms his hammer. He twirls it around, drops Tony, and smashes his chest.
Tony turns around and fires his beams at Earth's head. He starts to punch Earth's stomach as he reforms his head. As Earth recovers he punches Tony knocking him back. Earth suddenly looks down to see that the area around his belt is broken. Tony looks up and shows him that he has one of the rings.
Earth runs forward but Tony flies out of the volcano. However, as he gets out his suit powers down and he crashes into the forest below.
As the smoke clears Tony leaves the suit behind as he walks away. He stops to look at the volcano and sees a nearby building and road.
Back in New York, Tony emerges from the subway to see S.H.I.E.L.D. agents crawling all over the front of Stark Tower. He watches as one turns away a woman then listens in on his headset.
Tony slumps back against the wall when Li walks up. Tony hugs her, much to her chagrin. She tells him that she tried to get into the building, but Tony knows she was stopped. He tells her that he found one of the rings of the Mandarin. She asks about the elementals and he tells her that only the Earth one remains.
She tells him he won't be safe with the ring and begs him to give it to her. However, he does not want to put her in danger. Tony asks if there's another way, but Li says there is none. He then asks if destroying the temple will work. She doesn't know. Tony says that they should try but he needs some armor.
He pulls out his cell phone and calls his father. He asks his father if the line is secure and Howard claims it is. Tony seems worried but Howard reassures him. Tony tells him they captured Rhodey and Pepper and needs access into the building. Howard says he will take care of everything and says he loves him before hanging up. He looks around at the half a dozen agents surrounding him.
Tony hangs up knowing that the agents were listening and his father was warning him away. Tony doesn't know what else to do, but then gets an idea. He grabs Li and heads back into the subway.
Two agents guard the plane that Tony and Rhodey used. Suddenly one is grabbed from behind. The other agent turns to see and Li runs and kicks him.
The plane takes off. Inside, Tony opens the container holding the grey armor he used to escape. Li looks shocked as he does.
Back at the ancient city, the fog slowly lightens up. Earth suddenly bursts through the ground. He stands and walks along the Terracotta army around him. He then emits a blast of light out of his hammer. Soon the entire army is uncovered. As the winds of the blast die down Earth continues his march among the army. Earth looks up to see Tony suddenly slamming him into the ground.
On a cliff overlooking the city, Li runs up to see the attack.
Tony gets up and tries to shake it off, but Earth stands and grabs his head. He picks Tony up and tries to crush him. Tony struggles to get Earth's hand off of head. Tony suddenly activates his boots and blasts up into the air. Li runs up just in time to see them leave.
Once they get up high Tony turns off the boots and they begin free falling. Earth tries to punch him but Tony is too far away. Earth suddenly flies forward to catch Tony. Tony turns just in time to activate his boots so he does not slam into the ground.
Tony lands near Li and blasts off again. As Tony and Earth move closer together Tony fires his beams damaging the elemental. He then flies through him completely destroying his body. The four rings and Earth's mask fall to the ground around Li.
Li holds up her hand as Tony lands behind her. He walks to the center of the dragon image to pick up the rings. He gathers them in his hand as Li approaches. He hands her the rings and says that he is going to destroy the temple and hopefully the fifth ring inside.
However, Li puts on the rings and says that she holds the fifth. She holds out her hand to reveal that the bracelet she wears is the last ring. Realizing what the bracelet is, Tony walks up asking what is happening. He lifts his faceplate up.
Li begs him to stop and leave. She tells him that she did everything she could to keep him away, including forging the documents that she gave to the government so he would be arrested. She talks of her responsibility and Tony believes it is to stop the Mandarin.
However, she reveals that she is to resurrect him. She is his last descendant and forced to become his vessel. Tony tries to talk her out of it but she says she has no other purpose in life. She bids him to go but he refuses. She states he will die.
Suddenly the Terracotta army comes to life by opening their glowing white eyes. They turn their head to stare at Tony and raise their swords. Tony freaks out and calls out to Li, who simply ignores him and enters the temple.
Soldiers on horses soon arrive so Tony closes his faceplate. As the army charges Tony flies up. Another group of soldiers readier their bows and arrows. Tony is soon bombarded with arrows, and though they appear to do no damage are enough to knock him out of the sky.
Li raises her ringed hand and the door to the temple opens up for her. She watches as the army surrounds Tony. Li enters the temple and walks past the large images of dragons.
Outside, the soldiers try to stab at Tony with their spears and swords. Soon he fires his beams knocking them back.
As Li walks through the temple, flames light the way alongside her. They move ahead and illuminate a large statue sitting on a throne. Li suddenly looks around to see that she is surrounded by skeletons. The fires make the Mandarin statue glow as if staring at her.
Tony continues shooting his beams to destroy the army. He fires one hand in one direction and the other hand in the opposite. Soon the army turns to dust. However, more keep coming and Tony continues to fire.
Waking the Dragon
Li approaches the statue. Suddenly the ground she is walking on lowers her to another level.
Tony uses a laser to destroy a horse and rider.
Meanwhile, Li continues her descent.
Tony fires at another horse rider. This time a skeleton appears out of the damaged soldier.
Li is still calmly walking as the she descends to a great depth.
Tony continues his barrage of fire. The army around him is unable to withstand his attack. However, the laser soon overloads and explodes. Tony yells out in pain.
Li reaches the bottom of the temple where a large pool of water sits. A large coffin rises out of the water. Dragon statues holding the coffin lid down suddenly release. Li steps into the water and approaches the coffin. Suddenly the water churns and skulls rise to the surface.
Outside, Tony kneels down on the ground. The area around him littered with the broken pieces of the army. Tony stands and walks to the temple. Suddenly the ground beneath him opens revealing a large yellow eye. As Tony gets onto the temple steps he hears a large sound behind him. He turns and barely gets out of the way as a large dragon tries to eat him.
Li holds up her hand and the waters begin to swirl around the coffin. The lid blows off revealing a decayed skeleton with long hair. The winds suddenly move down and surround the corpse of the Mandarin blowing the remaining chunks of skin off.
Tony watches as the dragon's enormous tail smacks him across the square. He slams into a large statue which releases a sword. As the dragon charges Tony stands and grabs the sword. He pulls it out just in time to avoid getting stomped on.
He raises the sword and slashes as the dragon's stomach. The creature roars in pain. Tony watches as the tail whips around but doesn't see the hand behind him. He is pushed into a large truck and knocks over the supply of the liquid steel.
Deep in the temple, the spirit of the Mandarin soon rises out of the coffin. He moves forward as Li's rings burst into a large flame. The flames shoot towards Mandarin and engulf him.
Soon a large blast of light engulfs the room. Li shields herself but soon realizes that the lines of light have stopped around her. She tries to touch one but suddenly they are all pulled back into the Mandarin. She is pulled forward but lands in the pool of water.
Tony gets up to see the steel containers around him. He grabs one as the dragon roars. He flies forward as the dragon stomps where he was. As the dragon continues to roar Tony throws the canister right into its mouth.
He runs away as the dragon tries to eat him. He finds a sonic gun and charges it. He turns and fires it at the approaching dragon. Soon steel begins to erupt out of its chest. The dragon tries to whip him with its tail but Tony ducks. Soon steel erupts from all over the dragon and eventually its mouth.
Li tries to stand in the water but skeletal hands keep her down. She continues to struggle as the rings begin to glow. Spirits erupt from the coffin and pick up Li. She looks up to see the image of the Mandarin.
It soon becomes a skull that flies towards her. It begins passing through her body tearing her clothes apart. Li screams in pain as her clothes are tattered and she is engulfed in the light of the spirits. The Mandarin's spirit flies up into her body.
Tony walks through the dissipating cloud of fog. He soon sees the dragon, frozen by the steel. He turns to see the light emitting from the temple. He runs in but stops when he cannot find a way down. When the light stops he drops down into the hole.
He lands in the water to see Li naked and crying. Tony walks up to her asking if she is okay. Suddenly the Mandarin possessed Li Mei shouts at him, raises her/his arm, and pushes him back into a wall.
As he stands he looks to see the waters swirling around Li/Mandarin. The waters die down and he sees the enormous ghostly image of the Mandarin with Li below. Mandarin states that Li served her purpose and it is time for him to die so the prophecy can be fulfilled.
She/he raises her hand and the waters begin to swirl around her. She/he commands the water to push Tony over. Tony gets to the side and looks to see Mandarin carrying Li to him. Tony calls out to Li asking her to stop.
She/he blasts Tony back into the wall. Tony falls and kneels to look up at Li/Mandarin. She/he raises her arm and Tony is suddenly gripped in pain. The chest piece of his armor suddenly comes apart. Li/Mandarin lifts Tony into the air and fires him across the room next to the coffin.
She/he runs over to the fallen hero. However, Tony tries to sit up and part of his shoulder armor falls off. She/he stops and stares. Tony takes off his helmet, drops it in the water, and calls out to her once again.
She/he raises her/his arm and the waters begin to surge around them. Tony once again calls out to her. Mandarin tells her to kill him. Li/Mandarin is about to strike when she/he suddenly stops. Mandarin once again commands her to kill him. However, her eyes stop glowing white and return to normal.
She tells Mandarin to get away from Tony. Mandarin's image suddenly shows the skull underneath. Lighting bolts extend from his hands and engulf Li Mei. Tony watches in horror as she screams out in pain.
Li is picked up in a vortex of energy and falls into the water. The Mandarin appears behind her as she struggles to stand. Suddenly she grabs the bracelet and throws it to the side. Mandarin screams out in pain as he is engulfed in light.
He continues to scream as Li pulls the rings off one by one. His body becomes engulfed in flames as the third ring is pulled off. As Li pulls off the four ring Mandarin's "skin" falls apart. When she pulls off the fifth ring all that is left is his skeleton, which is soon blasted apart.
The blast knocks the water away and loosens many of the skeletons. Tony shields himself from the blast. He gets up to walk over to the fallen Li. He kneels down next to her.
She opens her eyes and they stare at each other. She thanks him for saving her and he thanks her for doing the same. He pulls her closer and they kiss. She then slumps down and dies. A beam of light comes in from the ceiling and illuminates the room. Tony pulls her in closer as the room around them settles down.
Back in New York, Howard Stark and the Board of Directors sit in the meeting room waiting. Boyer adjusts his glasses while one taps her pen against the desk. The door opens and Tony enters the room.
Boyer now thanks him for appearing. Tony apologizes saying he was held up in an interview with S.H.I.E.L.D. Tony sits down as the director says how happy he is that the Chinese government cleared him of all charges.
Boyer tells him that someone is buying up all the stocks so the board no longer has control Tony admits that he's the one doing it and that the company is his. Boyer tries to tell him that they always had the best interest of the company in mind.
Tony interrupts by standing and says he has two orders of business. He opens the door revealing Rhodey. He says that he's promoting his friend to Chief Engineer of Advanced Technologies. The two shake hands and Rhodey thanks him.
His second order is turning over the company to his father. Howard stands up in surprise and smiles. Tony tells him that he can do with it whatever he pleases. The two shake hands and Howard admits he wanted it to be a father-son company.
Boyer smiles and says that the board will support them. Howard moves back to his chair. His first action is firing all the board members. Tony walks over and stands behind his father.
Outside, Stark Tower gleams in the sunlight.
- - Chinese Digger, first line of the video
"Yeah, looks like we're gonna need someone else on the temple."
- - James Rhodes, first line
"Mr. Rhodey. Mr. Rhodey."
"Ugh, it's Mr. Rhodes or just Rhodey. Not both."
- - Mr. Lee and James Rhodes
"What happened? You were due yesterday."
"Inspections in Shanghai. One more strip search and my price goes way up."
- - James Rhodes and VTOL Pilot
"Rhodey, I'm kinda in the middle of something here."
"We got hit. Again."
"Ugh, how are the ruins? Any damage?"
"The ruins!? No! And I'm fine, too. Thanks for asking."
"I knew you'd be okay."
"You just don't get it, do you? These lunatics mean business, Tony."
- - Tony Stark, first lines, and James Rhodes
"Better finish desert without me, sweetie. I better take this."
- - Tony Stark to the woman
"Okay, so what happened?"
"We can't defend ourselves, that's what happened."
"We've been over this, Rhodey."
"Yeah, and I bet that's why you bumped the shipment of weapons from the cargo."
"What are you talking about? I didn't authorize any weapons...You went behind my back!"
"What choice did I have!? The closer we are to raising the Mandarin's temple the closer we are to getting our butts blown off by those crazy zealots."
"The Jade Dragons aren't trying to kill anybody, but if guns are thrown into the mix people will die."
"You're telling me you didn't jail the shipment?"
"No. Would I have? Yes. Cause I knew they'd most likely get stolen."
"Look, one way or another I got to get some support here."
"Okay, Rhodey, I'll fly over."
"You said that last week, and the week before that."
"This time I promise. I'll clear my schedule. Hang in there."
- - Tony Stark and James Rhodes
"Pepper, darling, you look concerned. Am I late?"
"Forty minutes. And they're not happy."
"So what else is new. I say we keep it casual, darling."
"Smudged lipstick might be a little too casual."
- - Tony Stark and Pepper Potts, first lines
"Mr. Chairman. Okay, I take it we're not here to form a company softball team."
"Cavalier as always, Mr. Chairman. This is just one more example of how little respect Tony Stark has for this company and its shareholders."
"Ah, the shareholders. Bet they'd love a softball team."
"That's right, Tony. Laugh it off. Just like you do everything else."
- - Tony Stark and Director, first lines
"You're being charged with gross malfeasance.
"On what grounds?"
"Lets throw your little excavation in China, with a price tag of two-hundred and twenty six million and climbing. You're not only doing this without board approval, you're doing this all for free."
"You wanna know about China? Call it a gesture of goodwill. But they're government is so grateful they're rewarding us with contracts worth twenty times what we're spending over there."
- - Boyer and Tony Stark
"Believe me when I say what I've been working on is the future of this company. A company that my innovations have built into an empire, making each person at this table indecently rich despite the fact that this board has done nothing but get in my way."
- - Tony Stark
"Mr. Chairman, I propose that Mr. Stark be relieved of his duties and that his division be shut down."
"You can't do that!"
- - Boyer and Tony Stark
"Dad, say something!"
"All in favor say aye."
[All of the board of directors] "Aye."
- - Tony Stark, Howard Stark, first line, and Board of Directors
"You want my father to drive this company on his own? Because he will, right into the ground!"
- - Tony Stark
"Relax, and enjoy the show, gentlemen. Today you get to witness a 3000 year-old city rise from the dead."
- - James Rhodes
"Gentlemen, what's happening here is that the sonic vibrations are causing the liquid steel to expand kind of like cotton candy or steel wool. When we stop the sonic bombardment the steel will harden. See these foundation balloons, when they reach full capacity they'll push up against the base of the excavation and raise your ancient city to ground level. After that, my friends, it's there to stay."
- - James Rhodes
"Move! Li Mei."
"I told you, I will not take innocent lives."
"I decide which lives are innocent. And anyone involved in the raising of that city is not. Now, you will take as many lives as I command or I will take yours."
- - Wong Chu and Li Mei, first lines
"East and West have joined in preserving an important part of our heritage."
"Too bad not everyone agrees that's a good thing."
"The Mandarin's was the darkest, the most violent of all dynasties. Hundreds of thousands died under his brutal reign."
"But that's ancient history."
"Some fear that by raising his temple it is inviting history to repeat itself."
"Many will pay tribute to this place and prosperity will follow. But to me, that is a good thing."
- - Mr. Lee and James Rhodes
"Pepper, you minx. You couldn't stand it any longer, could you?"
"The ruins in China were attacked again."
"Well, tell Rhodey I'm dealing with a crisis here. I'll fly out when I can."
"Tony, Rhodey's missing."
"And the workers, they're all dead."
- - Tony Stark and Pepper Potts
"What do you want from me?"
"Not you. Tony Stark."
- - James Rhodes and Wong Chu
"Will he live?"
"For the moment. His heart has suffered great damage."
"Understand me, old man. If he dies, you die."
- - Wong Chu and Ho Yen, first line
"I will never understand why you do not show such courage on the battlefield."
"There is much about me you will never understand."
"I would advise you not to lose sight of your responsibilities, Li Mei!"
"My responsibility is the only thing keeping me here."
- - Wong Chu and Li Mei
"Howard, listen. Tony's disappearance, as painful as it is, may be the best thing for the company."
"You know you lawyers are all alike. That's my son you're talking about."
"Even so, you need to hear this. We've been contacted by the Chinese government. They've got questions. Like how our weapons ended up in the hands of known radicals."
"They can't blame Tony for that!"
"Let them blame whoever they want. Cause if they start to look at you, the board is going to throw you to the wolves."
"I don't believe that! It's my company."
"It's a public company. Don't think for a second they won't do whatever is necessary to protect it."
- - Lawyer and Howard Stark
"You were attacked. You got pretty bad, man."
"Sorry. But this hardware's all that's keeping you alive."
"You saved my life."
"No, he did."
- - Tony Stark and James Rhodes
"Tony, meet Li Mei. The only decent soul in this den of cockroaches."
"Pardon me for not getting up."
- - James Rhodes and Tony Stark
"That's a first. You scared off a woman."
"Easy to do when you look like Frankenstein. How about we streamline this a bit."
- - James Rhodes and Tony Stark
"Your weakness sickens me."
"If only I possessed your strength."
"You would be my son, instead of my disgrace."
"I am sorry, father."
"Do not call me that! I am angry Li Mei. I am angry that when the Mandarin rises it is you who will face him, not me. It was my right!"
"I do not want this life."
"Your life means nothing. You are on this Earth to serve another purpose. Either serve with honor or next time do not fail."
- - Past Li Mei's Father and Li Mei
"Why are the Jade Dragons so up in arms?"
"What you have accomplished in months they have spent three-thousand years trying to prevent."
"You mean raising the city? What could they possibly be afraid of?"
"But he's nothing but dust now."
"Many do not see death as the final step in one's existence, and the prophecy foretells of his return."
"So because I lifted the ruins people think the prophecy is coming true?"
"It is as written, the city will rise and the demon elementals will awaken. They will gather the bands of the underworld and then resurrect their master."
"That sounds crazy."
"If that is what you believe, there is no point in saying more."
"I'm sorry. It's just hard for me to swallow."
"Tell me, what are these bands of the underworld?"
"Five were fashioned for the Mandarin as conduits to the afterlife. After his death, four were stolen by monks who sacrificed their lives to hide them. They were the first Jade Dragons. They know the locations of those bands."
"Once these things are found the Mandarin's supposed to come back to life.'
"Yes. His demon elementals have already begun to gather them. Stop the elementals and you prevent the Mandarin from rising."
- - Tony Stark and Ho Yen
"Do you want to live?"
"If I have a choice, yes."
"Then you will reverse what you have done to the ancient city."
"Look, the fiber-steel that's holding it up is pretty indestructible."
"You will find a way. We will provide you with your own technology."
"What if I can't do it?"
"You owe your life to this man. See how your unwillingness repays him." [Shoots Ho Yen]
"Please, just stop. I'll help you."
"You have one week, or [Rhodey] dies."
- - Wong Chu and James Rhodes
"What do we do now?"
"We get to work!"
- - James Rhodes and Tony Stark
"Li Mei, you don't belong with these murderers. Why are you doing this?"
"The Mandarin will rise. And many will die in the East and the West. Their souls will be offered as payment for..."
"Okay, that's the company line. Now what about you?"
"I have a responsibility. It has been passed down from father to son ever since the Mandarin Dynasty."
"From father to son, but..."
"I had no brothers."
"And your father?'
"He... is dead."
"I take it he wanted a son."
"No, he needed a son. Instead he got me. You would not understand."
"Maybe I would. You're not the only one who's faced a father's disappointment."
- - Tony Stark and Li Mei
"Tony, do you know why you are on this Earth?"
"Yes. I do. I have always known."
"So this is the life you want to live?"
"My life... does not matter."
- - Li Mei and Tony Stark
"This thing's amazing. Where'd you get the idea?"
"Just something I came up with."
- -James Rhodes and Tony Stark
"Your deception will cost you your life!"
- -Wong Chu, last line
"Stuffy. That's the last time I ever work with this thing on."
- -Iron Knight about the MK I suit
"He is the one."
"No, it is not him."
"Li Mei, look at it. It is undeniable. The prophecy continues to unfold. He is the Iron Knight. He is destined to battle the risen Mandarin."
"It cannot be him!"
"What is the matter? It is a good thing. The Mandarin can now be defeated."
"We do not know who will be defeated. Only that one will die."
- -Jade Dragon Soldier and Li Mei
"What's going on here?"
"S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Drake. I'm placing you under arrest."
"Arms dealing. The Chinese government is charging you with selling weapons to known radicals. The Jade Dragons."
"You guys got it all wrong."
"Listen, the Jade Dragons only have our technology because they stole it from our cargo jet."
"We've received documents linking you to the sale."
"What documents? There was no sale."
- -Tony Stark, Agent Drake, first lines, and James Rhodes
"Cease fire, cease fire. He knows it's bulletproof because he built it for us."
- -Agent Drake
- -Li Mei
"I beg your pardon. [To Tony] Hello...Oh, hi mum."
"Yes, I'm fine. Busy, busy, busy. Lots of company. What have you gotten yourself into?"
"I'll explain later, Pep. Right now I need to get into my office."
"That's going to be a bit difficult since I have S.H.I.E.L.D. agents crawling up my..."
"Pepper I know. Can you arrange it?"
"You know the East stairwell door that leads to the outside? I'll make sure it's unlocked."
- -Pepper Potts and Tony Stark
"Hello... Tony... I can hardly hear you...How did you two sneak into the lobby?... You have to get out of there before the agents... Tony? Tony!? Oh darn."
"Suspects are in the lobby. I repeat, suspects are in the lobby."
- -Pepper Potts and S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent
"Remind me to move my office to the first floor, Red."
- -Tony Stark
"So I want assets from these three offshore accounts made available. And keep it on the down low."
"What? We came here so you could do business?"
- - Tony Stark and James Rhodes
"Pepper, I owe you one."
"And I'm keeping track."
- - Tony Stark and Pepper Potts
"Interactive exo-suits. With these one person can accomplish what would normally take months of any hostile environment deep sea, volcano, space, anything. These armors will change the world. And since the next location is on the bottom of the Atlantic, the aquatic model is going to get me there."
- - Tony Stark
"Just something you came up with, huh?"
"I know. Sorry. But I just wanted to keep it top secret."
"Top secret? Man, you're full of it, Tony."
"This is what you hired me for, isn't it? To work with you in development."
"I was going to bring you in when the time was right."
"When the time was...Why don't you just own up to it, Tony!? You didn't trust me enough to be a part of this project. I mean, I'm your closest friend. I've always been in your corner."
"Come on, Rhodey. You're making this personal. We're friends. Why are you overreacting?"
"I'm the only one who sees it for what it is. Remember when your father took your stuff and put it into the weapons program? How betrayed you felt? Well guess what Tony, you're just like him!"
"You're right. We've got a lot to talk about. But right now I need your help."
- -Tony Stark and James Rhodes
- -Iron Knight
"Looks like it didn't go so well."
"It's real, Rhodey. All of it. What I saw today I couldn't even begin to explain, but it's all real. What have I done?"
"It's not your fault."
"Rhodey, I raised that ancient city. I set this in motion. It is my fault. And true to form my father has made everything worse."
"You're not going to do something stupid, are you?"
- - James Rhodes and Tony Stark
"You sold me out!"
"I did no such thing."
"You needed a fall guy for the Chinese government so you trumped up a phony arms deal."
"Underhanded ethics are your domain, not mine."
"Don't talk to me about ethics. You loaded weapons onto the cargo planes for Rhodey knowing I was against it! They got stolen and people died. Now people are blaming me for..."
"Rhodey needed protection. You left him out there with nothing."
"They attacked us with our guns, Dad. We wouldn't be on the run if you'd just stayed out of it."
"Why don't you drop this pacifist bull! Military contracts are what built this company."
"No. It started the company. I built it. And without a single weapon."
"Listen to you. You sound just like..."
"Go on! Like my mother?"
"She hated the work I did, and she got you believing that weapons..."
"How dare you blame her for any of this! She stood by you, Dad. Defended you!"
"When are you going to stop blaming me for her death? I lost her too."
"Yeah, but I lost you both!"
- -Tony Stark and Howard Stark
"Oops. Clumsy me."
"You're aiding and abetting a fugitive, Ms. Potts. I don't know how you're helping him, but you are. And that's enough to take you into custody."
"Fine. I could use the rest."
- -Pepper Potts and Agent Drake, last lines
"Hey, it's what friends do."
- -Tony Stark and James Rhodes
"Hey, Jake and Elwood."
- -James Rhodes
"Lose something, Rockslide?"
- -Iron Knight
"Is this line secure?"
"Tony. Yes, of course it is. Are you okay? I've been so worried?"
"Dad, what's going on?"
"Nothing. Everything's fine. Really. Tell me, what do you need?"
"They've got Pepper and Rhodey. Can you get me into the building?"
"Absolutely, Tony. I'll clear the way. I'll take care of everything. I love you son."
- -Howard Stark and Tony Stark
"I've had enough of you!"
- -Iron Knight
"Here, take these. I'm going after the temple. Maybe the fifth ring is still in the temple with it."
"It isn't. It's here."
"You must go! Please."
"Li Mei. What is going on?"
"I bid you not to come. I've done everything to keep you away. I gave the government those documents so they'd arrest you."
"To save your life? I told you. I have a responsibility."
"I know, to stop the Mandarin."
"Stop him? To ensure his resurrection."
"What are you saying? You mean, joining the Jade Dragons, the things you said to me?"
"I am the last descendent of the Mandarin. It falls to me. I must become his vessel so he may walk the Earth again."
"Li Mei, listen, you don't have to do this."
"This is the only reason I even exist. The very purpose of my life. Please go, while you still can."
"I'm not going anywhere."
"Then you will die."
- - Iron Knight and Li Mei
"Li Mei? Are you alright? What happened?"
"DON'T TOUCH ME!"
- - Iron Knight and Li Mei/Mandarin
"She has served her purpose, Iron Knight. As for you, your blood must now be shed and the prophecy fulfilled."
- - Li Mei/Mandarin
"Li Mei, I know you're in there. Please, don't do this."
- - Iron Knight
"Listen to me. Remember who you are! You are Li Mei! YOU! ARE! LI MEI!"
- - Tony Stark
"Kill him! KILL HIM!"
"Get away from him!"
- - Mandarin, last line, and Li Mei
"I'm right here."
"You... save me."
"You save me too."
- - Tony Stark and Li Mei, last lines
"Tony, let me get right to the point. We just learned that over the last week someone has been buying up stock. So much stock that this board no longer has controlling interest."
"And you suspect that I'm that someone?"
"You're correct. Stark Enterprises is mine."
"Um, I would just like to remind you, Mr. Stark, that as the board of directors we have always, always had the company's best interest at heart. Now sometimes we may have acted..."
- - Boyer and Tony Stark
"I have two orders of business. First, I'm promoting James Rhodes to Chief Engineer of Advanced Technologies."
"You earned it."
- - Tony Stark and James Rhodes, last line
"And two, I'm handing control of the company over to my father."
"It's yours, Dad. The future of the company is now yours to decide."
"You know I've always seen this as a father-son enterprise."
- - Tony Stark, last lines and Howard Stark
"Wonderful news, Tony, Howard. We'll support you both, a hundred and ten percent."
"Shut up, Boyer. My first order of business: you're all fired."
- - Boyer and Howard Stark, last lines of the video
"A prophecy needs no one to believe in it. For it gathers strength for those who do not. And when it has faded from all memory it becomes its most powerful. This is the lost age of China. A time of violence and evil. A dynasty predating all others and ruled by a dark emperor: the Mandarin. Fearing the end of his reign, the Mandarin sought to preserve his empire. As the afterlife grew near, he completed his temple, carved an army from the Earth, and forged a covenant from the Deities of Death. But such a pact carries a high price. The sacrifice of every life within the Mandarin's mighty empire. To aid in collecting these souls, the deities endowed him with five Elementals, demons from the underworld. In one year's time, the Mandarin and his dark forces stripped the land of all living things. And when the last drop of innocent blood was spilt, the pact was sealed. In exchange for these souls, the Mandarin was presented with five jeweled bands that would grant him eternal life and all the power of the underworld. But these gifts would not be his until he himself had passed through the very gates of death. So upon the Mandarin's last breath of life, the land poured over the city. There, it would remain buried for three-thousand years. Now, all that remains is the prophecy that foretells the Mandarin's return. It speaks of the day when his temple will rise and the Elementals will awaken. They will gather the bands of the underworld and with them resurrect their master. But China has forgotten this dark chapter and fears not the echos of the past nor believes in the prophecy. The Jade Dragons know the truth, however, and for centuries have kept the prophecy at bay. But destiny will not be cheated. The day of the Mandarin is upon us."
It opens on the painting of the Iron Knight fighting the Mandarin and the dragon. The Mandarin is shown sitting on his thrown with his army before him. He builds his temple, which is surrounded by hundreds of the soldiers. The terracotta soldiers stand ready. The Deities of Death look out over the temple. Three women fall to the ground dead. The Mandarin commands the five Elementals, which have been given to him. The Elementals then attack the Mandarin's people while they run in horror. The Earth Elemental attacks a group of soldiers on horses. The Ice Elemental attacks a group of fleeing villagers. The Wind Elemental also attacks the people. Meanwhile, the Fire Elemental attacks the land. The people lie dead in piles. The Mandarin then receives five jeweled bands that would grant him eternal life and vast powers. Pluto looks on at the Mandarin. The Mandarin's temple is then buried beneath the ground. The Mandarin continues to sit on his thrown. The Earth, Fire and Ice Elementals are shown attacking once more than gather together. High above a valley, the Jade Dragons watch the remains of the temple. On other side, the Mandarin stands surrounded by dark spirits.
The artwork is meant to look like ancient Chinese paintings. The animation appears as flat images that the camera moves around, zooms in/out, and tilts. While it looks like cheap, temporary animation, it actually is to convey the sense of it being an ancient story.
- Unlike other Marvel Animation videos, there is no scene before the opening credits. Likely the alternate opening would have preceded the credits but was cut and nothing was put in its place. Thor: Tales of Asgard would also not feature a pre-credit scene.
- The opening credits show the suits being built.
- On his cell phone, James Rhodes has the numbers for O. Stane, H. Stark, T. Stark, J. Storm, S. Storm, and M. Stryker. O. Stane is most likely Obadiah Stane, an Iron Man villain. H. and T. Stark is clearly Howard and Tony Stark. J. and S. Storm are like Johnny Storm and Sue Storm of the Fantastic Four. M. Stryker could be Marcy Stryker, wife of William Stryker the X-Men villain. This would also mark Stane's first "appearance" outside of the comics.
- Tony Stark enters the meeting at 5:37. Given Pepper Potts' comments the meeting likely started at 5:00.
- In the comics, James Rhodes was a lieutenant in the Marine Corps.
- When Tony Stark meets Li Mei for the first time Ho Yen is drawing the Elementals.
- The newspaper headline says "Tony Stark and Engineer Evade Arrest" by Roy Allen.
- Unlike most movie phone numbers that use 555, Pepper Potts' cell phone number is 0119-750-3732.
- When tricking the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Pepper Potts has a voicemail message.
- Maria is the name of Tony Stark's mother.
- Tony Stark's HUD is virtually identical to the one from Ultimate Avengers and Ultimate Avengers II.
- On Pepper Potts' desk is a blueprint for a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. The shot is actually from Ultimate Avengers.
- The Dragon Spirit is based on Fin Fang Foom, an alien dragon who is tied to the Mandarin's rings.
- Mandarin seems to learn English rather well. He probably learned it through Li Mei when he took her over.
- The second board meeting is first shown at 5:38.
- Iron Man is never called that name, except in the title and credits. In the video he is only called Iron Knight.
- The images during the credits are various images from the comic books.
- The film premiered on Cartoon Network's Toonami block on March 3rd, 2007.
- The series Iron Man: Armored Adventures shares several similarities with this video outside of the comic books.
- Tony Stark builds the Iron Man armor before his accident.
- Tony Stark has control over his father's company taken away from him.
- Tony Stark's father is alive as he becomes Iron Man.
- The Mandarin is an ancient legend that lives on through his descendants.
- There are five Mandarin rings instead of the comic book's ten, though season two reveals five more.
- Iron Man's origins are tied to the Mandarin, an excavation of a Chinese temple, and the revealing of a Terracotta army.
- Iron Man must fight a large dragon for the fifth ring, both based on Fin Fang Foom.
- Additionally there are several parallels to the live action Iron Man film outside the comics.
- Both movies focus on Iron Man's origins from the playboy to captivity to the hero.
- The movies update the original Grey Armor to look more modern.
- S.H.I.E.L.D. believes that Tony Stark is involved in arms dealing to the terrorist group that captured him.
- Pepper Potts and James Rhodes find out that Tony Stark is an armored superhero early in his career, rather than much later like the comics.
- Tony Stark wears three just different armors.
- Someone personally close to Tony Stark betrays him revealing themselves to be the main villain.
- Tony Stark must use technology developed in his captivity for the end battle as he is unable to use newer advanced technology.
- Mandarin plays a major part in both movies but not seen for most of the film. Though he doesn't appear or is directly referenced in the live action film he is alluded to several times.
- According to the concept art, Tony Stark is six feet tall, Iron Knight's Grey Armor is seven feet, Mandarin is ten feet, and Dragon Spirit is thirty feet tall and one hundred feet long.
- This is listed as Earth-199673 in the Marvel Multiverse.
- As of the release of Thor: Tales of Asgard this is the longest movie made by Marvel Animation.
- In reality, around 1000 BC was the time of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties. There have been known dynasties before even then, dating back to 3500 BC and the time of the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors. While it could be a "lost" dynasty, it certainly would not predate all others except in the context of the video's reality.
- The traditional Chinese elements are fire, water, wood, and metal while the four elementals are based on Western ideology. However, at the time the Mandarin may have been inspired by Western ideas, or traditional China got it wrong while the West got it right. Though this is more of an oversight on behalf of the producers.
- Pepper Potts' cell phone number has one number too many.
- When Li Mei leaves the room after Tony Stark awakens she visually knocks twice but only one is heard.
- In actuality, Frankenstein was man who created the monster, not the monster. Though this is common confusion brought on by the numerous films.
- Another common misconception, shooting someone in the head is extremely bloody and messy. It would be much more blood than shown here.
- The size of Ho Yen's map constantly changes even within a single shot.
- When Tony Stark and James Rhodes first go into the armory Tony's desk is covered in papers. When the desk rises as the doors close, there are very few papers.
- Animation of the Demon Elementals' storm hitting the Atlantic Ocean is really bad with noticeable jumps in the water movement.
- Shots of Tony Stark struggling under the rubble in the sea are clearly repeated.
- As Tony Stark flies out of the volcano and crashes, the forest is clearly a flat multi-colored plane and not the top of a forest.
- A cargo plane with a wanted fugitive traveling from New York to China should be easy to catch for a group like S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Tony Stark had the fourth ring. Yet when he destroys the Earth Spirit all four rings fall to the ground with his mask.
- The shot of the Terracotta army attacking the downed Tony Stark is clearly repeated.
- Fog during the final battle disappears and reappears randomly.
- When Tony Stark fires the sonic gun at the dragon it starts whipping its head about. But the motion of it whipping left is just the same animation of it whipping right but in reverse.
- With Li Mei and the Jade Dragons all dead there would be no one to prove to the Chinese government and S.H.I.E.L.D. that Tony Stark was not arms dealing.
- Marc Worden previously did the voice of Iron Man on Ultimate Avengers and Ultimate Avengers II possibly serving as a sequel to this video. He would once again reprise the role in Planet Hulk.
- Dormammu, who briefly appears in the alternate opening, appeared as the main villain in Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme. His design is also the same.
- Hela, who briefly appears in the alternate opening, appeared as a minor character in Hulk vs Thor.
- Li Mei briefly appeared in Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme when Stephen Strange was wandering the world.
- Camille Carranza's spirit would also turn into a skull, like Mandarin's does, in Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme.
Actor Role Marc Worden Iron Knight/Tony Stark Gwendolyn Yeo Li Mei
Rodney Saulsberry James Rhodes Elisa Gabrielli Pepper Potts
John McCook Howard Stark James Sie Wong Chu
Fred Tatasciore Mandarin
Stephen Mendillo Boyer John DeMita Agent Drake
George Cheung Additional Voices Paul Nakauchi Additional Voices Michael Yama Additional Voices
See also The Invincible Iron Man (Video) Full Credits.
Job People Distributor Lions Gate Home Entertainment In Association With MLG Productions 3, INC. Producer Marvel Studios Editor George P. Rizkallah Composer Guy Michelmore Music Supervisor David Ari Leon Voice Director Jamie Simone Executive Producers Avi Arad
Eric S. Rollman
Co-Executive Producer Stan Lee Producer Frank D. Paur Screen Story Avi Arad
Screenplay Greg Johnson Directors Patrick Archibald
Supervising Director Frank D. Paur DVD Artwork Joe Quesada
The DVD were released on January 23, 2007. The features on the DVD include:
- Alternate Opening Sequence showing the history of the Mandarin and the Elementals.
- The Origin of Iron Man featurette. The producers talk about making the feature.
- The Hall of Iron Man. Details the history and abilities of the Original Grey Armor, Golden Armor, Proto-Classic Armor, Classic Armor, Space Armor, Stealth Armor, Silver Armor, Deep Sea Armor, New Red & Gold Armor, New Space Armor, War Machine Armor, Remote Controlled Armor, Modular Armor, Hulkbuster Armor, and Retro Armor.
- Iron Man Concept Art. Presented along with music and dialogue from the movie, this cinematic featurette showcases original sketches and design materials created for Iron Man.
- A First Look at Doctor Strange (later retitled Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme).
- Trailer Gallery. Trailers for Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, The Last Unicorn, and Happily N'ever After.
The video format is anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1). The DVD audio contains English and Spanish Dolby 5.1. The feature runs for eighty-three minutes.
The movie was released by Lions Gate Home Entertainment in the United States and Maple Pictures in Canada.
Iron Man is one of screenwriter Greg Johnson's favorite characters.
Frank Paur pitched the most of the movie with detailed storyboards and layouts, most of which got into the final movie. However, the creators felt it was too cartoony so Avi Arad suggested doing the origin and it became how it is now.
The producers had to expand on Iron Man's origins since the story had only been briefly touched upon in the comics up until then. There had yet to be an extensive detailing of the origins beyond a page or two flashback.
Craig Kyle was the one who came up with the idea that Tony Stark would have built a series of armors so that the producers could easily explain how he was able to come up with the Grey Armor is such a short amount of time.
James Rhodes was included in the origin because the producers did not think that Tony Stark could build the armor alone in his condition.
The producers chose the locations they did because they wanted to show off that Iron Man is a hero who can go where no other hero can, such as extreme heat and extreme cold.
The producers made Mandarin into an ancient spirit to avoid the archetypal mastermind villain or modern gangster. They knew that ancient China had a lot of brutal dynasties and figured that that would make a great contrast to Tony Stark.
As the first movie not to be based off a particular story the producers had to define their own animation style.
The producers chose to use computer generated imagery to help convey the sense of old versus new, in this case it is CGI versus traditional animation telling a story of technology versus mysticism.
The producers used CGI for Iron Knight and the Elementals as they figured that those six would not need to express emotions.
In original concept art, the Dragon Spirit was actually a large statue that stood in front of the temple.
The producers actually called the dragon Fin Fang Foom in concept art.
The MPAA rated the movie PG-13 for action violence and some sensuality.
The movie received mostly mixed to negative reviews, and is usually considered the worst of Lions Gate's Marvel animated videos. Critics have enjoyed the changes and updates to the character feeling that it makes sense in the context of the story. They also enjoy that Iron Man gets his own film after being a secondary character in Ultimate Avengers and Ultimate Avengers II. However, most point out that the movie lacks proper character development. They generally feel that the movie moves too slowly in the first half and lacks proper story in the second. It is often negatively compared to the critically acclaimed live action film, which was released over a year later, saying that the latter version did the same thing but better. They also point out that Tony lacks enough positive attributes to counter his negative. The villains are commonly derided as the Elementals lack personality and Mandarin isn't on screen enough.
Alternatively, the DVD is regarded as the best up to that point. Critics point out that the disc has more features than the previous two movies. Critics enjoy the behind the scenes documentary as it shows how and why they made the movie. They are generally split on whether the alternate opening should have been included but appreciate its inclusion.
Jim Harvey of Marvel Animation Age enjoyed the movie thinking it was relatively well done. He enjoyed the voice acting and felt the action sequences were superb. Though he claimed he wasn't blown away by it. He said that although he was engaged in the film from the beginning he felt that several scenes dragged on too long. He didn't think the film found a decent balance between adult drama and action until the very end fight. He thought it was a good study on Tony Stark and provided a full character arc leaving room for further adventures. He claimed that the movie would split Iron Man fans with some enjoying it while others let down at the changes made. Though he felt that outside of the Mandarin, the movie did not deviate much while still updating it. He liked that they kept aspects of the original origin, like the iron lung, and changed aspects to make it work for the movie and character. He felt the origin was simple, and handled well in the animated movie. He did not like the Elementals being his first major battle, but did think that Tony's attitude regarding them helped the story. He would have preferred a more realistic, technology-based villain but did feel the mysticism provided a nice counterpoint for the character. However, he thought that the battles got repetitive and only the final showdown was different. He claimed that the film did not find a good balance between the business and terrorists subplots and the mystical monsters, and that possibly a villain more grounded in reality would have helped the tone. He wished the mindless action helped the mature dilemmas instead of relieving them. He felt the climatic battle was handled well, though thought that viewers would see the twist coming. He didn't like how the battle itself was presented and wished they hadn't played the nudity so safe. As for the character designs, he felt they were not edgy or bland and played it safe. He didn't particularly like the design of Tony Stark and preferred the version seen in Ultimate Avengers. While the others were direct translations, he thought that the Mandarin's design made him creepier than ever. "Overall, I'd say this was a good, not great, movie. While not as good as Ultimate Avengers: The Movie, I found it better than Ultimate Avengers II. The animation was a bit uneven, being great in some parts and sloppy in others. The mesh of 2D and 3D isn't seamless, but there are some instances where it looks great, and others where it could have used some extra attention. I do want to note both the background paintings and the scores are remarkable for this feature, making the movie both look and sound gorgeous. It's a welcome addition to the growing animated Marvel library, and comes Recommended, but shows that there are still some chinks in the armor that need to be worked out."
Stu of Marvel Animation Age was excited at the thought of Iron Man being the subject of the third animated movie as he was a fan of the comic character and Iron Man. He felt that Iron Man's origins had become dated and liked the majority of the changes in the context of the story. he thought that this version of Tony Stark was more interesting than his armored alter-ego. He would have liked to see where they would have gone with the character since he defeated the Mandarin. He claimed that Marc Worden did another great performance as the character. He enjoyed the design of the Iron Man and liked the 3D model, and he liked how they updated Iron Man's original armor. He also liked the looks of the various other armors, even in their small cameos. He felt the animation was constantly well done, though it had odd moments in the CG. He pointed out that Tony's fight with the dragon had terrible animation. He didn't like how the colors seemed to be pale depending on the lighting. He did not like the score and felt it needed more work. He generally likes the music in the series but thought the films needed more and this one fell flat most of the time. He claimed it was too similar to Batman Begins. He thought it was generally interesting except for the villains. Like the Chitauri of Ultimate Avengers, these villains were just speechless enemies for larger, mostly unseen enemy and were little more than cool powers. He felt that the Elementals were character-less even if they did make for good fight scenes. He was disappointed that the movie kept hyping up Mandarin just for him to be beaten in five to ten minutes. He did like the twist about the bracelet. "So, as with the previous Ultimate Avengers movies we end up with a very good movie, but I was personally hoping this would be the DTV that really kicked it up a notch. It looks like we’ll have to wait until Dr. Strange to see finally come to fruition!"
David Cornelius of EFilmCritic.com said that Ultimate Avengers and Ultimate Avengers II fumbled to get Marvel's direct-to-video line going but this one got it right, though just barely. He felt it was a step up from the previous two movies. He thought it was worth a recommendation but not enough for people to get excited about Marvel's animated feature films. He claimed that Iron Man was most likely made to get buzz going for the first Iron Man film, which came out the following year. He felt that the fantasy elements were ridiculous, but handled better than in the Avengers films. He admitted being interested in the classic notion of technology versus magic, though thought the rest was a standard and predictable "reluctant hero" arc. He didn't like how it didn't do anything new, and felt the ending was copied from Batman Begins. "Still, it's plenty fun to watch Iron Man fly around and blow stuff up, and with a script that tightens things up and animation that, while still not too impressive, improves on the iffy "Avengers" work, "The Invincible Iron Man" becomes the fun little adventure it sets out to be. It's enough to tide fans over until the live action flick arrives, and enough to keep Marvel's animation division afloat for at least one more release."
Scott Chitwood of ComingSoon.net gave the movie a six out of ten feeling that the movie was a lot like the first two in that it had the same strengths and weaknesses. He thought the animation was cool but the slow moments were slow. While the action was what made the movie worth watching. He claimed the changes worked well for the movie. He felt the armor looked good and the computer animation was impressive. He was surprised that the classic Grey Armor got so much usage, including the climax, as he expected more of the modern red and gold suit. He thought that fans would like the cameos of other armors. However, he felt that the movie became slow and tedious whenever Iron Man/Tony Stark was not on screen. He said his five year-old got bored with the slow scenes, which was a problem with Ultimate Avengers and Ultimate Avengers II. "If you're a comic book fan and especially an Iron Man fan, this is a movie you'll find well worth checking out. I will say, though that it may not be appropriate for younger fans. They went out of their way to get a PG-13 rating by adding sex and blood into a few scenes. I mean, a female character spends the whole finale naked for no good reason other than to bump up the rating. (For the record, my five year old had left the room by that point. He was scared off by the Mandarin.)"
Mel Odom of BlogsCritics.org claimed that Iron Man is one of his favorite characters. He felt that the pairing of James Rhodes and Tony Stark worked well and gave Tony someone to play off of. He was expecting one of Tony's more technologically based villains but liked the idea of mandarin once he thought about it. He enjoyed the high-tech look of the opening and how it set up the film. He felt the movie could have had a better opening, something similar to the live action film. He enjoyed how the movie alluded to China's infamous treatment of women with Li Mei. He thought the scene of Iron Man confronting the guards in the Grey Armor was well done and made him look creepy and menacing. He felt the best part of the film was featuring multiple armors. He liked how the film dealt with more than one armor while doing an origin story. He thought the fight at the underwater temple was awesome and got the viewer involved. He didn't like how it took half the movie to get the action going feeling it was too long. He also complained how the second half had little emotional involvement. He thought that the Mandarin was off-screen for too much so he was not an effective villain. He also felt that Li Mei's attraction to Stark seemed to come out of no where. He pointed out that scenes with no dialogue became noticeable. "Overall, The Invincible Iron Man is another fine production by Lions Gate Home Entertainment. It will sit nicely on the shelves with the other animated movies about the Ultimate Avengers. The movie is a definite buy for the comics geeks out there, and is recommended for the kiddos – except there are some scenes with masked nudity some parents might question. This movie would be a treat on family night when everyone wants some light entertainment."
Mike Pinsky of DVD Verdict was a big fan of Iron Man before the movie. He felt that some of the plot devices didn't make much sense, such as Tony being framed for arms smuggling. He thought the first act was particularly slow given its short running time. He thought that meant it was going to be a character driven story but felt that Tony almost became a secondary character in the film. He felt Tony was reactive in his own origin rather than proactive and didn't appear particularly heroic. He felt the argument between him and his father was more of a "guns are bad" message than actual character development. He though that Tony lacked psychological depth. He noticed that the Elementals had no personality. He didn't think the art design and animation were better than the average television show. He thought the characters were brightly colored but lacked subtle shading in design and personality. He felt artwork was uninspired as was the script. Though he claimed the battle scenes were lively. "There are some nice touches. Stark's first suit of armor has the chunkiness of the original 60s costume. The third act does generate some suspense as Stark battles overwhelming forces on his way to stop the inevitable entrance of the Mandarin. If we had a stronger second act—something leaner and less sprawling—to link the beginning and ending of this movie, it might hold together more coherently. And of course a more interesting villain would have been nice. And better art design. Hmm, given all these obstacles, I don't know if even Iron Man could win this battle."
In his review of the Blu-ray, Clark Douglas of DVD Verdict said that Marvel was pumping out the movies sacrificing quality for quantity. He had been disappointed with Marvel Animation's work so far compared to DC Comics' work. He thought the film should have been tied to the live action film (similar to Batman: Gotham Knight and Hellboy Animated) rather than trying to do the same thing. He felt it made Tony Stark into a B-level hero and lacked wit and charm. He didn't think this version was more than self-absorbed and chauvinistic and lacked the morals of Robert Downey, Jr.'s portrayal. He thought the character lacked proper motivation. He felt the Elementals were boring and the film didn't do much to make them interesting. He didn't care for the animation saying that individual frames looked nice but didn't move fluidly. He thought the score was okay but too bland. He didn't think any of the characters were interesting besides Pepper Potts, who still didn't live up to Gwyneth Paltrow's portrayal but was better than Tony Stark and James Rhodes. "I hope that future Marvel animated efforts are better than this one. Unfortunately, the sneak peeks at Hulk vs Thor and Hulk vs Wolverine don't look promising. While I have great hope for the cinematic universe that Marvel is building, their animated line is a disappointment at the moment. This one is for die-hard Iron Man fans only."
Todd Douglass Jr. of DVD Talk gave the movie three and a half stars out of five saying he was pleased with the Marvel's and DC's migration into animated movies. He felt that fans of the comics would enjoy the changes in the origin if they watched the movie. He did think that it was too convenient that Tony Stark and James Rhodes could build a suit in the seemingly short time they do while their captors don't seem to notice. While he did enjoy the movie he didn't think it did anything different than before. He felt it was predictable and some of the character developments were forced. He did think it was an achievement for comic book fans. He thought it had a lot of rich comic book atmosphere. He felt any Iron Man fan would be pleased. "The Invincible Iron Man is another Marvel Animated Feature that fans will definitely want to check out. This new tale of his origin and battle with Mandarin is a lot of fun from start to finish. Sure there are a few bumps along the way but in the end you'll be entertained if you were ever an Iron Man fan. Even if you're not that diehard you can still use this to hold you over until the live action release slated for 2008."
In his review of the Blu-ray Adam Tyner of DVD Talk gave the film two out of five stars saying it was a mediocre movie made worse after the spectacular live action film. He said this version of Tony Stark had all the arrogance of the live action version but not the charm and came off as flat and boring. He didn't like how he had made dozens of suits before the one required to escape captivity. He was also upset that the iconic red and gold suit was barely in the movie despite being on the cover and advertisements. He though Tony was hypocritical for berating his father's use of weapons while secretly building dozens of armored suits. He felt the story was slow. He thought the elementals were uninteresting and didn't like how the main villain was hardly in it. He also didn't like how Iron Man did nothing with Mandarin at the end. He noted that the movie pushed the violence with people actually dying but never actually pushed the envelope. He did like that the animation showed that the suits weren't invincible. He thought the designs of the suits were impressive and daunting. "With Jon Favreau's take on Tin Head still fresh in my mind, it's hard for me to make that transition from a flick overflowing with personality to an animated version almost entirely devoid of any. Rent It. [...] Jon Favreau's take on Iron Man gets the nod as my favorite superhero flick, but this animated version isn't even close to being in that same league. The Invincible Iron Man is anchored around a bland, two-dimensional Tony Stark, barely bothers with the Iron Man armor, crams in a bunch of uninteresting badniks, struggles with a stale, muddled modern-versus-magic theme, and limps to a lifeless conclusion that at the end of the day has nothing to do with Tony or his bleeding-edge tech anyway."
The movie has a 5.9 rating on the Internet Movie Database. Among the community it has a 46% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Stu of Marvel Animation Age felt the movie lived up to the standards of the first two movies but didn't make any attempt to improve. He felt what it did have was good but seemed to miss a lot of content. He thought the presentation was good. He noticed that it looked worse on a PC monitor than it did on a television screen. He thought the audio was fine. He felt the features were adequate but not much more. He claimed "The Origin of Iron Man" was great to hear how they developed the movie and provided some good information for fans. He appreciated how the alternate opening wasn't used as he felt it gave away too much of the story, but was cool to see. His favorite feature was "The Hall of Armor" that detailed the various armors. He felt the Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme preview looked better than he thought it would be. "Overall, an adequate but not especially thrilling disc. Hopefully future Marvel DTVs will feature audio commentaries because the discs have been in dire need of them for a while now."
James Harvey of Marvel Animation Age claimed that the dVD was pretty standard. He didn't think the audio and video were perfect and had some issues mostly with the 2D animation. He did notice problems with mouth movements. Though he felt the sound was sharp, particularly the battle scenes. He claimed the DVD handled the balance between music and action perfectly never getting too soft or too overbearing. He liked the behind-the-scenes featurette. He felt the armor gallery was great for fans though incomplete. He thought the alternate opening would have added to the film but also taken away some of the twists, and was better to watch after the film. He claimed the Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme preview looked spectacular and couldn't wait till he saw it. "Overall, it's a fine disc. Nothing too jam-packed, but on par with what the Lionsgate/Marvel films have been providing. A nice bit of a fluff with a peek into what went on behind the scenes and a nod to the comic origins of the character. The discs themselves look nice, with solid menu and a great presentations. If you're a Marvel fan, it's a no brainer to pick up. If you're on the fence, I'd say give a rental before opting to pay the full price. Regardless, The Invincible Iron Man comes Recommended."
Scott Chitwood of ComingSoon.net gave the DVD a seven out of ten, one more point than the movie. He thought the features were decent. He claimed the alternate opening sounded cool but came off like a high school history lesson. He liked the Making of feature. Though he did not like how the armor gallery looked like poorly scanned images from the comics. He thought the best was the Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme preview which got him excited for the movie despite not being a Doctor Strange fan.
Mike Pinsky of DVD Verdict felt that the features were to give the impression of greater value. He thought the deleted opening might have helped the movie's plot but slowed down the pace. The armor gallery was a good historical view of the character. He thought the making of feature was a good look at the development of the movie. Though he felt that the team didn't do a good enough job trying to justify how the armory made the first act pointless. He did think that the Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme opening looked promising.
In his review of the Blu-ray Clark Douglas of DVD Verdict felt the high definition transfer was descent but wasn't much better than the DVD. He liked the making of feature most. But he felt that the disc lacked any real substance.
Todd Douglass Jr. of DVD Talk gave the video quality four out of five stars. He claimed the digital production allowed the video to remain sharp and clean. He did notice some compression but not enough to complain. He didn't think the color palette used a lot of contrast and appeared murky for most of the film. He felt the grey suit made the movie look like The Iron Giant while the red and yellow popped out more. He also gave the audio four stars saying that the movie intelligently used all the channels. He felt it had a strong sense of immersion during battles. Though he felt that other times it should have been better. He did complain about a lack of subtitles. He gave the extras two and a half stars. He was sad that the alternate opening didn't make it in and liked how it would have set up the story. He liked how the making of cleared up some issues he had with the story.
In his review of the Blu-ray Adam Tyner of DVD Talk gave the video four out of five stars. He thought the animation transfer was flawless and better than the DVD. Though he felt the colors were too dark overall and the animation could get choppy at times. He did notice problems with the CG animation during battle scenes. He felt it was as good as the original thing. He also gave the audio four stars. He claimed that the audio was so good that it rivaled live-action movies. He felt the sound was cleaned and was boosted by a great low-frequency kick. He claimed that every sound sounded real and licked the sense of ambiance in quiet scenes. He also enjoyed how the dialogue came through even in battle scenes instead of getting overwhelmed. He gave the extras two stars. He felt the opening was clunky exposition that spelled out the story, and the movie was better off without it. He liked the behind the scenes featurette but not the producers' explanations to changes he didn't like. He liked the armory feature but felt it should have been more extensive showing more modern suits. "This Blu-ray disc looks and sounds great, but the movie's too disappointing to recommend buying sight-unseen. Rent It."
- Review (by Jim Harvey) at Marvel Animation Age
- Review (by Stu) at Marvel Animation Age
- Invincible Iron Man, The at EFilmCritic.com
- The Invincible Iron Man at Cominsoon.net
- DVD Review: The Invincible Iron Man at BlogsCritic.org
- The Invincible Iron Man at DVDVerdict.com
- The Invincible Iron Man at DVDVerdict.com
- Invincible Iron Man at DVDTalk.com
- Invincible Iron Man at DVDTalk.com
- DVD Review (by Stu) at Marvel Animation Age
- The Invincible Iron Man at Cominsoon.net
- The Invincible Iron Man at DVDVerdict.com
- The Invincible Iron Man at DVDVerdict.com
- Invincible Iron Man at DVDTalk.com
- Invincible Iron Man at DVDTalk.com
- Marvel Animation Age
- Internet Movie Database
- Rotten Tomatoes
- Marvel Database
- Marvel Movies Wiki
- Iron Man Wiki