Sunday, January 8, 2012

"The Iron Giant" Review

    Childhood can be a strong influence. If something was a major part of our childhood, it's hard to say anything bad about it. The more we like it, the hard it is to remember it's flaws. Nostalgia is a powerful thing. Many of us love our childhood and reminisce about it by watching the films that we loved growing up. Sometimes we learn what we like back then, are just as good if not better now. Unfortunately, sometime we learn the movie's we loved were better left as they were: childhood memories. Among the movies I watched growing up The Iron Giant was one of my favorites. So, how does it hold up today? Pretty well, actually.

    I loved this movie growing up. I mean, what boy didn't want a gigantic robot to play with. For those who don't know, the film follow a boy who discover a "Iron Giant" (I know, shocker) and tries to keep it safe from a military officer that trying to find the robot. From there, the boy teaches the robot how to talk and that guns are bad, the military officer moves in with the boy and the boy meets a junkyard artist.
    Now, just because I loved this movie when I was a kid, does that mean I love this movie just as much now. Well, yes and no. I enjoyed a lot of the movie, but there were a few big flaws. I really had three issues with the movie. My first issue was that the movie's man character, the boy, Hogarth (Hogarth?) is constantly walking the line between fine and brain-breakingly annoying. There are times were Hogarth is fine to watch and is very annoying. But there are other times were you just want to slap the kid. Like when he freaks out the first time he sees the Giant and is absolutely terrified of it, and then the next day the little moron goes looking for it. And guess what? When he finds the Giant, he is terrified of it. Now, why did he look of it if it scares him. The problem is that fine and annoying are the only two feeling I have about Hogarth. Never once did I think he was a great protagonist. The kid is bad, and neither is the voice-actor, but I never though he rose above the "tough kid" stereotype.

I'd say they got the "Giant" part down pretty well, wouldn't you?
     The second problem is about the ending, so SPOILER WARNING from this point on. Now, after the Giant get hit by a nuclear missile (It makes sense in context), of course everyone think the Giant is dead after, you know, going head to head with a nuclear bomb. Hogarth then gets the only remaining part, a blot from his head, as a memento. That is until the blot rolls away into the distance to help possible re-build the Giant, as we saw he could do earlier. And then the film ended with that, allowing the audience to draw there own conclusions as to weather or not the Giant is dead and teaching kids the valuable lesson that everything dies. Unless, of course, the movie did something stupid, like say, showing us the giant being built, completely changing the powerfulness of the ending. And guess what? I freaking does that! Now, when I was younger, I loved knowing the giant was okay. Now, it just feels like a cop-out. Like some sleazy studio exec told the filmmakers to change the ending so it wasn't so, you know, good. Plus, it changes the message of the movie. Instead of "Everything dies, but that's just part of life" it's not telling kids, "If something looks like it's dead, it's probably just fixing itself". Great message.
    Now, my last big problem is something that the writer's should have fixed when they first came up with the idea to make a giant robot movie. Something that if they didn't fix, it would become a major plothole for the entire movie. And did they fix it? Nope. You see, it kinda hard to say nobody other than this boy know the giant exists, when it's a freaking giant. I mean, we clearly see that half of his body is over the treeline. There are scenes where he walks across empty fields. How does nobody notice this? Him walking should just cause minor earthquakes and leave gigantic footprints. But nope, it all boils down to "People can't see him, until they need to see him".

Totally inconspicuous.
    Now, those are some pretty major flaws. Big enough to ruin other movies. Some what exactly save this movie. Well, the Iron Giant himself. Seriously speaking, The Iron Giant might be one of the greatest move characters ever. The Giant is just so perfect. He hardly ever speaks, so most of the time his facial expression do all the talking for him. And you can clearly see what he's thinking in most of the scenes. The animators really need to be given credit for creating one of the most flesh-out character that hardly ever speaks. He's right up there with Wall-E. And when he does speak it is awesome. Vin Diesel does the voice and he does a great job. He help make the robot sweet, menacing, funny, intimating all at the same time. Sure other stuff is great, like the military, Dean, the 50s setting, about the Giant himself is the real reason this movie is good.
    So ya, the film does have it big problems, but does it hold up. Yes, it does, though, all thanks to the Giant himself. Without him, this movie would just be The. Literally. Overall, The Iron Giant gets a 5 out of 6.


  1. So, Iron Giant vs. Optimus Prime... who would win?

  2. Iron Giant. He survived a nuclear bomb. He can beat Optimus Prime, though, they are both equally awesome.