Saturday, 14 February 2015

Review : The Iron Giant

THE IRON GIANT : This is a fascinating story of a nine-year-old boy named Hogarth Hughes who makes friends with an innocent alien giant robot that came crashing down to earth from outer space. Meanwhile, a paranoid U.S. Government agent named Kent Mansley arrives in town, he thinks the Giant is a threat to the world and becomes determined to destroy the giant at all costs. It's up to Hogarth to protect him from harm.

This is a story about loyalty, friendship, courage, survival, all in all an all round message which demonstrates the value of something and about your place in it. Take Hogarth for instance, a boy who comes into contact with a giant made of metal who is decedent from outer space by natural happenstance and chance they just happen to make aquantences very quickly and by the end of the film they are friends who value each other dearly. 

It's also about responsibility, once you become involved with something it is very easy to walk away from it and pretend that it never happened but it's about your place, you got yourself into this situation, though one would love to back away and drop out - you can't. It's sticking out that makes it all the more achievable.

At the start of the film, you have a wide shot of something falling down to earth and a fantastic pre-beginning sequence with a sailor coming into contact with the Iron Giant. From something small the film sort of takes off from their and once the dramatic action happens and the relationships start to bond between several characters for an animation, this is a drama which feels very real and like a real live action piece. The emotional depth to it is incredible because it really explores the sentimental value which each character has, for instance a mother fearing for her sons safety, The determination of a US Government Agent wanting something so badly he would loose his right arm to get what he wants, The importance of valuing a friendship  etc. The list goes on.

The joy of this as well which I find really contributing to overall enjoyment is the fact that it's a cartoon. So already it appeals to children or a young audience, they don't have to get the real messages of what the films about they just have to watch the Iron giant and look and how cool he is, the film provides cartoon action that most children love: a giant robot under attack; buildings, trains, and cars crashing; futuristic weapons firing; Hogarth - the boy hero, creeping through a dark forest looking for “trouble"; a boat caught in a storm; spooky music; and an arrogant, mean-spirited villain who threatens everyone and everything that is important, not to mention everything around that in the background of scenery and all the colours of the film to describe mood, time of day, etc.

The wonder with cartoon is that it can be anything, yes your on a budget but one of things I liked doing in my comic book days when I used to draw comic books is you could make it look budgetless with wide scale drawings which in real life look as if they would of cost a fortune to do. 

What's the best way to describe this film, Basically this is a director's cut of a truly raw good film, not a great a good. But there's no shame in that, it has so much humour and heart that it is one of the best family movies around. The script, adapted from a book by, Ted Hughes, is exceptionally good, hardly any faults in it. 

The plot has some clever twists in it, and some sly references to the 1950s which is good in terms of knowing the backdrop and knowing how to go off and get research resources and use them well to your advantage. Setting the story in the 1950s puts the government's reaction to the robot in the context of the red scare and Sputnik, which is good, its what makes the film exciting. They make the giant out to be a monster and of course he isn't. It's all one big misunderstanding and its a crushing blow to audience when at the end the robot effectively sacrifices himself to save the world from destruction. It's a very sad scene when the two friends have to say goodbye.

It may not have the breathtaking vistas of some of the best Disney animated films ever made, and I'm putting my hands up in admitting that The Iron Giant isn't a great film, but to it's credit it is lively and heartwarming and the characters, both human and robot, everything is so engaging that you might forget they are not real. The robot, created with computer graphics, is seamlessly included with the hand-drawn actors, making the illusion even more complete. So there's lots of contributing factors to think about from watching it, this is a film about detail, detail in every form.


Next Review: The Hurricane. 

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