The Iron Giant is not a bad film, it just isn’t a particularly original one either. The central story of the film has been done so many times before that it is difficult to find anything that is new or exciting about the animated movie. The idea of a child finding a creature/alien and then hiding them from the government/shady organisation has already been seen in films like ET or Lilo and Stitch or more recently in Big Hero 6.
This means that The Iron Giant has to deliver something very unique to make it a memorable movie and unfortunately, it doesn’t. What director Brad Bird does create is a very solid movie. The animation is very good, but unspectacular. The voice acting is delivered with confidence but hardly holds the charisma that we expect from studios like Pixar and the overall story just doesn’t cut it compared to other similar movies.
That isn’t to say the film is without charm. The young boy, Hogarth, is rebellious without being annoying and his relationship with the Iron Giant (voiced by Vin Diesel but quite pointlessly compared to Groot) is a cute one. There are other characters which offer some entertainment, like villain Kent Mansley or the classic, “only adult who believes the kid” voiced by Harry Connick Jr, but when they are placed in a movie as generic as this one, they become lost amongst the dull.
The lack of originality in The Iron Giant is made more infuriating because the movie is based on a book by poet and author Ted Hughes. The book is called The Iron Man and although it shares some similarities, the end of the movie is quite different and could offer something much more original, rather than fall into the usual trap of nuclear missiles and tearful goodbyes.
Overall, The Iron Giant feels like a missed opportunity to bring a well-known and original novel to the big screen. Instead, we get a movie about a child and a strange creature which has been done many times before and in many cases, better. The acting is fine, the animation is good but the story is ordinary and because of this, The Iron Giant feels forgettable.
Rating – 2
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)