Review: The Iron Giant

Go see this film now, before it's out of the theatres. Given the lousy marketing that Warner is giving it, and the bland pablum of the Disney films which dominate the animation market, we've got to show people that there is a market for good movies.

I'm an instant sucker for any film which features an outcast kid and a beatnik teaming up against the ignorant violent representatives of the government. Sure, there's a little self-sacrifice, but with an element of rebirth and an understanding of friendship.

The story is that a giant iron robot falls to earth, the outcast kid befriends him, and the obvious things that'd happen if you were weird and potentially dangerous in 1950s America play out.

This is not a visually complex film. That's not to say that it's not well composed or drawn, just that the imagery is spare and doesn't overpower the story.

That's good, because the story is strong.

Those of you who read my web pages or know me know that I'm not afraid of sex or "adult" content. But it's good to see a story that doesn't have to resort to sex or unnecessary violence to make its point. While some stuff gets blown up, nobody dies, and it's quite clear that even the defensive violence is distasteful. There's a slight romantic sub-plot, but it's subtle. This is a kid-friendly movie.

But it also has charms for more mature audiences. I wasn't sure how much of the government paranoia jokes the kids got, although they seemed engaged, but the adults laughed. It wasn't the deepest of meanings, but it was a well spend $7 and 90 minutes (or whatever it ended up running), and that's a lot more than can be said for many of my movie experiences.

See it. We need more movies like this. We need word of mouth to show that good movies can transcend bad advertising.

Sunday, August 15th, 1999