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Monday, July 9, 2012

Movie Month: Kamen Rider the First Review

For the next movie I am looking at the only Rider movie I actually own. This is based on the manga of the first rider (that is what it says on the DVD), but there are some nice references to the series. The story is the same is similar to the series as it begins with a man named Hongo having a usual day where he works as a scientist. On that day though Shocker appears and invite him to become a member. He tries to run, but a Bat cyborg stops him and catches him. At the Shocker lab he is worked on and becomes Hopper a new cyborg. He is sent on his first mission to infiltrate a building. So the major difference is that he starts out as a villain. He shows his strength off well and finishes the job by destroying the place. Now the media is going crazy with these strange incidents happening and one reporter sticks her nose in too much. Asuka is that reporter and one day along with her fiance, Hayato they are attacked by a Spider cyborg and Hopper. Spider kills the man and at that moment it starts to snow. This goes back what Hongo was looking at in his field of research and it snaps him back into his true self. He takes his helmet off to see if the man is still alive and Asuka sees him as he flees when more attention was coming. Now Hongo is now seen as a betrayer and has to fight for his survival. Shocker sends other cyborgs and even another Hopper. Hongo throws himself in the line of fire because of Asuka who keeps being attacked even though she blames him for the murder of her finance.
Pros- As I said before there are little references to the series like bringing back some faces from the rider franchise. We get Hiroshi who is known as V3 and many other Toku heroes playing Tachibana. He did have a small role, but his scene was a good watch. One thing that was a good change was how the riders transform. In the original series they had the whole arm movements, but for a film in the 21st century that had to change. It's simply a fast hand movement over the belt as it starts the fan. Along with that I really like the designs of the riders in this film. We get the first rider with the overall black look like how Ichigo looked originally. Nigo gets the green look he originally had as well. Overall their suits are very nice as it really looks like an upgrade of the older suits. Another good thing about Nigo is that past rider Raia, Takano is portraying him and he does good, but there is a sharp edge of the blade with this. For Hongo his actor does good with showing how hard it was to be a hero like this. Action is done very well as we get fast paced suit action that plays very well. Rider Kicks are in this movie, but they don't have the same dynamic feel. The movie also played with this as his powers are out of control. Shocker stays the same which is something I loved because I thought this film would try to completely change them. Shocker is an organization that wants world domination, that is it. Another good about Shocker is how brute they are. They kill any target they are assigned to which again reminds me of the manga and series.
Cons- There is one really big flaw with this movie and that is a whole sub plot. There is a kid in the hospital who could die sometime and he has issues because of this. He tried to kill himself and doesn't want anyone talking to him. One girl tries to get him to open up and soon these two are like a couple. The girl is also in a frail state, but the two are given a chance of stronger bodies thanks to Shocker. The sub plot is mostly pointless as it just gives up a look at two new cyborgs. These two become snake cyborgs which is a reference to the Cobra cyborg and his female partner in the manga and series. It also seems that the movie just tried to throw sadness for no reason with these characters. The love interest Asuka is annoying! I can agree that she won't trust Hongo, but she already had her life threatened and she still tries to look into the story. She just serves to be bait as Hayato does come back, but he completely changes. Which is another thing I kinda have to pick at. Hayato was completely changed in the movie. It wasn't a bad change it's just it was kinda pointless to have him be in the beginning in the movie. They show a character and bam he is killed and changed into a different person. They could have easily just had Nigo appear as an enemy since he changes completely. Another quick appearance is Doctor Shinigami himself, but they use the footage from the old series and have someone dub over it. It just felt odd and seeing him next to two other screens you can just tell the differences between the screens. Finally some references were just thrown in like the Rider's original poses were thrown in the last fight. It was nice, but it was completely random for the movie since they never did it before.

Overall- The movie is what it is supposed to be. It's a modification on the old rider story as it does look and feel like a 21st century movie. The action is nice and some references are put in nicely. Sadly there are some bad inserts and the movie tried to develop all the characters even though some didn't even need it. I give it a B- for serving it's purpose.

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