Friday, November 16, 2012

Kamen Rider × Super Sentai: Super Hero Taisen Review

Kamen Rider × Super Sentai: Super Hero Taisen came out in theaters on April 21st in Japan, joing the two franchises of Super Sentai and Kamen Rider together.

I've only heard bad things from fans about this movie and there is the confusion about it being canon or not. Taisen means War, and it is war we get. This review is both a  summary and a review. To see this movie, you have to at least have a knowledge of Gokaiger, Kamen Rider Decade and at least a bit of Fourze, OOO and Go-Busters. The major players here are the ones from Gokaiger and Kamen Rider Decade while there are plenty cameos from the Kamen Rider universe such as characters from Fourze and OOO. Also cameos from the Go-Busters.

 The movie starts out with Captain Marvelous defeating the first 7 Kamen Riders before Tsukasa Kadoya appears before him. While Marvelous swears to him he won't rest until all Kamen Riders are destroyed, Tsukasa claims he will not stop until all Super Sentai are vanquished. We get  the titles, which is pretty cool. Pretty good so far, no fowl. Maybe Showa fans would be upset their Sowa Riders got defeat so quickly. Then Kamen Rider Fourze comes to play in which their school gets attacked by the Zangyack. I am not so familiar with Fourze but I do know their hidout is on the moon and connected to a locker in their High School. Gokai Red and Fourze face each other and fight. He shows off his crew of fallen villains. Kamen Rider Meteor arrives to lend a hand, Gokai Red retaliates by summoning Rider Hunter Silva to cripple Meteor before taking him out and tells the other Gokaigers that Decade has already took the lives of the Gorengers and some of the other Super Sentai.
At their city, the Go-Busters find people being attacked by various Kamen Rider monsters under Doktor G of the revived Dai-Shocker. Tsukasa as he transforms into Decade to overpower them. But before he can finish them off, the Gokaigers (sans Red) arrive and defend. However, Decade explains that their captain started this before. Decade kills Gokai Yellow, Pink, and Silver as Gokai Blue and Gokai Green are forced to retreat. It is a bit fast moving. And as we see the Go-Busters as quick as they are dispatched. They basically abandon them.

Elsewhere, Brajira and various Goseiger monsters attack Kamen Rider OOO and the Double Births. Watching from afar, Marvelous encounters Daiki Kaito and reveals his goal to obtain the "Ultimate Treasure in the Universe"by killing all Kamen Riders. Taking out the two Births while fighting Diend, Gokai Red is about kill his opponent when OOO sacrifices himself to save the other Kamen Rider. Daiki takes Hina (of OOO) and the Core Medals on her person to the Crisis Fortress, Kaito confronts Tsukasa. Kaito manages to take Tsukasa's camera, refusing to support his friend as he and Hina are forced to retreat with monsters sent after them as they run into Joe and Doc as they debate over their next course. At Hina's behest, Kaito becomes Diend to wipe out the Dai-Shocker monsters. Learning that he is a Kamen Rider, despite explain he is on no one's side in the conflict, Joe attempts to take out his frustrations on Kaito as he reveals what Marvelous's intentions while he spares Joe's life upon beating him. From there, Don offers that they all join forces to solve what is truly going on with Marvelous and Tsukasa. 

Kaito takes the others to Decade as he kills the Goseigers. Though they came only to talk, Joe is intent on fighting as Doras defeats him. However, Marvelous destroys the monster to save Joe and tells his first mate that this is for survival as only one group of heroes can exist. Telling Joe that Akarenger knows the true story, Marvelous tells him not to interfere as he confronts Tsukasa. With their amassed armies ordered to stand back and watch, Marvelous and Tsukasa transform and do battle. With both Gokai Red and Decade evenly matched, the fight ends in a stalemate. Joe, Don, Hina and Daiki end up in the Gokai Galleon. Joe attacking Kaito but lacking the will to kill him while admitting he does not want to see any more death.

When they decide to find Akarenger, with Joe pointing out that he is dead, Kaito decides to buy them a ride on the Den-Liner with the cup of pudding he stole from Momotaros during their last meeting. We see the Imajin do a comedic scene and the old man (forget his name) says that maybe the reason the Sentai and Kamen Rider fight is because there is only one place. Arriving in the winter of 1976 to watch his battle with Baseball Mask, Akaranger reveals that he knows why they come and ask them to take him to their time as he is joined by the Zyurangers, Goggle V, Megarangers, Dekarangers, and Livemen. But Kamen Rider 1 suddenly arrives with Kamen Riders Kuuga, Faiz, Kabuto, Kiva, and Double with a battle ensuing where only Akarenger and Kamen Rider 1 remain.

However, Akaranger and Kamen Rider 1 are revealed to be Gokai Red and Decade in disguise as both planned to flush out the remaining opposition and put an end. Mortified with Marvelous's drive to sacrifice their own, a betrayed Joe engages his captain with Kaito protecting him before being knocked out by Decade. With both Kaito and Joe taken out, Gokai Red and Decade resume their  battle have been before Doktor G and Silva arrive and reveal that Dai-Shocker and Dai-Zangyack have been playing them both in order to remove and opposition to combine their fortresses into Big Machine to take over the world.Gokai Red and Decade faint. Marvelous and Tsukasa knew of the treachery and played along while sending those they seemingly defeated into a dimensional rift until the time to spring their trap arrived. 

Joined by Marvelous's crew, OOO, and the real Akarenger and Kamen Rider 1 as they transform, Decade and Gokai Red are joined by Fourze, Meteor, the Go-Busters, and every other Kamen Rider and Super Sentai team to stand against the Shocker-Zangyack Alliance. Kamen Rider Fourze, Meteor and the Go-Busters arrive. A portal opens letting in the rest of the Kamen Riders and Super Sentai, which is an epic display of around 200 suit actors. The Imajins as Kamen Rider Den-O give a moment to shine with the Gekiranger, as well as Magiranger with Kamen Rider Hibiki and Maskman with Kamen Rider Black. Also Kamen Rider Kiva and Go-Onger. As Go-Buster Oh is formed to fight the enlarged Warz and Akudos while he and Gokaigers defeats General Shadow, Decade is horrified to find a revenge-driven Kaito as he forms Big Machine to teach everyone a lesson as the mecha kills Akudos and Warz. Kaito wants revenge for being tricked and fooled.

Entering Big Machine, Diend uses it on Go-Buster Oh with Fourze saving Yellow Buster. Given the Rocket Super-01 Switch and a new Astro Switch, Fourze takes over Yellow Buster's place in piloting Go-Buster Oh as it engages Big Machine with the Super Rocket-1 Switch giving the giant robot the means to take their opponent into space. Back on Earth, the Gokaigers gain OOO Ranger Keys to take out Silva while Doktor G becomes Kani Laser to overpower the Kamen Riders before the Goseigers give Decade, Ryuki, and Blade their Tensou Cards to overpower the Destron monster. 

However, Doktor G is revealed to be Narutaki as he leave while telling Decade that he will never stop until he is dead. This is probably where it gets even more confusing but satisfying only to those who follow Decade. Back in space, Fourze install the Drill Switch Super-3 on Go-Buster Oh to destroy Big Machine. Soon after, as Eiji and Hina are reunited, the Gokai Galleon crew watch Fourze befriending the Go-Busters. Marvelous then joins up with his crew sees the ultimate treasure being friendship between the Kamen Riders and the Super Sentai teams while accepting Eiji's friendship. As for Kaito, having survived the Big Machine's destruction but badly injured, gives Tsukasa back his camera and tells him to find his own path before accepting Tsukasa's friendship in his own way. Don and Kaito make face signals to say goodbye.

The actress playing Hina does a serviceable job, it is wonder why she was picked to be along Joe, Don and Diend. Maybe she was more available than the other actors. I don't know what everyone is complaining about, I think they did a good job. Maybe it is because the movie doesn't make it clear who gets the focus. And Maybe Riders or Sentai they like are 'killed' off too quickly. Or we don't see characters we like in action. I think the movie might a bit too uneven, but it clearly shows who are the big players half-way in. And maybe the whole Marvelous being in charge of the Zangyack and Decade in charge of Shocker is a bit too contrived. Also them working together and tricking the villains might seemed like a 'screw you' to the audience. And then Kamen Rider Diend taking over the Big Machine was even more of a 'screw you,' almost like a conflict between the writers. But I didn't mind it. As long as they explained it, it was fine.I see it as only one hero can exist: Kamen Rider or Super Sentai, since they are both used to being protagonists, it is only naturally they would fight each other. Also, having Diend go against them at the end is like in the spirit of Kamen Rider, one of those pyschos will go loose. I think in its dark spirit, it is like a Kamen Rider movie. But maybe a bit softer, but not as less complex as Super Sentai. Not saying Super Sentai is not complex or that is soft, but to be honest, it is not as Nihilistic as Kamen Rider. The ending robo battle was really cool CGI though. Oh and Decade definitely has 'VS" hair! But it goes back to normal at the end.


Unknown said...

Personally, I thought this movie was as fun as hanging yourself. However, I will commend you for trying to give this 'movie' a chance and I admit that your review is actually pretty in-depth. Also, kudos for mentioning the tone of the movie, I couldn't make heads or toes out of it in this mess.

I'd also like to mention how Black Cross Leader isn't given a single line of dialogue nor is he a properly exploited character. Warz Gill has more lines than him, and that is what ticked me off, considering it took 35 mecha to destroy Black Cross Leader in the previous event [199 Heroes] and he's killed off-camera in this movie.

MattitudeV1oh said...

I've never understood the mentality behind, "as long as they explain it then it's okay." I'm more of a, "as long as the explanation is plausible then it's okay" kind of guy.

Their explanations weren't plausible. The character motivations were beyond weak. The story was bland and predictable. The action wasn't even up to the standard that Sentai and Rider movies have set in recent years.

This definitely felt like a movie where those in charge believed that all they needed to do was put both franchises together on screen and that would be enough to please the fans. It wasn't.

Lavender Ranger said...

It is all according to taste, MattitudeV1oh. I didn't care for the Hurricanger or Abaranger movies. Also I loved Dairanger but the movie was weak. I am not putting 'as long as the explanation is plausible' as a defense. I had no problem with the movie as much as you guys and some people want. It seems like people were expecting too much.

Paladin said...

I assume Hina took the supporting role because the actress who played Natsumi from Decade was unavailable.

Lavender Ranger said...

Paladin, true because she was no where to be found. it would had been nice to see Kamen Rider Kivara.

lio_convoy said...

I personally liked the movie. It made sense on some levels. Yes it was predictable in some spots but aren't all shows anymore? Remember when watching these movies you are not the target audience. Then remember what it was like to watch it when you were 8yrs old and you will enjoy it more.
I went into watching the movie knowing nothing about Kamen Rider and still enjoyed it.

Cyber9989 said...

Unlike the other crossovers, the Taisen movie was one giant discombogulated mess as it was just a visual and action gimmick with no plot. Yes it is meant for children but when they get older and still love toku, they will be very insulted seeing this movie again. The hole in character is Diend. He starts out ass hero and does a 180 degree turn. He is a anti-hero and oportunist but still he would not completely betray his allies on his own accord. That was just bad writing.

Lavender Ranger said...

cyber, I agree about diend. it is erratic but isn't he always erratic?

TAG said...

I strongly agree with MattitudeV1oh on this. This movie has "bleeeh" written all over it.

For most of the movie, Marvelous and Tsukasa were killing off the Sentai/Riders for a lousy reason: Tsukasa was doing it because Marvelous was doing it, and Marvelous was doing it because for some reason, he thinks there's an ultimate treasure to be found if he kills all the Kamen Riders (did he forget that his crew blew up the real ultimate treasure to smithereens?). Then it turns out "HURP DURP we knew the whole time and we were only PRETENDING to kill everyone!" WHY?! How long have they known about the bad guys' plan? How did they find out about said plan? How were they able to hide all the "fallen" Kamen Riders and Sentai members in a dimensional rift? Was that one of Decade's powers? I don't know; the movie never made that clear! Nothing made sense until they actually bothered explaining, and even when they did, the movie expected us to be okay with two protagonists somehow managing to pull off turning evil out of the blue for who knows how long and hiding everyone with a method that didn't make sense. Gokaiger vs. Gavaan had Gavaan come off as evil as well, but the reason that worked was because they resolved that in about 10 minutes rather than dragging it all out into a really weak plot!

Then there's Diend. Just as they finally explain (badly) what the hell was up, suddenly THIS guy decides to turn evil and attacks everyone. I'm only familiar with the Super Sentai, so Kaito suddenly going berserk and taking control of the giant battleship at the end came COMPLETELY out of nowhere for me. What the hell? There was absolutely NOTHING to even hint at something like this happening. It came off as not even a plot twist so much an ass pull.

On top of that, not counting Marvelous and Tsukasa, everyone apart from Fourze and those color guys in the train (along with Kaito, but only because of the out-of-nowhere "I'M SUDDENLY EVIL") were just dull. I did not give a damn about Joe, Don, or Hina, and the other members of the pirate crew did not have enough screen time to make any sort of impact. The bad guys were all forgettable except for that Scorpion guy that yelled a lot.

I can't even agree with "It is all according to taste". It's one thing if the movie simply isn't my (or Mattitdude's) kind of movie. But this is a movie with a really flimsy plot and GLARING flaws that I simply cannot overlook. I think that especially in the case of people who are only familiar with the Super Sentai series, the movie is just going to be confusing as hell. This was just lousy all-around, and given the material they were working with, the end result was seriously disappointing.

TheRedRanger95 said...

Where can I watch this? You got a link or something?