So, what shall we talk about today? Oh, yeah. I think we should talk about this thing in my gut that's about to burst out Xenomorph style unless I let it out in another way. I really feel the need to express myself. Good thing I have a blog, which I can use as release valve to save my body from rage poisoning. Rage at what? Well, a bit of background first.
You know that I like writing, and you know that I like anime, and videogames. What you don't know is that I also like Kamen Rider, ever since I've started reading Kamen Rider Spirits a few years ago. Don't even mention the Saiban one or you're going to get a Rider Kick right in the nads, by the way. So, I've been trying to widen my culture and I was oh so disappointed to find out that the Showa Era shows aren't subbed... Yet. Then I saw that they had made a feature movie based on the original Kamen Riders, Ichigo and Niigo alias 1 and 2. I thought they would be a valid alternative.
… God, was I WRONG.
I was going into this unprepared and unbiased, because I knew next to nothing about the original TV Series and Manga Counterparts of Takeshi Hongo and Hayato Ichimonji, the first two riders. That helps to be objective in seeing a movie, since if you're an expert on the original material, you can sometime find faults in the simple fact that it's different, forgetting that a movie is very different from a TV series. That has never been a problem for me ever since I started studying cinema in University classes, but you never know. So, I went in as a blank.
It still was-God, where do I start?
From the beginning, I guess. The first scene of the movie, with the first exchange that gives you a clue about the level of dialogue in the whole thing. Fat guy and Glasses guy in a limo.
Glasses guy: “Sensei. About tomorrow's meeting. If you go, sensei, Japan's whole economy will probably change greatly.”Fat guy: “Yes. I have to be there.”
Of course he won't be there. Spider-roid kills him like one minute after that. No mention is made of their demise or why Shocker killed the guy or makes Hongo blow up a company's computers, since they seem to spend their entire power-force, for the whole movie, trying to kill the female interest over which Ichimonji and Hongo, alias Rider 2 and Rider 1, fight over. Because they can't let people who saw them live, because they thread on secrecy. That's why they send tons of goons to kill a single unarmed reported instead of just using a freaking sniper. And idiocy in taking out witnesses aside, we don't see their agenda. We don't know nothing about them except for 'They're dirtying the beauty of the world'.
|Yeah, that's what lures chicks in. Water.|
So, Hongo is a shy biochemistry student who studies water crystals, while Ichimonji is a playboy who got turned into the second Rider by Shocker after Hongo defected, but we don't know who he was before that. He just appears out of the blue being a guy who looked a lot like the now defunct female interest's fianceé, who she believes Hongo killed. By the way, instead of going to the police with that, she stays silent and confronts him alone.
|Wearing pink. LIKE A BOSS.|
In short, the story is all about Hongo and Ichimonji fighting each other and then Shocker for Asuka's sake, ending with them storming the surprisingly unprotected base of Shocker (you think they could have invested in some freaking TURRETS). We receive no information on their goals other than to remain secret and making humans into Kaizo Ningen, alias altered humans, and they go at it with all the class and recitation ability of a B Porn Movie. This thing is a bad movie, and even worse for the fans, a shitty Kamen Rider movie.
What really peeves me, though, is that the movie could have been good. There was the possibility, as shown from a few scenes in the movie, then revealed to be progressive flashbacks.
The first flashback starts with a kid, a teen named Haruhiko, trying to jump off the roof of a hospital but ultimately chickening out. He's sick, he can get better but he doesn't believe so. He firmly believes he's going to die and most importantly that no one cares since no one visits him. It's not explained why but it's overlookable. Thing is, the next day he finds flowers in his room. He goes to the nurse angry for being pitied over but it wasn't her nor any of her colleagues who did it.
|And you should hear her say 'Nya'. No, she does. Really!|
Over the next few nights, he catches glimpses and then finally the culprit herself: a girl called Miyoko, who introduces herself as a volunteer supposed to cheer up the patients. Haruhiko brushes her off, saying that she's a bother. The girl doesn't let up, bringing him food and even knitting him a scarf. He keeps on pushing her away, saying that it doesn't matter how he acts since he won't be in the hospital 'much longer'.
In the next flashback, Haruhiko runs from the hospital and collapses on his knees, desperate. He doesn't see any sense in recovering since even if he leaves the hospital, he doesn't know where to go, what to do. He's completely alone. Then, he notices that the scarf he had thrown away at first and is now wearing has caught onto a tree. He turns around and sees Miyoko standing by said plant life. With a smile, she says 'We're connected by a red thread'.
|Sorry, no pun here. They're having a moment.|
The guy finally breaks up and lets everything out. Miyoko says that she will accompany him wherever he wants to go. The two teens go to an amusement park, see the sights, take photographs. It's the first time we see Haruhiko smile and you can't help but 'daaaaw'. At least, until Miyoko collapses.
|... Damn, guys. You're killing my funny.|
Back at the hospital, we discover that Miyoko wasn't a volunteer, but a patient staying in Haruhiko's neighboring room, who's been hospitalized much longer than him, her illness much worse. She confesses that she was all alone just like Haruhiko. She knew what he was going through and that's why she wanted to cheer him up. That's when the kid realizes just how whiny and stupid he has been and asks Miyoko to get better together, so that they will be able to go on a 'proper date'. Sadly, unlike Haruhiko's illness, Miyoko's one is terminal.
That's when Batroid from Shocker appears, saying that she's been chosen to be an altered human and that they will cure her of her illness. The hospital and the island it's on are then revealed to be Shocker's current headquarters, and Haruhiko and Miyoko are Cobra and Snake, the final antagonists of the movie.
|Their death scene is cheesy, but you can't help feeling it...|
This. This is what really gets me. These scenes are more thought out than the rest of the movie, and the two teens who play Haruhiko and Miyoko act BETTER THAN THE MAIN CHARACTERS, DAMN IT! Their names are, by the way, Eiji Wentz and Ryoko Kobayashi.
This movie could have been good. It had some promise. These flashbacks, or Hongo's problems with controlling his powers which are shown once but not addressed. Yeah, we saw that trying to save a kid from a truck he caused an incident and injured four people including the kid, but how the hell did you get over it?! The final result is 75% crap, and paradoxically it also made its actors act bad, since Hassei Takano, the face of Ichimonji, was also Kamen Rider Raia in the 2002 series Kamen Rider Ryuuki, but unlike in this movie, his acting was actually good!
God damn it, I really hope someone subs the original series soon enough, because I have to wash this filth from my eyes with some authentic Double Riders. All in all, I wouldn't give this movie more than 4/10.
That said, I hope that my first review being this full of rage doesn't turn you off from reading further ones. I'll watch something good the next time, I promise.
Meinos Kaen Out!