Saturday, 28 May 2016

Guyver: Dark Hero

Guyver: Dark Hero, or The Guyver 2 depending on which part of our fair world you hail from is, in many ways, a bad film. The acting, even from my beloved David Hayter, is pretty sub-par and the script isn't exactly Oscar material. Yet, even putting my childhood nostalgia aside, the film is incredibly entertaining.

It's a western friendly take on a famous Japanese Manga and mixes an excellent soundtrack, great costume design, a healthy dose of blood and violence and genuinely thrilling action scenes to create a film that, despite it's flaws, stands the test of time as an action film/superhero movie and leaves a burning desire for a third instalment.

The film details Sean Barker's struggles with having been chosen by the Guyver unit and chronicles his attempts at unravelling the Guyver mystery whilst also combating the evil Cronos Corporation and the Zoanoids. The troubled anti hero versus the monsterous freaks.

One thing that helps the film is it's costumes, the Zoanoids aren't done with CGI - which would look outdated now - so they look pretty acceptable even by modern standards and because most of the fights are hand to hand there are no naff looking explosions or cheap firefights. The design of the Guyver armour itself is ludicrously badass, even down to the sounds it makes and watching it in action is a real treat, the fights are choreographed and shot with infinitely more skill and far less 'campiness' than those of the first movie.

That armour though.
Also Les Claypool's soundtrack is stellar, it's catchy and heroic at all the right moments and is the sort of thing you might have in your head your whole life. It doesn't consist of much but it works perfectly and is used at all the right moments to create tension and/or a sense of heroism.

The highlight of the movie for me though is undoubtedly the showdown between Sean and Crane, who uses a defective Guyver unit found in their caves to create the first ever Guyver Zoanoid.

Sure the acting is hideous, some of the faces David Hayter makes are endlessly amusing but the film has enough merits to be forgiven. Its unashamedly low budget but director Steve Wang and his team make excellent use of that budget to create a solid action film with a compelling story, cool characters and great fights.

With reference to my aforementioned childhood nostalgia I once designed and made a helmet and elbow pads, complete with blades, out of toilet rolls and cardboard so I could be the Guyver. I was an awesome six year old.

And now please, if you'll be so kind as to indulge me, observe the below showdown between Barker and Crane. Bask in its glory.

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