DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Guyver: Dark Hero

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Michael Elliott, Aug 8, 2004.

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  1. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Guyver: Dark Hero


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    Studio: New Line
    Year: 1994
    Rated: R
    Film Length: 123 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1)
    Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0
    Subtitles: English, Spanish
    Retail Price: $19.95





    After destroying the aliens in the previous film, this one starts off as our hero Sean Baker begins to wonder why he was chosen to become The Guyver. His curiosity get the best of him and he starts the investigation that soon leads him to a cave where scientist are searching for something that’s not being let out to the public. Sean is able to get on the location when he meets up with Cori, a member of the team doing the digging through the cave. Soon Sean learns that they are actually digging for an ancient spaceship and when it’s discovered he begins to understand why he was chosen to be The Guyver.

    The Guyver was a horribly bad film that didn’t know if it wanted to be aimed at children or go for something darker. I was a bit hesitant going into this sequel but outside the actual Guyver this has very little in common with the first film, which was a huge relief. Where the first film went for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles type of action this one here seems to think it’s a Death Wish film and goes over the top with its gory violence, mean spirited villains and overall the film is a lot darker making this for adults, which makes it a lot more watchable.

    Thankfully missing from this film is all the insanely bad humor that killed the previous film. This one here gets off to a very violent start and doesn’t look back or become watered down in its treatment. I’m not sure what the original Japanese comic was like but this one here appears to be a lot truer to its characters than the previous movie. The film opens up with a terrific bang as the Guyver stubbles upon a group of thugs smuggling cocaine so he naturally has to stop them by breaking arms, cracking skulls and cutting off any body parts that get in his way. There’s also a quite gruesome throat slashing that would impress anyone who likes the red stuff.

    Going on and on about violence might seem a bit dimwitted but that’s really the big difference between the two films. This one here also digs a bit deeper into its characters and it’s rather interesting to see our hero take a look at what he’s doing and start to question himself. I liked the fact that the film makes Sean Baker a human who changes himself into a superhero and the approach of showing him not liking the skill he has was interesting. There are several scenes showing Sean’s depression over who he has become and this just adds fuel to the already dark film. The makeup effects of the creatures are also a lot better than in the previous film because (once again) the creatures are made to look scary and not something you’d find in E.T..

    The film’s biggest problem is its running time that pushes over two hours. As I said earlier, I liked the fact that the film was more violent, darker and examined the human part of being a superhero but at the same time this is still a small, B-picture and a good thirty minutes could have been cut without a losing anything. Once again sometimes less is more and this film would be a good case for that.


    VIDEO---The movie is shown widescreen (1.85:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 TVs. The low budget nature of the film really shows its affects on the transfer but overall it’s not too bad. The biggest problem is a lot of dirt, which appears in most of the night scenes and since most of the film takes place at night we’ve got a lot to look at. You’ll notice in the opening sequence, which has a blue lit background, that the dirt is easy to see and the bigger your television the more you’re probably going to notice. There are also several scenes where the colors seem to be a bit too dim but this here is probably due to the budget of the film. Some minor edge enhancement can be seen but I doubt too many will notice this unless you’re actually looking for it.

    AUDIO---We get DTS and DD 5.1 tracks as well as a 2.0 Surround track. As with the previous film, there isn’t too much difference in the 5.1 tracks, although the DTS has a bit more bass and the music score has a little extra pop to it. Everything else from the dialogue to the Surround effects sound just the same. The dialogue is clear throughout, although there are a few quiet moments where some video noise could be heard. The Surrounds get a good workout in the various action scenes including a wonderful moment in the film where a tree is pulled from the ground and used as a weapon.

    EXTRAS---Trailers for The Butterfly Effect, Critters, Highwaymen and The Mangler are included.

    OVERALL---This is a rare case where a sequel is actually better than the first film and in this case the sequel turns out to be a lot better. Fans are dark and violence comic films should really enjoy this one, although it would have been better with a shorter running time. New Line offers a decent DVD, although it’s far from their best work. The 5.1 tracks do a serviceable job but the transfer is a bit too dirty, although this could be very well due to the budget of the film.


    Release Date: August 17th, 2004
     
  2. CoreyII

    CoreyII Second Unit

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    Hey Michael, glad to see you gave the sequel a watch and enjoyed it. I've had this film for years on VHS, I bought it at the San Diego Comic-Con back in the mid ninties.

    Like you, I was a bit hesitant after watching the original. Afterall the original had Jimmy Walker in it, and that is not a good sign. Once the dealer at the booth showed me clips from the film I quickly changed my mind.

    Anyway a very good review, take care.
     
  3. Jason Hennigan

    Jason Hennigan Stunt Coordinator

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    Been waiting for this release for a while. David Hayter is very cool in this movie.
     

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