|Better Than I Expected|
Sequels usually fail or falter. It is the rare movie series that manages to make a decent follow-up movie but astonishingly, Guyver 2: Dark Hero succeeds that accomplishment. And then some.
Particularly after the first live action movie, it’s even more startling in my opinion. Of course, it’s probably due to several facts that they chose not to repeat the weaknesses of the original by not making this movie into a comedy and instead making it much more darker and violent. They also managed to maintain a high level of competence and detail in the special effects and best of all, they replaced Jack Armstrong with David Hayter as the primary actor.
Hayter wasn’t spectacular in his role as Sean Barker, the reluctant Guyver but he was a far superior replacement to Jack Armstrong. The other actors weren’t the greatest either, but overall they were able to perform adequately enough. Bruno Giannotta (Crane) manages to play a rather soft-spoken but rather capable bad guy but in the end; he just wasn’t able to project a powerful enough presence as the main villain of the story—at best, he’s the chief henchman.
I also have to admit that the plot was much more intense and more tightly written than the previous movie in which they barely scratched the surface of the history of the Guyver Unit and the Zoanoids. Usually sequels try to over-complicate things, but they kept things simple and straightforward and surprisingly, they didn’t totally try to rewrite the previous version but incorporate it into this movie. Also, they don’t have Sean Barker (David Hayter) mooning over his romantic lead but rather agonizing over his transformations into the Guyver. It relies more on pure action rather than the comedy of the original movie although there do have some dark humor and witty one-liners here and there.
And the special effects seemed to have been significantly improved. The Guyver looked much more powerful and menacing as they made his lenses illuminated and they added his forehead laser beam to the mix; something they didn’t use in the first movie. The fighting choreography were as good or even better than they were before as the movie makers also added gushing blood and arterial sprays that the previous movie lacked, probably to retain it’s PG-13 rating. You will see they really went to town with their violence and gore here. Throats are slit, eyeballs are blasted out their sockets, body parts brutally torn off—all good stuff. Some of the monster Zoanoid costumes looked a trifle bit fake and goofy, but overall they still retained their menace and functionality. The prehistoric flashbacks looked like set miniatures however, showing that they were cutting corners here but they weren’t too hokey.
Guyver 2: Dark Hero totally lives up to it’s name. Darker than it’s first outing, but much MUCH better. It’s proof that you don’t need big budgets to make good movies. It’s not perfect, but it’s intensely entertaining and worth watching.
RATING: 4 STARS!!!!