Rise – Dharuriser Review


Whenever you think of guys fighting in colorful suits you’re probably going to be thinking of Power Rangers or Kamen Rider. They have really done a whole lot to make this trend stick and in particular Power Rangers is one of those franchises that is just so huge at this point. It makes sense that there would be a lot of other competitors in the genre. Dharuriser is a one shot movie so you don’t need to watch anything else to get into it. It’s a little more down to Earth than some of the other titles I mentioned but we get quality action scenes and a good plot. This is a film I would be able to recommend to anyone who wants to watch a solid action film with a good story behind it.

The movie starts off by showing us how Akihiro’s dream of being an actor isn’t paying off all that well. His wife Mio is now pregnant so he needs a way to find some steady income. He reluctantly moves back into his father’s house but does not want to assist in the family business. He gets a job as a security guard instead and also enters a “create a suit” contest in his free time. He submits the Dharuman costume which later gets renamed to Dharuriser. The issue is that there is a very real villain group called DICE. They intend to purify the county by eliminating all those who they deem impure. They seem to be connected to the mystery discs embedded into everyone’s wrist. Can Akihiro find out what they are doing and stop them or will he ultimately not rise to the occasion?

At the end of the day Akihiro isn’t a hero when this all starts off. He doesn’t know how to fight and is just an ordinary guy. During the course of the film he works to change this as he gets more and more serious about being in the hero business. He’s a solid main character who is definitely determined and ends up helping out quite a lot when the going gets tough. He’s the kind of guy that you want in your corner when things get tough.

That said, I did agree with his father in some respects. Akihiro absolutely did not want to help in the hotel business but he’s got a family to think about. He was rather unreasonable about this from the start. If he didn’t want to go straight to work then he is taking advantage of his father’s house. It’s something he had to think about before having a kid. That’s why you wait to have children until you have a stable income and living situation. Akihiro didn’t really think any of this through and then he nearly loses his job by oversleeping. So he had his moments where he was taking things for granted to be sure but once he turned into Dharuriser he became a lot more reliable.

Akihiro’s wife Mio is definitely a quality character as well. She’s a very loyal character who takes his side at all times. Whenever he is in trouble she doesn’t throw extra blame on him either. There’s a scene where he is getting ready to fight again and you think she might guilt trip him, but instead she just helps him get back out there again. It’s always a nice change of pace to have a character who isn’t quick to change sides. Mio was someone he could count on.

The movie’s close to 2 hours so it’s able to capture quite a lot of story in that time. DICE gets a full backstory to the group and we gradually learn about their goals. The leader ended up using his goal of keeping someone alive more as an excuse though to be honest. He definitely went way overboard with the whole thing and cracked up. Akihiro’s friend from work would probably be the worst character though as he was corrupted really easily and never tried to fight it. He just went off the deep end rather quickly and never looked back. You probably won’t be able to trust him again after all that.

Akihiro’s parents were good. As mentioned, the father was pretty reasonable with why he was upset with the lead the whole time. The Mom always tried to calm things down between the two of them as well. Then you have Akihiro’s best friend who was pretty solid. He definitely came in handy quite a lot as he assisted Akihiro in pretty much every task. He could have been a little less nervous at the end since he has a one hit KO gun but I guess even with that he felt like the danger was too much.

As expected the fight scenes are pretty good here. We get a lot of quality hand to hand action. Akihiro certainly improved in hand to hand a lot over this period of time. The costume for Dharuriser also looks really good. A particular standout here would be the soundtrack though. There are a lot of great themes with a quick tempo that feel very fitting for the battle scenes. Sometimes even when there was no battle present the music would ramp up. It helps enhance the chase scenes and adds a bit of stakes to the fights. A good soundtrack can definitely go a long way.

Throughout the film someone is trying to contact Akihiro using a bit of telepathy and a lot of direct mental images. You can’t help but feel like the sender could have made the message more specific though. Akihiro wanted to help the whole time but without any hints as to where the villains are or how to recognize them, it’s not like he could have done much about it anyway. It’s not until the very end of the fil that he is given any real instructions. I feel like the sender could have done a better job with that and who knows, Akihiro may have ended things a lot sooner.

Overall, Dharuriser is a good movie that manages to stick the landing. Things almost get a bit dicey in the climax but Akhiro makes the right call. At times the film may seem a bit cheesy with the hero being able to dispatch tons and tons of opponents even though he just learned how to fight but when you consider that his opponents are often pretty old and don’t know how to fight then this adds up rather nicely. If the enemies had guns then that would have been tricky but it might be hard to acquire those in this small town. The film has no real weaknesses so it’s definitely one that you should have a lot of fun with.

Overall 7/10

Elevator To The Gallows Review


It’s time to take a look at a French murder thriller. It’s pretty rare that I see a film which isn’t American or Japanese so it’s always interesting to see how everyone else handles this. It’s a fairly old film as it’s still in the black and white period so as you’d expect the writing is on point. It is partially a romance film which can be rather dramatic, but the film’s at its best when an old guy shows up to mock the teenagers and their subplot. Time to learn more about this guy.

So the film starts off with Julien and Florence recommitting their resolve to murdering her husband so Julien can be the rebound guy. He breaks in and murders the husband pretty easily, but then forgets his rope at the window ledge. He runs back after hours to get it, but as soon as he gets on the elevator the power goes out. He is now stuck with no way to get out and his only hope is that Florence will learn where he is. Meanwhile his car is stolen by Louis and Veronique as they decide to cruise around town. Unfortunately, they decide to commit murder under his name which will further complicate matters. Julien has to trick the cops into not pinning the first murder on him while also avoiding the fake charge of the second. It’s going to be a long day.

From the start the movie makes it clear that the leads are the villains so you are rooting against them. As such, it’s actually pretty satisfying when the elevator crashes and things don’t go right for Julien. He dug his own grave and now he’ll have to get used to it. There’s not much that he can do from this point so you can’t really blame him for a lack of trying. He was the most experienced and talented member of the villains so taking him out of the equation worked well for the cops. He also held up well under interrogation, but eventually he cracked from lack of sleep. The cops always get their man.

You don’t really see this form of interrogation too often, but it is quite effective as getting the suspect to concede their guilt. Physically nothing actually happens to the suspect, but he/she is kept from sleeping until the cops get the story they want. After even 1 day of this it can be tough to function so even the great Julien fell to the technique. You have to be careful about getting a false conviction like this though, but I guess the cops decided it was worth the risk. It did work out well here after all.

Florence isn’t the greatest sidekick you could ask for. She further incriminates Julien by asking around for him everywhere. She was also fooled quite easily by Louis as she thought it was Julien who sped by her. I guess the jacket trick worked, but would Julien really betray her so easily? It may be poetic since she ditched her husband and now has some paranoia that Julien would do the same thing to her. She did a reasonable job of tracking down Louis and making threats, but then she didn’t do a thorough enough job of preventing them from leaving. That’s game over.

Louis is unfortunately the worst character in the film. He is over the top with his many lies which is the only reason he and Veronique were caught. If he had played it cool or even somewhat calmly then he could have escaped. Instead he gets humiliated by a drunk, rich guy and then tries to steal his car. Not a very smart move and then shooting the couple just made an even bigger mess. He even messed up on trying to destroy himself with pills since he didn’t swallow enough of them. So much for that. You’ll be cringing whenever he is on screen. Veronique is a big improvement as she is also insane, but hides it well. She pretends not to want to go along with Louis’ plans, but always relents in the end. She just wants to keep up the appearance of being a good person even if it may not be all that accurate.

My favorite character here was actually the rich guy who kept making fun of Louis. Making fun of the teen was reason enough to like him, but we also can’t forget that this guy saw through the ruse immediately. It’s too bad he underestimated how dangerous the villains were though. The scene of him and his friend getting shot was fairly tragic and probably the saddest scene in the film. I was hoping they were going to live through this since they were a lot of fun. Maybe not too smart in how they handled this, but fun all the same.

It’s good to see the cops looking pretty good here though. They connect the dots between the crimes pretty quickly and then set their plans into motion. Once they nab the suspects it is all over for them. At first you may wonder what is taking them so long, but it’s all just because they are setting their pieces in motion. Getting all of the pieces into play so to speak. It would have been fun to have seen the Jury sentencing, but I suppose the ending gives you a clear enough idea of how it’s going to go down anyway.

The pacing is pretty good. The only plot which probably drags on more than a little bit is Florence’s section. She goes through a great number of shops looking for Julien and after a while it is really just more of the same. You get the point of her search and we know that she stayed up all night so I think a few places could have been cut. The random drunk guy and his friend didn’t seem to serve much of a purpose, but maybe they were just there are red herrings or as world building. Either way, putting more screen time in the elevator plot could have been nice although I’m sure the film didn’t want to make that one feel stale. It’s a tough balancing act.

Overall, This is an interesting film. The ending is very satisfying and probably the best part. The atmosphere is pretty good, but you can’t help but feel bad for the last two victims. It’s hard to be too sympathetic to the first guy since it’s at the very beginning and he was fairly shady anyway, but the other two characters were too hype to be bumped off the way that they were. The romance is pretty bad, but that’s how it is for all rebounds and it goes without saying why Louis’plot was iffy. I’d recommend checking this film out as a retro classic. There are quite a few plot lines going through the movie and it’s nice to see how they all connect.

Overall 5/10