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

The Super Inframan Review


It’s time to look at an old school Power Rangers type film. I have always been a big fan of the Rangers, but never really got around to checking out any of their shows. Well, this is the next closest thing and it does reassure me that this type of series is definitely up my ally. The Super Inframan is a great film that is a lot of fun from start to finish. It’s hard to go wrong with a nice array of monsters and hand to hand fights like we have here. The film may not be all that long, but they fit in a ton of action and quality scenes. There is never a dull moment to be found here.

The film starts with the Dragon Mom returning from her long slumber and she decides to destroy the world. She has amassed an army of powerful monsters ranging from spellcasters to more traditional creatures. Her second in command is a normal humanoid though and while she may sound out of her depth this character is actually a good fighter. The heroes realize that they need some power to counter this so a scientist gives Lei a shot that transforms him into the Super Inframan. In this form there is nothing that he can’t do. Lei decides to stop the villain group no matter what. It looks like this time he will actually have to try.

It’s hard to know where to start here since the film is really good on a lot of levels. I guess we should do the obvious first and that is the fight scenes. They are all really well done with a lot of excellent choreography. One of the standout fights is when one of Lei’s friends attacks the villains on his own. He actually does a great job of taking down dozens of them before he is eventually defeated by one of the monsters using a net ability. All of the other fights are good too though like the climax where it is a big battle royale or the various fights as Inframan. Aside from one match that was just beam spamming from side to side all of his fights were hand to hand as well.

Inframan also has a good array of powers which served him well during the matches as well. He can turn giant, fire off his fists, use laser blasts, etc. It’s really hard to defeat someone like this and Inframan is definitely shown as the strongest fighter except for possibly the Dragon Mom who was dominating him in the fight. Granted, Inframan was a little weakened from his other battles. Lei is a solid lead and I dare say that his dynamic as Lei and Inframan was more enjoyable than Hayata and Ultraman. This is due in part to the fact that Lei has more personality and is just a likable guy. He’s pretty quick on the uptake and always ready to help out. He also doesn’t hesitate to transform and take on the villains at any time.

Then you’ve also got the soundtrack which is pretty fun. Inframan’s main theme is suitably heroic and gives you an extra jolt of energy whenever he is getting ready to join the fray. Now there is one technical level where the film falters and that is the fact that it uses a lot of recycled footage whenever Inframan transforms. This is likely intentional as part of the camp factor, but it’s still got to be noted. Recycled footage is something you really don’t want to use as it feels like stalling for time. I also question why the footage was the triple flip. It’s not like that’s something that Inframan does a lot furing the movie.

The villains are also very solid which speaks to the solid writing and character cast of the movie. The Dragon Mom is definitely one of the best ones. I like her confidence and she is quite merciless. I was not expecting her to actually murder one of the heroes so that definitely surprised me. It’s not every day that you see a villain make a move like that. Whoever did her English voice did a solid job. Then you’ve got her fighting abilities which were sound. Her minions had a cool uniform and the other monsters at her disposal all put up valiant fights. While you aren’t likely going to remember their names you’ll remember the designs and their determination. The human also put up a great fight against Inframan and it was brave to even attempt to fight him. The villains were surprisingly loyal and I also liked how upbeat they were. You’d see them dancing in the background whenever the Dragon Mom was talking.

The heroes are solid as well. There’s less to say about most of them since they stay on the sidelines, but as I mentioned one of Lei’s main friends did a good job holding off the enemies by himself. The other members can also fight even if they never got a big moment to shine. They were still able to contribute and that’s the important thing. There are no annoying characters here. There’s nothing even remotely negative to say about the film. The pacing is on point, the writing is great, the fight scenes are amazing, this is just a very well rounded film and one that I could easily re-watch. There’s a lot of fun to be had here and it’s a shame that they just don’t make movies like this anymore.

Overall, The Super Inframan is one of those super obscure films that deserves to be more well known than it actually is. You’d have a lot of fun watching this movie for sure. On one hand it plays on your nostalgia as you remember what great fun this era was and on the other hand you get to see a new superhero taking down legions of monsters. I liked the suit they used for the Super Inframan and the ones for the monsters as well. It feels like this was probably a pretty big budget film back in its day. Hopefully the Inframan gets revived in some form or another at some point because this franchise still has a ton of potential left in it.

Overall 8/10