David Hayter as Sean Barker
Kathy Christopherson as Cori
Bruno Giannotta as Crane
Christopher Michael as Atkins
Stuart Weiss as Marcus
Billi Lee as Mizky
Jim O’Donoghoe as Gouo
J.D. Smith as Doug
Alisa Merline as Brandi
Wes Deitrick as Volker
Veronica Reed as Sten
Stephen Oprychal as Bob
Ann George as Gail
Marisa Cody as Mary
Kristin Calkins as Lois/Primitive Guyver
Widescreen (1.85:1) Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions
Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
DTS 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 92 Minutes
This film was originally released in 1994 and was entitled “Guyver: Dark Hero”. It is also adapted from the Guyver anime series.
One year after destroying the Zoanoids and the Chronos Corporation, Sean Barker has been using the Guyver armor to fight crime as a vigilante hero. However, the lifestyle is beginning to take its toll. Just when he thinks he can’t continue anymore, he has a strange dream that leads him to a remote archeological site.
The site is being excavated by Cori and her father, eccentric scientists who investigate the strange and unusual. Sean convinces them to let him join the dig team. It doesn’t take him long to figure out why he was drawn to the site. It is the location of an ancient alien spaceship once used by the creators of the Guyver armor. However, Zoanoids soon arrive at the site despite the fact that Sean tried to kill them all. Can he keep them from getting inside the ship and stealing its secrets?
The Guyver 2 is rated R for sci-fi violence and gore, and for language.
I absolutely despised the first Guyver film, so I wasn’t expecting much from the sequel. However, I was shocked to see that it was a significantly better film than its predecessor. It took care of most of the problems from the first film and ended up being one of those rare sequels that surpasses the original. (That’s not saying much, but it’s saying something.)
First off, they dropped the lame attempts at comedy and went with a straight-up dark action film. The Guyver kills people in brutal ways and the hero is a brooding, troubled soul rather than a simple pretty boy like in the previous movie. The bad guys are also better. Jimmy Walker is gone and there are no more comical bad guys. While the new villains aren’t particularly menacing, their monster incarnations are a bit better than in the first film. They of course still look like men in rubber suits, but they are a little scarier and better articulated. The action is significantly better as well. The fights between the Guyver and the Zoanoids are a little better choreographed. Finally, the plot is a little more straightforward and entertaining. Overall it was improved to the point where it didn’t seem like a sequel at all. It seemed like a whole new series.
Another shock of The Guyver 2 is that it stars David Hayter. He is a hot writer these days who has worked on X-Men, X-Men 2, and The Scorpion King. He’s was also the voice of the animated Captain America on the Spider-Man TV series and the voice of Solid Snake in the video game Metal Gear Solid. I had no idea that he had an acting career, so it was a surprise to see him as the star of this B-Movie. He’s pretty good in the film, but I can’t imagine that he was ever in the Guyver suit. None of the other actors or actresses is particularly memorable and I don’t believe any of them have done anything really noteworthy since this film.
As improved as this film is over the sequel, it still isn’t a great movie. The battles between the men in rubber suits are still reminiscent of Power Rangers (ironically, the director Steve Wang also directed the Power Rangers movie). The music is mind numbingly horrible and of a cheap TV show quality. Some of the dialogue is extremely cheesy and some of the acting performances are really bad. This film also went with an R rating (despite the original being PG-13), so they threw in some unnecessary profanity and blood in a seeming effort to be taken seriously. Because of this I rated it significantly better than the first film, but still on the lower side of the scale.
There are no extras included on this DVD.
The Bottom Line:
This film is only for big Guyver fans and anyone interested in seeing what David Hayter was up to before writing Marvel Comics movies.