Go! Go! Kamen Rider Movie Review
Go! Go! Kamen Rider is the first Kamen Rider film that was released back in 1971, dunno the exact date though. This film is the theatrical version of Kamen Rider’s 13th Episode entitled, Lizardron and the Big Monster Army. Because of this, you will notice that the film looks like a standard TV sized episode adjusted to widescreen.
The film kicks off with two of Shocker’s Inhumanoids attacking two guards. After this, they started their mission, to destroy Toyo Atomic Energy, an atomic plant but because of the barrier that is protecting the lab, they can’t enter.
The two returned to their base and reported it to their leader that is speaking via an eagle carving pasted on the wall. Their mysterious leader then told them that compared to the other two Shocker branches found in the US and in EU, the Japanese branch is slow in progression (Duh, with Kamen Rider foiling your plans every week, no wonder!) that is why, Shocker Japan will attack the lab for their plans of world conquest.
Since this one minor problem, Shocker’s Leader called the scientist to use the ball-shaped bomb to destroy the barrier. But the scientists protested, it must be thrown 20 miles away from the target and it weights 5 kilos. So, their Leader was partly pissed and said, make a new reconstructed man!
After this, we are placed in scene in a football (or soccer depending on your culture or what you are used to call this sport) field in which we are introduced to Nomoto Ken, the best player in the league, and Shocker wants his skills for their plan. Ken was… a jerk. That’s all you need to know about him. He thinks he is the best player around the league and without him, his team would suck. After his team left, Shocker finally makes an appearance. Ken tries to run away but he failed in escaping them and was captured by Spider Man.
We are now into a bar in which we saw Tobei Tachibana reading the newspaper that was grabbed by Taki Kazuya. Tobei and Kazuya had a chat regarding with his wife and that. Kazuya asked Tobei where is Takeshi Hongo?
Where is Hongo anyway? We learned that he is investigating in the attack in the atomic lab. Hongo figured out Shocker’s plan, once the lab will be destroyed, it will emit materials that will cause Tokyo to be destroyed in ten minutes. How did he figure that? For those who hadn’t watched the first episode of Kamen Rider, Hongo was chosen because he excelled in all aspects, namely, sports, intelligence and the like. It is said his IQ is above genius. No wonder he deducted Shocker’s plan!
Back in Shocker’s base, the transplantation on Nomoto Ken’s body is complete. His body was fused with the DNA of a poisonous lizard in which we learned his skills that his tail can knock off his enemies and he has a strong kick. The scientist commented that he is perfect for the job in destroying the barrier. The Leader is pleased and orders them to start researching the lab’s weakest spot for Lizardron to kick the bomb and destroy the barrier once and for all.
We are back in the atomic lab in which we saw Taki Kazuya grumbling that Hongo is ordering him. Kazuya stood up and noticed a car. The ones inside the car are recording something via a small camera. Ruriko, Prof. Midorikawa’s daughter (Prof. Midorikawa is the one that helped Hongo escape from Shocker) noticed that the said car is circling. Ruriko follows the car and we saw Taki on his bike looking for Ruriko.
The car entered an old house, Ruriko deduces that the old house is Shocker’s base. She decides to infiltrate it but Taki arrives, said that this is a man’s job and Hongo must not defeat him and so he takes a momentum and jumps over the gate!
Taki enters the house and inspects some rooms until he hit something, a room filled with statues of monsters that Kamen Rider defeated in the past episodes. After commenting that who would collect those horrible looking statues (Um, I know someone who might be interested on those) the owner of the house appeared. He commented that what he is doing is trespassing. Taki replied that he is looking for something. After a small talk between the two, Taki leaves and we learned that those “statues” turned out to be real monsters!
Lizardron (Who is in his human form) comments that all of these creatures where defeated by Kamen Rider… and they are all losers. After his speech, he switched into his monster form. Meanwhile, Taki and Ruriko are biking beside a mountain when suddenly, a pile of rocks rolling down from it. One of the rocks hit Taki. Ruriko comforts Taki when suddenly, another rock started to roll, and Kamen Rider jumped in the air and used his bike to destroy that rock!
Kamen Rider rides uphill, in which Lizrdron confronted him. Lizardron kicks Rider and it hit him. Rider stood up and it felt like it was nothing to him! He then jumps, planning to attack the monster, but before he makes his attack, Lizardron kicks him! Therefore,, Lizardron commented that even Kamen Rider can’t beat him. Rider came sliding downhill and exclaimed that he failed.
Taki was sent into a nearby hospital to heal his injury. On his bed, he remarked the Kamen Rider failed. The girls visited Taki and said that he will stay in the hospital for a week. Meanwhile, after a disappointing loss from Lizrdron, he decides to train himself to beat him!
He is inventing a new skill to defeat Lizardron’s football attacks. After his first try, he commented, he can’t beat Lizardron. In this situation, his mentor, Tobei Tachibana appeared. We learned the significance of the place in which Kamen Rider is training. The said place used to be Tobei’s training ground to be the best racer. After a few encouraging words from him, Kamen Rider resumes his training, with Tobei aiding him.
After some tries, he figured out the way on how to defeat Lizardron’s attacks. He asked Tachibana to throw the rock in a far distance. Kamen Rider prepares himself and uses his newly improved Rider Kick according to the Hong Kong Sub is called… Electric Ray Rider Kick! WTF?!
After the success of the training, Tachibana runs to Taki in which we learned he left the hospital. Before Tachibana is about to leave, he spots an ID, it has the FBI logo in which we learned this, Taki Kazuya is a FBI Agent.
Back to Taki, like what Tachibana said, he is infiltrating Shocker’s base. Because Kamen Rider failed, it is his job to defeat Shocker. That is why he infiltrated their base again. After noticing a downward stairway, he went down and saw Shocker’s symbol on the wall. Shocker’s Leader welcomed him by saying that the 11 Shocker Inhumanoids that he saw earlier are now in the lab and now, he must die.
Shocker Henchmen started to appear and Taki is fighting them with ease in his current state! After fighting some henchmen, Kamen Rider breaks in and Taki asked Kamen Rider to go to the lab right now, and said that he can take care of these henchmen. Rider lefts and we are back at the lab in which Lizardron is preparing for his attack.
Lizardron kicks the ball but Kamen Rider, riding on his motorcycle; the Cyclone grabs the ball and throws it back on the monster! Four of Shocker’s Inhumanoids then confronts Rider. Kamen Rider exclaims that these are the monsters he has defeated back then but Lizardron replied, these guys won’t die till they have done their revenge on Kamen Rider. And so, Lizardron tells Rider his odds in winning, its 11 against 1, can Kamen Rider defeat them?
And so, the fight between Kamen Rider and the 11 Inhumanoids begins. Kamen Rider leaps out from his bike and attacks the ones who are attacking him. After he finished defeating those monsters, Kamen Rider confronts the boss. Lizardron uses the ball and hit it on Rider, but Rider leaps on midair and uses his new Rider Kick!
He Rider Kicked the ball and it directly hit Lizardron. Since the said ball is a bomb, it exploded the entire area that caused the death of Lizardron and the other monsters. Kamen Rider won the battle. After Tachibana and Taki congratulated him, Kamen Rider leaves. He will return to the battlefield once Shocker will start its new plans for world domination. Continue fighting for justice and peace! Tatakae! Kamen Raida!
On to the Go! Go! Kamen Rider Movie review, watching it on decent Hong Kong subs help me understand how the original Kamen Rider kicked ass and why he was one of Japan’s most iconic superheroes. Watching it in an era in which everything seemed to be run by CGI, Go! Go! Kamen Rider still stands out as a great superhero action flick.
Since I haven’t watched much Kamen Rider, I will comment on the characters that appeared in this film. Taki Kazuya, I learned about this guy while reading the Kamen Rider Spirits manga, a manga that talks about the lives of the Riders after their stories ended and it also tied loose ends on some questions that their respective series left unanswered. Taki Kazuya was an FBI agent and later became one of Kamen Rider’s allies. When I saw him in this film, it seems he doesn’t have the idea that Takeshi Hongo and Kamen Rider are just one person. I mean, he wants to compete with Hongo, kinda like how Nago wants to defeat Kamen Rider Kiva without the knowledge that Kiva is Kurenai Wataru.
The film has Taki Kazuya written all over it. In this film, I suddenly remembered the events in Kamen Rider Spirits in which dressed up as Skull Rider (A probable homage to Ishinomori’s Skull Man) and fights the Bat Man who is turning kids into his own kind. There is no minute that I saw Taki being a badass. When I first watch the film I was like, “All right Taki! I know you are a badass so please, stop impressing the new generation about how badass you are!” Seriously, there is no scene in this film that you can see Taki Kazuya acting like a badass.
I first saw Tachibana Tobei on Kamen Rider Amazon (Will write a review about it soon.), and when I first saw him there, he felt like he was a mentor figure to the Riders, and I was right. In the scene in which Hongo, no Kamen Rider is losing hope in defeating Lizardron, Tachibana pops out of nowhere and gave Kamen Rider words of encouragement to not give up the fight and continue his training.
Since Ruriko did a minor role in this film, I will skip her.
Takeshi Hongo, Kamen Rider 1, he was awesome. Based on what I remembered, back in the show’s early days, Hiroshi Fujioka does the stunt work for his character’s alter ego, Kamen Rider but because of some injury, he left the series for a while and Kamen Rider 2 came into picture. Anyways, I love the stunts in the first film! Sure, it was episode 13 in widescreen but still, the ’71 stunt work was great. The only disappointment I have in Hongo here is that we always see him in his suit and we saw him less out of it.
As for Lizardron, few words he is basically his classic human jerk self except that because of Shocker’s brainwashing, he is serving them. I love the fact that he insulted his fellow Inhumanoids that they are losers in which ironically he lost at the very end of the film with a bang.
This is the first time I saw Shocker’s Leader… well only heard his voice but not seen him. Even in that state, its Leader has this omniscient presence around the base that will send chills to your spine. He is mysterious, likes to operate in the shadows but even with that state, you know he is there, watching the chess pieces of his chessboard as he tries to create plans to dominate the world and defeat Kamen Rider on the way. Because of this, I was disappointed that Tsukasa on Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs. DaiShocker never had this same feeling like that of the Leader. It makes me think that Tsukasa is not the real Leader of DaiShocker but there is someone behind him who is operating behind the shadows, kinda like how the Great Leader in Kamen Rider Amazon did it.
For the final battle, it felt like a classic action film, which it is that is why the film was great. It was not flashy like most Heisei Kamen Rider films are, and the plot is direct to point since they only have a few minutes for the film. Which is one of the disappointments in this film, the film is too short, add the fact that it is just the theatrical version of episode 13, it felt like the producers and writers never think of a plot worthy to be seen in theaters.
Overall, the film was a decent start on the franchise’s film series. It was not boring nor was the plot forced to fit on a 25-minute running time. Even with minor disappointments, the film is enjoyable to watch.
Who have ever thought that this humble film ushered many films, a sub film franchise thanks to the Kamen Rider Den-O films and TOEI serving us at least four Rider films per season.
Like I said earlier, the film is a classic superhero film and is quite enjoyable to watch. Being a guy who never watched the other 97 episodes (Cannot watch the other 97 because it is not subbed) of the original series, I enjoyed the film even if I barely watched the entire thing. If you want a classic Japanese superhero film for you to enjoy, this film is for you.
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