I'll confess that I am not really a fan of the Super Hero Taisen movies and the first one for me was really a terrible waste of space, Super Hero Taisen Z did present a clearer plot, I haven't seen the Kamen Rider Taisen: Showa vs. Heisei but here's one that I felt was actually passable, at least to my own point of view.
Like every Super Hero Taisen movies, it's a series of what ifs and in this case, it focuses on Kamen Rider Drive's era. It pays homage to the very first Kamen Rider series, then it presented a what if a third Kamen Rider (from Shocker) came to existence. In a non-canon or out-of-continuity turn of events, Kamen Rider 3 appears and kills the two Kamen Riders after the downfall of Shocker. The result was that another possible timeline gets created by the event.
The next what-if scenario is what if the Special Police Division created to hunt down Roidmudes ends up as a special division of Shocker. In this what-if scenario, Shocker has possibly dominated the world with Japan as its headquarters. Shinnosuke becomes Shocker Rider Drive (a name I dubbed for any Kamen Rider under Shocker) and in the process, he's tasked to hunt down any Kamen Rider who has refused to subject himself to the process of Shockers' projects. In this movie, Shocker rules the world and is brainwashing the masses into believing their garbage propaganda, the Kamen Riders of the past are brainwashed and crazy serving the Great Leader.
The film itself starts off with a disposed off television set that turns out by itself, revealing the final battle from the very first Kamen Rider. I only discovered the existence of the first Kamen Rider's existence when I was around 16 years old, when I first played the game on the first Playstation system. What I also notice for the film was the appearance of the most common butt monkeys from the Showa era namely High Priest Darom (Gorgom's representative), General Jack (Crisis Empire's representative) and General Black (Gel-Shocker's representative, complete with his transformation) to name a few of the Kamen Rider villains I could recognize who have become the favorite butt monkeys of producers.
The Showa Riders also showed up, including the gigantic Kamen Rider J but it was mostly fanservice. Fortunately even if Kamen Rider V3 and Riderman only had a short role, they at least gave some role like they wouldn't accept Kamen Rider 3 and Kamen Rider Drive as the third and fourth Kamen Riders. But at this point, the Kamen Riders were under Shocker's control. Heisei Riders also showed up in the flesh like Takumi Inui (Kamen Rider Faiz) and Yuto Sakurai (Kamen Rider Zeronos from Kamen Rider Den-O) who were available that that time. I'll admit that the fan service here was better done than the finale of Kamen Rider Black RX which wasted the chance for a grander finale.
As the story goes, Shinnosuke remembers who he is before the continuity shift resulting to an awkward change of events, like Tomari getting killed at the beginning of the film. What was going on was that the Great Leader was planning something grand by lying about the Kamen Rider Revolt, only to bring Kamen Riders under his control and use them as disposable pawns. This of course, reveals that the Great Leader created Kamen Rider 3 to become his ultimate power-up so he can bring all the Kamen Riders together then destroy them in one easy shot.
The idea of a Grand Prix for me was nice, even if in reality, I am neutral guy when it comes to F-1 Racing and I don't play racing games but hey, it's nice to see Kamen Riders do their racing. So we have the typical Tokusatsu crucifixion scene where Kiriko and Yuto/Zeronos get crucified via chains while they are forced to watch the race. The whole Grand Prix revealed the wickedness of Shocker's hearts and my favorite moment was when Kamen Rider Drive talked some sense into Kamen Rider 3, which in turn would cause the climatic battle to happen.
The film also dismisses the events of Shuriken Sentai Ninninger vs. Kamen Rider Drive. Kamen Rider Drive sees the Ninningers but he does not even recognize them, though if were to write the script, I'd try to connect them like how Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger tried to connect two episodes with the Goseiger vs. Shinkenger film. So Grandpa appears and gives Kamen Rider Drive a Shuriken to which creates a VS. Only movie combination where I expected a Rider Kick but nope, none of it. Defeating Great Leader (again) as the butt monkey Big Bad of Kamen Rider VS. Films, everything is restored to normal somewhat confirming that the VS. Movies are their own continuity.
So it turned out to be that Kamen Rider 3 would have been a race car driver, maybe, just maybe the idea of a Kamen Rider with a car was laughed off back then, then it was done with Kamen Rider Black and repeated in Kamen Rider W and Kamen Rider Drive. Sadly, Go stays dead in this film and the film confirms the out of continuity placement because another Roidmude showed up.
Overall, I thought it was an entertaining film. While I had some issues with Shoji Yonemura himself, I guess he was able to pull off something that would entertain me. I don't know if I am sharing a popular opinion or not, but as said, I'd rather not be a bandwagon fan in the Tokusatsu community, I'd rather be myself. So if you don't like the film, I respect your stand but my stand is, I like the film but it's awesome either.
Updated on: October 1, 2015
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