Guyver: Dark Hero
|Guyver: Dark Hero|
|Directed by||Steve Wang|
|Produced by||Steve Wang|
|Screenplay by||Nathan Long|
|Story by||Steve Wang|
|Based on||Bio Booster Armor Guyver
by Yoshiki Takaya
|Music by||Les Claypool III|
|Cinematography||Michael G. Wojciechowski|
|Edited by||Russ Kingston
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Running time||123 minutes|
Guyver: Dark Hero (also known as The Guyver 2) is a 1994 American science fiction action film based on the Manga and Anime, Bio Booster Armor Guyver. It is a sequel to the 1991 film, The Guyver. Written by Nathan Long and directed by Steve Wang, the film stars David Hayter as Sean Barker/The Guyver, replacing Jack Armstrong in the role.
Compared to the previous film, Guyver: Dark Hero was much closer to the source material, more serious and violent. The flashback to the Creation of the Guyvers, for instance, is taken almost verbatim from the manga. Because of the film's low budget, Guyver: Dark Hero went direct-to-video in the United States but was given a limited theatrical run in foreign countries. Unlike the first film, Guyver: Dark Hero was Rated R (unlike the PG-13 rating of the first movie), being much more violent as mentioned above. Despite not receiving a theatrical release, Guyver: Dark Hero gained a Cult following and was met with more favorable reviews than its predecessor.
One year has passed since Sean Barker came into contact with the Guyver unit and became one with it. Having destroyed the Kronos Corporation, the company behind the Guyver and the creatures known as the Zoanoids, Sean tries to use his powers to fight crime, but the Guyver's desire to kill leaves him emotionally and spiritually tortured. After watching a news report of an archaeological dig in the mountains of Utah that remind him of the visions he has been receiving from the Guyver unit, Sean travels to the site. On his way, he meets Cori Edwards, a researcher at the dig and the daughter of head archaeologist Marcus Edwards. Upon arriving at the archaeological site, he sees the fossil of a Zoanoid that resembles his past nemesis Lisker. Later that night, Sean finds himself once again battling a Zoanoid that has been terrorizing the camp, but it disappears when Cori and her team arrive. Sean is later on questioned by Commander Atkins, who reveals to him that the Guyver only destroyed the Kronos Los Angeles, and that another branch of Kronos is behind the Zoanoid attacks in the camp.
The next day, the archaeological team unearths an alien ship. After the team spends hours attempting to breach the hull, the ship mysteriously opens a hatch for them to enter. Inside, Sean tries to communicate with the ship, demanding to have the Guyver removed from him. Meanwhile, Cori discovers another Guyver unit, but Arlen Crane, who actually works for Kronos, confiscates it from her. After Sean tells her the truth about Kronos, Cori goes out to confront Crane, but overhears an operation to terminate all non-Kronos personnel from the site and is nabbed in the process. Crane reveals himself as a Zoanoid to Sean and proposes an alliance to help activate the ship to turn them both back to normal, but when Sean refuses, he is knocked out and sedated by Crane's female security head Brandi. Meanwhile, the security jeep escorting Cori is attacked by a Zoanoid, which is revealed to be her father. The two officers transform into Zoanoids and battle Marcus. Sean escapes captivity with the help of Atkins and rushes to save Cori. He kills the two Zoanoid officers before revealing his identity to Cori.
Back at the site, Atkins and his commandos stop Crane from executing the archaeological team and has them evacuate the premises. Sean tells Cori they must destroy the ship. Transforming into Guyver, Sean communicates with the ship, discovering that the Zoanoids were a failed experiment by an alien civilization. The aliens then attempted to equip the human race with Guyver units to combat the Zoanoids, but the humans rebelled. With Cori once again at gunpoint, Crane orders Sean to deactivate the Guyver and surrender. Marcus intervenes, but is mortally wounded by Crane. Atkins is cornered by Brandi, but he kicks her against a power generator before shooting her dead. Sean confronts Crane, but Crane transforms into a Guyver Zoanoid, becoming stronger and faster than Sean. In the middle of the fight, Crane stabs Sean in the abdomen, but Cori shoots Crane's Control Metal. Sean then removes it, and uses his Mega Smasher to put Crane out of his misery. Using his Control Metal, Sean tells the ship to return to its home planet. Following the incident, Atkins attempts to recruit Sean into joining the government's underground war against Kronos, but Sean drives off with Cori instead.
- David Hayter as Sean Barker
- Kathy Christopherson as Cori Edwards
- Bruno Patrick as Arlen Crane
- Christopher Michael as Commander Atkins
- Stuart Weiss as Marcus Edwards
- Alisa Merline as Brandi
- Kristen Calkins as Lois
- Jim O'Donoghoe as Mr. Gouo
- J. D. Smith as Doug Kerlew
- Wes Deitrick as Gus Volker
- Stephen Oprychal as Bob
- Koichi Sakamoto as Sakai
- Butch Portillo as Bo
- Christopher J. Bradshaw as Grau
- Vern Roguen as Mazzo
- Russ Kingston as Impatient Hick
- Billi Lee as Mizuki Segawa
- Nathan Long as Cop #1
- Lisa Hannan as Cop #2
- Anthony Houk as Guyver
- Brian Simpson as Volker Zoanoid/Crane Zoanoid
- Tatsuro Koike as Guyver Zoanoid
- Ted Smith as Stenzoanoid/Mazzo Zoanoid
- David McDonald as Marcus Zoanoid
- Scott Putman as Corben Zoanoid
- C. D. Post as Monk Zoanoid
- Kristen Calkins as Primitive Guyver
Guyver 2 was more critically successful than its predecessor. Glenn Kenny of Entertainment Weekly said the film "often plays like an R-rated Mighty Morphin Power Rangers installment [...] that's genuinely amusing if you're in the right frame of mind." David Johnson of DVD Verdict said that while "the acting is wretched," Guyver 2 is "a much better effort" than the original film. "The action is 100 times better [and] it kept me fairly entertained throughout." Nathan Shumate of Cold Fusion Video Reviews also felt that Guyver 2 was better than the original film, praising its action scenes and saying that David Hayter replacing original star Jack Armstrong was an improvement.
A remastered version of the film was released in Japan in 2005 with an enhanced soundtrack and additional music.
Proposed third film
According to David Hayter, he pitched an outline for a Guyver III to Steve Wang but the rights to The Guyver reverted to its original owners in Japan.
- Guyver: Dark Hero at the Internet Movie Database
- Guyver: Dark Hero at AllMovie
- Guyver: Dark Hero at Rotten Tomatoes