The armor-clad hero of Japanese comics and animation returns to battle Zoanoids in THE GUYVER II: DARK HERO, but gets bogged down in amateurish writing and acting. However, despite an even lower budget than its predecessor, 1992's GUYVER, its fight scenes are better realized.
Sean Barker (David Hayter), a young man equipped with bio-genetic armor which can transform him into the super-powered Guyver, heads to an archaeological cave dig. He has reason to suspect that they've discovered Zoanoids, monsters created by an alien power. The dig, led by Dr. Marcus Edwards
(Stuart Weiss) and his daughter Cori (Kathy Christopherson), soon unearths an ancient space ship which once brought the monstrous Zoanoids to Earth.
Two of the men working on the dig have secret designs on the discovery. Security head Crane (Bruno Giannotta) is actually an agent of the Chronos Corporation, which has its own plans for the technology which created the Guyver and the Zoanoids. Professor Atkins (Christopher Michael) is actually
an intelligence agent seeking to turn over all discoveries to the government. Transformed into the Guyver, Sean protects the camp from Crane's henchmen, who are able to turn themselves into Zoanoids. Crane takes over the dig and holds the students hostage. Having discovered a Guyver device within
the spaceship, he taps into its power and becomes a super-Guyver who takes on Sean in a pitched battle to the death. Sean emerges victorious and proceeds to launch the ancient craft into space to keep it out of the hands of the government.
THE GUYVER II: DARK HERO closely resembles some of the low-budget science fiction films of the 1960s and 70s, particularly Jack Woods and Dennis Muren's similarly themed EQUINOX (1971), with its cliched young couple, amateurish acting by a cast of unknowns, awkward dialogue, and nondescript
outdoor setting. Since THE GUYVER was relatively well received, it's surprising that no money was spent this time around on name actors. (The colorful cast of the earlier film included Mark Hamill, Jimmie Walker, Michael Berryman, Jeffrey Combs, and Linnea Quigley, all well-known to contemporary
genre fans.) If any single element destroys this film's credibility, it's the complete absence of any evident acting talent.
However, the film does offer several well-staged battle scenes among assorted rubber-suited monsters. Director Steve Wang, also the monsters' creator, has clearly been inspired by Hong Kong action films and Japanese super-hero TV shows (of the sort spliced together and dubbed to create the
phenomenally popular TV series "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers") and delivers the goods in several sequences, including a lengthy confrontation at a mountain lake. Unfortunately, Wang apparently spent all his creative juices on these scenes; nothing's left over for the rest of the movie, which, at
123 minutes, is far too long for its genre. (Violence.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: The armor-clad hero of Japanese comics and animation returns to battle Zoanoids in THE GUYVER II: DARK HERO, but gets bogged down in amateurish writing and acting. However, despite an even lower budget than its predecessor, 1992's GUYVER, its fight scenes… (more)