This is my first ever attempt to review a movie, so please forgive me if I messed this up. As you all aware of the fact I was doing Gokaiger page section a few months earlier, even though I rarely have the time to update that section since the show ended months ago, I thoroughly enjoyed the series – even if it’s in fansub. Now, before I begin my review on Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs. Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie (海賊戦隊ゴーカイジャーVS宇宙刑事ギャバンTHE MOVIE), I have to mention an actor named Kenji Ohba (大葉 健二), who is essentially the OTHER feature character who supports the cast of Gokaiger in this movie, and this mention has to do with his appearances as Shiro Akebono (曙四郎) and Daigoro Oume (青梅 大五郎), alongside the main character Space Sheriff Gavan (宇宙刑事ギャバン) – A.K.A. Retsu Ichijouji (一条寺 烈). The reason why I have decided to make this mention is the fact that there was a scene in the movie that have both Akebono and Oume appeared and the Gokaigers thought they saw Gavan (sans Gokai Silver – Gai Ikari, who was able to tell them apart with the smell of them), and it was actually an in-joke with that. My best guess was to do with Toei’s “lack of interest of pursuing other actors other than Ohba in spite of pushing heavily towards auditioning”, and Ohba ended up playing all three characters in a seven-year span. In that particular scene, as well as the ending scene with all three Ohba’s characters met together to transform into Gavan, Battle Kenya, and DenjiBlue, without a shadow of a doubt, that had it not been the advent of digital media and better “blue screen” technology, those scenes would have been very tricky to piece together through traditional splicing in the old film. This in-joke can also be applied if Hiroshi Miyauchi (宮内 洋) starred in a movie that features Akira Shinmei (新命 明) from Himitsu Sentai Gorenger (秘密戦隊ゴレンジャー), Sokichi Banba (番場 壮吉)/Big One (ビッグワン) from J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai (ジャッカー電撃隊), Kaiketsu Zubat (快傑ズバット), & Kamen Rider V3 (仮面ライダーV3). You must be wondering why I had not pulled the same joke on Tetsuo Kurata (倉田 てつを) in Kamen Rider Black (仮面ライダーBLACK) and Kamen Rider Black RX (仮面ライダーBLACK RX) as Kotaro Minami (南 光太郎), and the reason was very simple: Ohba’s situation was ENTIRELY different than Kurata’s as Minami’s power was an upgrade from Black, thus making him as the same character; while Ohba played three distinctively different characters, so that’s too much of a stretch to even compare anyhow.
So now I got that out of the way upfront, and without further a due, here’s my review of Gokaiger vs. Gavan (btw, don’t be too shock to see some of my commentaries appears in the synopsis, which is a dozy, so please pay very good attention).
The movie began with Gavan’s Super Dimensional Highspeed Ship Dolgiran (超次元高速機ドルギラン) chased down Gokaigers’ Gokai Galleon, and essentially trading cannon fires before the mechanical dragon Electronic Starbeast Dol (電子星獣ドル), which was detached from Dolgiran giving Gokaigers an illusion of the Dolgiran was shot down, gunned down the Galleon. The pirates sentai (sans Gai, who was dispatched for food earlier) was forced to battle the legendary space sheriff on land in vain – in spite of their protest after being cleared by Dekarangers in the end of the show’s 5th episode, and Gavan brought them to the Space Sheriff’s base and handled them over to Space Police Chief Weeval – only to he declared their crime as revolting against the Empire (that comes back to play again throughout the series, in fact). The immediate execution was cut short upon hearing the revelation, and released the heroes before being fired upon as it was a ruse to reveal “Weeval”‘s true intention, thus revealing to both heroes as Don Horror’s descendant and Zangyack’s general Makuu Prison Warden Ashurada (魔空(マクー)監獄獄長アシュラーダ). However, Ashurada was not alone in his campaign as he brought in Gavan Bootleg (ギャバンブートレグ), which was combined with Zangyack and Space Sheriff technology while also infused the biochemical properties of the Makuu warden, and joined the melee that captured Gavan but Gokaigers escaped as Gai broke into the Earth base – only after a flashback moment that Captain Marvelous had as they fought off the Goumins with all but him transformed when Gavan waved his hand – and Basco & Sally were in the stands witnessing the escape.
Afterwards, as Gai and company returned to the Galleon, Marvelous revealed another page of his journey when Ahim asked: he was a stowaway in a space freighter that was attacked by Zangyack fleet, and he was rescued by Gavan. Then, Basco called Marvelous with regards to information related to the whereabout of the space sheriff while Ashurada also informed Emperor Akudosu Gil of his scheme to use the Makuu Space to engulf Earth and the Universe with the blood of Don Horror. Then, as soon as Basco and Sally bailed, out came the aforementioned duo Akebono, who was with the pet panda (initially appeared in the Episode 44), and Oume with the anpan cart (which made its initial appearance during the Gokaiger Goseiger Super Sentai 199 Hero Great Battle ゴーカイジャー ゴセイジャー スーパー戦隊199ヒーロー 大決戦), who knew Retsu personally (off-screen meeting, I presumed) though both have been reminded by the confused Gokaigers that all three individuals looked alike – unless it’s to Gai, who could tell them apart with eyes closed with each of their smells. After the crew asked of the Makuu Space, Marvelous returned to “the scene of the first fight” and attempted to enter the space alone – only to be joined in by the rest of the crew. In spite of telling them that it wasn’t their fight, he agreed to let them join in, thus entering the infamous region of space.
While the gang were able to break into the prison, they stumbled upon with the likes of Jerashid, Kaze no Shizuka, the deceased Pollution Minister, Bae, and Vancuria, whom all of them have defied the Zangyacks and were imprisoned as a result, and hi-jinks ensued between Gokaigers and the prisoners that ended with being discovered by Goumins, only then Marvelous and company freed the prisoners before engaging with the Zangyacks. Meanwhile, Basco thought the time has come to steal everything from Marvelous – only to be stopped and engaged with the newest sentai in the forms of Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters (特命戦隊ゴーバスターズ), in which that team were able to distract Sally with food before Basco could call upon him to even the odds, and forced to retreat (not without creating the funniest moment of the movie as in Basco slapped Sally on the head by chucking those food instead of helping his “master” out. On a personal note, that scene was also quite ironic that I had received some of those head slaps from my parents for being distracted or whatever reason that they think I did wrong).
Back at the Makuu Prison, Gokai Blue and Gokai Silver changed to Denji Blue and Go-On Gold respectively while the remaining Gokaigers made their breaks towards the tower section – only to be intervened by two levels of traps activated by Gavan Bootleg, first was Sneak Brothers & Sister, which engaged Luka & Don as Hurricane Yellow & Battle Kenya respectively, and then Marvelous & Ahim engaged with other monsters that orginated from Goseigers; however, Marvelous broke free and finally reached the tower that held Gavan, only to be intervened by GB in an intensive stalemate between them. Yet, Marvelous managed to break free of Gavan’s shackles by blasting two bullets off ricochet from the swords, and all of them proceeded to blast the floors and escaped by jumping through the holes – only to blast through the entire prison with Gokai Galleon Buster’s Special Charge, and they promptly returned to the normal world. During that period, Marvelous informed Gavan that he was the child who was saved years ago, but the celebration was cut short when Ashurada and company pursued the heroes, and subsequently they transformed and battled once again.
Before continuing my review, there were a couple of questions some might be asking. First one has to do with the transformation sequences between Gavan and Gokaigers, and the second involves with the chromed armors that Gavan and its bootleg counterpart. So, with regards to the transformation sequences, I would have to say that the Gavan portion was much better than I thought, considering that if putting the footages from the TV series and this movie together, this version has a better transition in the transformation sequence from the beginning to the end, particularly with showing Gavan in its action form rather than the still shots. As for Gokaigers sequence, their transformation also presents the first time that all six members transform together instead of showing 6 separate boxes in one views. The chromed armor issue since the beginning of the movie was something close to another in-joke as well, from watching the first episode of Gavan, there was some intent of using the chromed version of that armor but then they decided against it. So, the production wants to make amend to that issue this time around, and they decided to just go for the chromed approach. I can honestly say that the looks of the chromed armors speak volume, and let me mention about the special effects in the movie as well, that I was even more impressed with the VFX throughout the movie (never mind the series), particularly with the Gavans fight, it was much better than the original series.
Now return to the movie review, and so the heroes wiped out the obstacles in the forms of Goumins and Sugoumins before engaging their respective foes, with the two Gavans fought in a duel while Gokaigers fought against Ashurada. After a fierce battle, the Bootleg was outmatched by the original at the end and was destroyed by Retsu with Gavan Dynamic slash. Meanwhile, after initially manhandled the sentai, they traded insults on the villain and changed strategy with smoke screen attacks, followed by transforming into All Pinks, All Whites, and finally All Reds before finishing them with Final Wave. However, Ashurada revived as a giant monster and attempted to swallow the whole universe with Makuu Space, Gokai Galleon, Gojyuu Drill and and the mechanical dragon Electronic Starbeast Dol (電子星獣ドル) were all summoned. While Goujyuu Gokaioh had a tough time with Ashurada initially, Machalcon’s emergence merged with Gokaioh into Kazen Gokaioh, and with the encouragement from Gavan, the latter boarded the Dol and soon Marvelous and Gavan, as well as Kazen Gokaioh performed a combination maneuver, before finishing off with Gavan Marvelous Dynamic and finally ended the threat. With everything returned to normal, Marvelous had a brief talk with Retsu before Oume and Akebono joined in as the rest of the crew looked on. Then, all three transferred with both Oume and Akebono borrowed their respective Ranger Keys and transformed into Denji Blue, Gavan, and Battle Kenya with the encouragement from “a voice from the sky”, and prompted Gai to ask for their autographs during the end credits before finally bidding farewells.
To my closing on this review, there is one important point I must talk about in the aftermath of the death of Shigeru Araki (荒木 茂), who played Shigeru Jō (城 茂) in Kamen Rider Stronger (仮面ライダーストロンガー) television series, that this movie, as well as the television series and the first movie, reminds me of the 2009 Star Trek that paid tribute to Leonard Nimoy for his contribution to that franchise, which all of which paid tributes to those who have paved ways to the future generations. In addition, with many of the early Sentai teams are now in the 60s and 70s respectively, so it was much better to bring them back before their passing. As for other things I didn’t mention earlier in my review, I was sort of “glad” that Basco showed up and told Gokaigers about the information on Makuu Space & Prison – only to return his usual self in trying to steal the Galleon, Navi, and the Ranger Keys before being intercepted by Go-Busters. For the scenes that contained Starbeast Dol, while I would not mind to see that mecha in its model mode, the CG made the whole transformation much better than the original works. Overall, the movie was a great tribute to the once-great franchise that eventually became the victim of tokusatsu version of “dot com” bust.
That’s all for now, in the meantime, until next time …..