(Shunsuke Daito, Shu Watanabe, Mitsu Dan, et al / DVD / NR / (2017) 2020 / GVN Releasing)
Overview: In the year 2050, mankind is extinct. The last survivors travel back in time to stop the invader, Killgis, aided by roboticist Kenichiro Kurenai.
When they arrive at the past, they start to build a giant robot, Red Baron, and the pilot of the Red Baron races against time aided by reinforced humans to identify the alien in a fierce battle which starts in Tokyo for the survival of Earth.
DVD Verdict: From the off, you should know that 'BraveStorm' is actually a remake of the 1970's TV series 'Silver Mask' and 'Super Robot Red Baron,' which pits two families (one with an armored bionic superhero, and the other a red giant robot) against evil aliens to save Earth and prevent the extinction of mankind.
In what is a rather fun and enjoyable effort, by combining the two Tokusatsu shows from the '70s (again, the Kasuga family and bio-mechanical suits from the show ‘Silver Mask’ and the giant robots from ‘Super Robot Red Baron’), this crossover creates an appealing and familiar setup for their adventures.
The sight of the familiar machine, with an obviously updated sheen that makes it look realistic, signals quite a familiar story that prepares us for the main story.
Armed with familiar stories of redemption, courage and family strife that is usually apparent in such Japanese fantasy fare, the movie offers some rather fun times to witness the two sides coming together.
In what is obviously only the first chapter of this new adventure series, it perfectly details the backstory of how the time-traveling family comes back to the present to prepare for the initial stages of the war to come.
As this comes about during the very beginning with the aliens arriving at the boxing match to the struggle to get Ken on board with their mission, the film most certainly provides a lot of fine action; offering even more in the second half of the film.
With some laser gunfights, a smattering of Kung-Fu and swordplay dashed about, the pace is kept nicely upbeat for the main robot smackdown at the end; which is a nice, full-on fight between the two machines in downtown Tokyo.
While ending somewhat anticlimactically, remember, again, this is most definitely only the first chapter in this new series.
As for the actors, well, the main brother, Koji Kasuga, played by Shunsuke Daitô, is pretty much the prototypical courage-first hero found in these movies.
His basic point in this one is to offer encouraging speeches and perform as many heroic actions as he can, which is fine, if not heavily cliched, of course.
The other main male member, Kozo played by Soran Tamoto, doesn’t come off as well. Typically appearing as the electronics wiz that doesn’t really do much beyond that, you rarely see him without some form of technological device or machine that needs to be repaired.
The lone female member on the journey, Haruka played by Chihiro Yamamoto has even less to do. The quiet, demure Asian woman who doesn’t have a lot of dialog or important moments, we really don’t get much about her at all.
Her background in other Tokusatsu shows is obvious with the swordplay she exhibits but that’s all we get from her The other two members of the family, Koichi and Hitomi, stay behind and might have more to do in the second chapter.
In closing, and despite having some small issues in areas re: its reliance on CGI, there’s still some great stuff to be had with this film.
Sure, it feels too much like an opening salvo for a film series for the most part, throughout, leaving a few unanswered questions abounding, but I would still definitely recommend 'BraveStorm' to any fan of the original Tokusatsu shows, or the giant mech movement we are currently within. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
'BraveStorm' DVD Purchase Link