Drive (1997)

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Drive is an action movie from the 90’s that i’m pretty sure not many people know about. It sat on video shop shelves looking like a multitude of other straight to DVD actioners, but this my fellow fiends is another beast altogether. It’s an action movie that get’s straight into things and stays that way till the denouement.

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It starts off with a man called Toby Wong (played by the underrated Mark Dacascos). Toby is speical. He has in his a chest a turbo charged heart (stay with me here), which can give him incredible speed and strength. Toby is trying to get to L.A I believe, to give his turbo heart to a company that want to study it. In return Toby will get a new heart and $5 million dollars. Taken along for this wild ride is Malik Brody (played by Kadeem Hardison). Malik is initially taken hostage, but then told by Toby that he will split the money with Malik if he will “just drive”. Hot on their heels are two inept mercenaries who have been tasked by the turbo hearts creator to get Toby, or just the heart, back by any means necessary.

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The fight scenes in this movie are just amazing. As it’s also directed by Steve Wang who directed ‘Guyver: Dark Hero’ which I reviewed a couple of days back, he has gotten the same stunt team in to choreograph the fights. Mark Dacascos leaps over cars, runs up walls, and roundhouses anything in his way, it really must be seen. He whizzes about the screen with such gusto that it really is a shame he hasn’t been in more well known action movies. Also along for the ride is the late Brittany Murphy who plays a very unhinged motel owner that becomes attached to our duo.

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The acting can be cheesy in places, particularly a cringe worthy karaoke scene with Mark Dacascos, but I feel it kind of adds to the movies charm. It really is worth a watch. It flew under a lot of people’s radar, but friends i’ve shown it to love it, i’m pretty sure you guys will do. I’d be interested to hear anyone’s comments below once they’ve seen it, good or bad.

4/5

JM

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Guyver: Dark Hero (1994)

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I really love this movie. This slots nicely into my guilty pleasure file, something you may see on TV at night, that you may not normally give a second glance to. That’s why I’m here, to put these movies on your radar and show you movies you may have missed.

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It begins with Sean Barker (played by David Hayter of Metal Gear Solid Fame) who has been living with an alien armour inside his body called the Guyver unit. The Guyver unit can completely cover Sean’s body with armour which he uses to fight evil. However someone else wants the Guyver unit. A corporation called Kronos want the unit for themselves. Kronos are a group of aliens called Zoanoids, masquerading as human, who attack the innocent. Sean finds out about an archaeological dig in the mountains that has uncovered a cave full of symbols similar to the ones he has been dreaming about. He heads to the dig site for answers, not realising that Kronos are also aware of the site.

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I should mention that technically this is the second live action Guyver movie, based on the popular Manga series. The first movie is called Mutronics here in the UK and The Guyver in the US I believe. Now the reason I dove straight into this movie rather than review the first one, and then this one is actually for a few reasons. To begin with, it’s the better of the two movies. The choreography in Mutronics is a lot slower than what we have in this movie. The acting from Mark Hamill who stars, isn’t the greatest. ┬áThe director, Steve Wang, definitely made a much better movie second time out.

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He got David Hayter to play Sean Barker/The Guyver, who is actually not a bad actor it should be said. The music from Les Claypool III is also brilliant, very tense, and it fits brilliantly into the movie. However, where Steve Wang really focussed was the choreography. He got in a fantastic stunt team that put together some mindblowing fights. The final battle for me where the Guyver takes on the Zoanoids is just awesome. Whoever the stuntman is that is in the Guyver costume is just an amazing fighter.

I’d recommend this to anyone. Sure the effects can be a tad cheesy, but for something that has been made on a moderate budget you could sure do a lot worse!

4/5

JM

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