The true legacy of Kamen Rider that will carry on for the next 50 years: most crossover movies are pretty goddamn boring.

I thought this one was pretty much a bust, save a couple clever ideas late in the game. It’s a story that the Saber cast is around for, without them ever feeling crucial to the narrative. (Like, there’s nothing thematically linking them to the story of Ryunosuke and Hideo, beyond an If You Squint thing about Ryunosuke wanting to keep a promise to his son that they’d ride the bullet train; they don’t.) Similarly, while the main arc of Kamen Rider Century is about family, it’s more about Daddy Issues, which means you could plug in nearly any Heisei Rider (and half of the Reiwa ones) and still feel like this story was in their wheelhouse. And that’s the huge problem with the story of Kamen Rider Century: it doesn’t specifically need Ikki or Touma to make it work.

Even setting aside the irrelevance of our two main Riders to this movie… the story of Ryunosuke and Hideo sort of isn’t much? It’s barely enough to fill a normal two-parter, let alone a feature-length film, until you convolute the holy shit out of it so that just repeating it sounds like it’s two or three movies instead of one. Ryunosuke wanted to do mad science experiments on unsuspected victims, he abandoned his family to do them, one of his victims was like Hey I Don’t Like Being Modified Into A Shocker Monster, Ryunosuke was like Dang I Get It, tried to return to his family after god knows how long as a Shocker fascist, gets experimented on, gets SHOT INTO SPACE FOR SOME REASON, gets sucked into a wormhole (as one does), travels into the future, then travels into the present day to stop Diablo just as (but not before! Never before!) he enslaves humanity. It’s dumb enough to join the pantheon of Stupid Crossover Plots, and maybe even be its head deity. (Why in the world would Shocker shoot him and a bunch of other failed experiments into space??? Even for Shocker, which is where normal plots are modified into Stupid Crossover Plots, this is the stupidest plot point in the film by a mile.) It’s a messy film full of stupid developments, almost all of which need to be reexplained to try and absolve their glaring plotholes.

And it’s all in service of a story of two men that I actively disliked. If Shocker are meant to be the Nazis – and they are – then Ryunosuke is a Nazi scientist who was eventually like Whoops Mea Culpa. Meanwhile, his 50-something son Hideo (a late-in-life dad who mostly doesn’t have time for his own son) reasonably resents his dad for a) abandoning his family to go do horrific experiments on innocent people, b) showing up to hijack his son’s body for some light apocalypse-prevention, and c) never trying to get in contact when he was shot off into space I guess? It’s the last one that makes a lot of this drag out; the movie really puts a lot of its weight on YOU NEVER CAME HOME DAD, which is easily explained away, instead of the more appalling and unforgivable YOU WILLINGLY EXPERIMENT ON HUMANS MULTIPLE TIMES DAD. I’m assuming the movie skips out on that one because, you know, unforgivable, but it’s hilarious to watch this movie try and rehabilitate a full-on evil scientist just because he misses his kid you guys.

(I rolled my eyes so hard that I gave myself permanent Showa Eyes And Tears at the scene where Takeshi Hongo – played by the skinny Son Of Hongo – tells the guy who murdered dozens of innocents in pursuit of genetic dominance that he’s actually a hero because he created Kamen Rider, which… that was not this guy’s doing! That was not the goal of the project! Takeshi Hongo subverted evil to do good; the evil still happened! Shocker is not retroactively benevolent just because Takeshi Hongo used the power they gave him to destroy it! That’s an incredibly dumb thing for this movie to say! Out loud! Holy shit!)

But, hey, if we’re willing to put aside how little this was either a Revice or Saber story, and if we’re willing to ignore how bad and drawn out and ludicrous the Kamen Rider Century story was… it’s still not a great movie? The best fight scene is the one in the future, where Daiji, Vice, Sakura, Touma, Rintaro, and Yuri all inhabit different clone bodies to fend off the requisite Army Of Dark Rider Suits, and even that’s a little lackluster. It’s neat to see a lineup of Valkyrie, Blade (for Blades! Hilarious!), Accel, Black RX, Knight, and Ex-Aid Muteki, but almost none of them utilized the things that are fun about those forms. Ex-Aid Muteki’s whole thing is being an invulnerable, overpowered Final Form, but Yuri’s running down a hallway, having a tough time against mooks. It’s just suits; nothing more than suits.

This one… god, it was so boring. When Kamen Riders were on the screen, I couldn’t figure out why they were there. (Diablo’s plot has no moves on it! And Diablo has no point of view!) When Ryunosuke and Hideo were on the screen, I was wishing the pointless Riders were back. Probably one of the worst crossover movies I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I can handle fifty more years of these types of films!

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