Kamen Rider Zi-O Over Quartzer – Movie Review

The following article was submitted by STALK.

After the success of Kamen Rider Heisei Generations Forever a few months back, Kamen Riders once again hits the silver screens here in Malaysia. Labeled “The Final Chapter of Heisei Riders”, Kamen Rider Zi-O Over Quartzer is an ending to the entire Heisei Era of Kamen Riders.

Over Quartzer follows Tokiwa Sougo/Kamen Rider Zi-O as he collects the final Heisei Ridewatch, that of Kamen Rider Drive. His quest takes him back to the Sengoku era where he, along with Geiz/Kamen Rider Geiz, Tsukuyomi and Woz/Kamen Rider Woz, must stop a threat to the timeline from the mysterious group known as Quartzer, the Guardians of Time.

Their journey involves an assassination attempt on Oda Nobunaga, the original Demon King, along with the ancestor of Krim Steinbelt, Kamen Rider Drive’s creator.

The major appeal of the entire season of Kamen Rider Zi-O are the returning guest stars, and this movie has Go Shijima/Kamen Rider Mach reprising his role. Due to scheduling conflicts (which may or may not involve the K-pop girl grorup Twice), Ryoma Takeuchi was unable to reprise his role. Shijima Go however is an exciting guest star, bringing much needed charm and wit from his character into the movie.

Fans of Drive will also be delighted in Krim Steinbelt’s role in the movie, as he plays an important role, and much more physical than his role in the series.

But a Kamen Rider movie is only as good as its villain, and the main villain this time is Tokiwa SOUGO (Played by DA PUMP frontman ISSA), the charismatic leader of Quartzer, who transforms into Kamen Rider Barlcks. He, along with his lackeys Jogen/Kamen Rider Zamonas and Kagen/Kamen Rider Zonjis, prove a formidable threat to our heroes.

His grand plan involves erasing the history of Heisei Riders (a plot we’ve seen before), and to this end he manipulates our heroes into doing the dirty work for him. Fans of Kamen Rider Black will be delighted at the little callbacks that Barlcks brings to the big screen, being based off the fan-favorite rider.

A major standout in this movie is Woz’s role, as he is revealed to be a member of Quartzer, who has his loyalties torn between Sougo and SOUGO. Woz turns from a meme character in the series to an actual serious character who expresses his conflict throughout the movie.

This makes him much more interesting than his characterization in the series, and more three-dimensional above the one-man IWAE machine that the internet has branded him.

Overall, the movie is what you’d expect from a regular Kamen Rider Summer movie, with slick fights, decent effects and a lot of callbacks. What sets this apart from the rest, is of course the fact that this is the first Reiwa era Kamen Rider film, and an end to almost two decades of Kamen Rider storytelling.

We get to see some really big ideas executed on screen with a movie budget, but the length of the movie limits how far Toei can go with their ideas. Plot-wise, as per Zi-O’s standard we get it all over the place, with the first half of the movie completely distinct from the second half. It’s your run-of-the-mill Kenta Shimoyama script, which is a jumble of time travel shenanigans, good ideas that go nowhere, plot holes, and your usual “Great Power” themes.

But despite all of that, the final 15 minutes of this film makes up for the lackluster script, with a great final battle as expected from the final chapter of Heisei Kamen Riders.

Kamen Rider Zi-O Over Quartzer premieres October 19th 2019 exclusively at TGV Cinemas. Pictures courtesy of Atrinaga. 

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