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Every artist or creator would love to create something that resonates and becomes part of the cultural zeitgeist. Destined to outlive its creator and survive eternally, remembered for generations and centuries to come. However sometimes, things don’t work out that way. Perhaps it becomes simply a product of its time or there’s a few too many rough edges to be perfect. At No Extra Source, we’re more interested in focusing on the positives and seeing the good wherever we can. So welcome to Positive Reviews!


For today’s review, we’re looking at Shin Masked Rider (2023), the western title of Shin Kamen Rider. The last entry in Hideaki Anno’s “ShinQuadrilogy is a retelling of the seminal 1970’s “Tokusatsu” (Japanese for Special Photography) series “Kamen Rider“. The original series started out as a manga by Shotaro Ishimori, also known for creating the “Super Sentai” series. That in turn became “Power Rangers“, the series we all know and Love.


The film wastes absolutely no time, starting with two people on a motorbike trying to outrun two lorries. Backed into a corner, Takeshi Hongo transforms into the masked Kamen Rider before escaping with a female companion by brutally beating several enemies. He finds out that he was genetically transformed by SHOCKER (Sustainable Happiness Organization with Computational Knowledge Embedded Remodelling). Attacked by another masked man who killed the doctor, Takeshi decides to use his power for good – which includes taking down SHOCKER.


It would have been easy to make this film an on-the-nose hammy Tokusatsu film. Costumed fighters don’t exactly scream Shakespeare. Shin Masked Rider ends up surprising with its rather earnest content. It’s straight and honest instead of poking fun at the original. SHOCKER’s goal of happiness becomes warped and twisted. It’s a bit deeper than your typical good guy vs bad guy mentality that was the ethos of so many Tokusatsu series.


From the opening fight sequence, it’s clear – this is not for the young ones. There is a level of gore that is well beyond what you would see in the likes of Power Rangers – this becoming a vital part of Takeshi’s journey. His combat ability is enhanced but it comes at the expense of his humanity. His sadness and horror at what he’s capable of doing becomes a vital part of the film as he comes to terms with what it means to be a hero.


Nothing is ever perfect. So, with that being said, the CGI in the film can be a little schlocky at times. Not enough to take you out of the film completely, but enough to be noticeable. Additionally, the plot doesn’t waste time, for better or worse. It’s a quick two hour sprint of a film that cannot afford to waste a second, so blinking isn’t an option.


Shin Masked Rider does not waste it’s time with faff and distraction. It’s a love letter to the original TV show and comes across as made by a true fan. Furthermore, the film doesn’t require intimate knowledge of the series to know what’s going on. First timers can sit back and watch this fast-paced, action flick with great ease. As a jumping in point, you can do much worse than Shin Masked Rider.

Shin Masked Rider” is available now on Amazon Prime.

Positive Reviews is brought to you by No Extra Source.

Published by AJ Toothill

Creative Writing and Music student with the Open University. Fond of writing in a comedic tone known as 'Absolute lunacy'.

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