Hey folks, Valkor here. I'm back after my 4 day E3 2010 journey (3 days of E3 and 1 day of rest). And I've brought back the goods; some you will probably not find anywhere else and oh yea, Booth Babes! But let's kick things off with a little video game movie goodness that fits smack dab into the world I love to call MediaView. Check it out, as far as fan flicks go, I've seen my share of good and bad – mostly good. But this is the first time I've sat and watched a fan film and said "Holy shit! This needs to be full-on theatrical". I'm talking about the live-action, indie project of "Mega Man", based off of and featuring characters from the popular NES game series. And let me just say, it's not only freaking awesome but it also has the potential to be so much more
In the Mega Man film, Dr. Thomas Light (Edward X. Young) is a renowned robotics engineer who is about to unveil unto the world his latest creations – The Robot Masters, who were created with the assistance of Dr. Albert Wiley (Dave Maulbeck) and also his robotic assistant Roll (Jeanie Tse). The Masters Gutsman (SonicMega), Bombman (Andrew Decrescenzo), Cutman (Daniel William Clark), Fireman (Hugo Salazar jr.), Iceman (Wayne Chang) and Elecman (Alan Fung), would be used to aid humanity, making the world a better place. After the unveiling, Dr. Light has another robot in mind but doesn't want the assistance of Wiley, which pisses him off immensely. So much so that he leaves Light and sets out to plot his revenge, not just against Light but also the world.
The robot that Light creates, is a take-off of an older prototype he called Blues (Sung-Mo Cho). Introducing Rock (Jun Naito). He's a curious bot that wants to learn about… well, everything! But he also feels the need to do more. His time comes when Wiley breaks into Light's lab, reprograms and unleashes the Robot Masters. Now It's up to Rock, now Megaman, to face off against these creations and end Dr. Wiley's road to chaos, all with the help of Dr. Light's proto suit, which is equipped with a Plasma Buster arm cannon that not only allows Mega to go toe to toe with the bots, but also adapts their powers once defeated so that he can use said powers to defeat the other bots. Oh, and he's not alone. Blues aka Protoman (at this point he has the Protoman armor) steps in for the assist much like he does in the game, popping in at just the right moment; there's even the whistle playing in the background when he first appears. Ultimately it's up to Rock to step up and defeat Dr. Wiley. And you know how this film will end right?
Before we jump into the breakdown, I just want to give major props to the director, writer, and producer Eddie Lebron and his team for putting this film together; I can tell this film took a lot of hard work, which pays off immensely. However, Mega Man is a small film that SCREAMS to be so much more. The story, characters, plots, everything begs to be done on a much larger scale! There's just so much potential for an awesome Hollywood backed, theatrical film because as it stands, everything looks and feels contained. That's not a negative towards the film as I completely understand that this is a fan-flick with limited resources. But to have it done on a grand scale, with a huge budget then it would be truly epic. I can see the world that these characters inhabit as being more than what this film entails – Dr. Light's lab, his home, the city, and the battles, are just too small! Just thinking of how cool it would be to see Mega not only fight the bots but other Wiley creations, or to see a bigger lab of Dr. Lights with little robots scampering about. I would FLIP to see that! I hope that Capcom and/or some other big Hollywood production company sees this film, step up to the plate and take this Mega Man movie under their wings, because honestly Eddie and co have made me a believer that a Mega Man film, which I thought could never be adapted into a theatrical film, can, in fact, be done. And given the proper backing, it can be awesome.
And now on to my review… but I think you know what I'm gonna say right?
At the jump of this breakdown, the story for the Mega Man film is a pretty straightforward, good vs. evil tale; there are no crazy twists, save for one where Wiley creates his own, evil version of Mega Man. But his on-screen time is too short to make a difference. Pacing is well balanced, though in the first 45 minutes there's little to no action, it's still fun to watch the interaction between Rock and Roll; it's cute, even if the film is a tad dark in the feel (not a minus, definitely a plus). The acting is first-rate for a fan flick. And when compared to other fan films I've previously reviewed (Tomb Raider Ascension and Return of the Ghostbusters), the acting in Mega Man ranks at a much higher quality. Kudos goes to Jun Naito as our main hero, who has the perfect look for the Mega Man character, which is that of a curious bot that wants to find his place in this new world he has awakened in to. But PerfectView kudos go to Jeanie Tse as Roll, who not only looks damn cute but also has a bubbly attitude and a super cute voice. And I can't forget Edward X. Young who does an amazing job as Dr. Light. I didn't know Light could look and sound so… cool! Finally, you'll notice some nods to the video game in the film such as the enemy select screen, Dr. Wiley's castle, Mega Man teleporting in and out of battle, Mega Man charging up the plasma buster, even the costume is awesome! (Yes Protoman gets his costume as well) Oh, and how classic is this - Rock and Roll playing Contra? Now THAT was funny!
There's not too much I can say that won't sound like I'm picking on the film – and essentially I would be, i.e. the quick battles between Mega and the bots (save for Elecman), the stiff CGI, and the fact that when the Robot Masters attack the city… well, it doesn't look like they do much damage. I mean, it's a great job of trying to make us believe they are doing something. But, in the end, you don't feel the devastation. However, this is because of the limited budget. However, with a bigger budget, badassery can be had! Finally, there's Dave Maulbeck's Dr. Wiley; if you can get an older guy to play Light, then why not an older guy to play Wiley? I mean the fake mustache and the added touches of gray? Yea, that didn't work for me.
Overall Mega Man is an ambitious project that you can tell was created by someone who apparently has major love for the characters and the video game world that they encompass. I really do hope beyond hope that a major studio looks into this and backs an amazing film that has the potential to be more than what it is now. Until then, out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving Mega Man 4 stars.