Lupinranger VS Patranger VS Kyuranger (ルパンレンジャーＶＳパトレンジャーＶＳキュウレンジャー) is a paper-thin film that may please only fans of each series for the mere fact that they get an extra hour with them.
Sentai crossover films are always hit or miss. But just like LuPat itself, this film had the makings of a good story that just wasn’t fully realized.
Now, I come into this film as someone who absolutely loves Kyuranger and is apathetic to LuPat. (And apathy is different from total dislike which is what I feel for Zyuohger. More on that later.)
The LuPat portions of the film feel very tired considering it takes place before the Patrangers know of the Lupinrangers’ identities. And that back and forth already grew tiring in-series. What more now that I’ve watched this film years later.
A few of my problems with LuPat included the skewed focus on the Lups more than the Pats and the lack of character development that fosters a connection with them and whatever their predicament may be.
This film could just as well have been a solo Kyuranger story since the main villain was a Don Armage imposter wanting to take over *this* Earth. It also harped on the Kyurangers being the saviors of the galaxy/universe which worked to expand the limited “universe” of the LuPats.
A few telling scenes in the film are when the Kyurangers essentially school Keiichiro and the Lups, separately, that there’s more to the world than just their cops and robbers games. That the Kyurangers had and are still working to save/protect the universe compared to the sometimes claustrophobic cat and mouse game the LuPats were engaged in for 50 episodes really highlighted the contrast between the two seasons.
Now there’s nothing wrong with the insular back and forth between the Lups and Pats of course. But in this film, they felt too much like afterthoughts with contrived connections. And that’s certainly a familiar feeling from the series.
There’s one scene where the Lups were a little confused about why the Kyurangers were fighting for Earth when they aren’t even Earthlings. It essentially showed the Lups that you don’t have to be selfish to be a cool hero.
For everyone except Lucky, this wasn’t a character-driven affair. Lucky giving off the impression that he only relied on his luck, but the other Kyurangers pointing out that he’s no idiot and is more thoughtful than he seems was the only true character moment in the entire film.
The thieves connection between the Lups and the BN buddies was only played for laughs. Every other interaction between the two/three teams felt very cold.
Then there’s Misao’s random 30 second appearance. If there’s any Zyuohger I’d want to see more of, it’s Misao. So that’s a plus. And he was a welcome sight in thie movie, even if it was only played for laughs to joke about the lack of a Zyuohger–Kyuranger crossover. (As well as to make it an even 20 people for the sadly stock footage roll call.)
The only truly enjoyable moment in the entire film was the Kyuranger theme kicking in as the final battle started. Still one of the best Sentai theme songs and always perfect for a big battle.
But that isn’t enough to redeem an otherwise bland, uninspiring movie.