I know what you’re thinking. “Why don’t you review the new Power Rangers movie?” Because fuck you, that’s why! I don’t wanna watch it! It looks like it’s going to be terrible!
Ugh, fine, I’ll eventually get around to it, but not before revisiting this movie from my past.
So I must confess, I wasn’t THAT big of a Power Rangers fan back in the day, back in the 90s. I appreciated it’s existence and what it brought to the 90s culture more than I did the show itself. From what I remember, I remember kind of enjoying the show, but never enough to want to stick with it. Pretty much the same thing for the movie. I remember enjoying it, but other than that I don’t remember much. But the one thing everyone remembers from Power Rangers, if they were around during the 90s, was that awesome theme song which you will never get out of your head if you’ve heard it.
Unfortunately, they don’t play the full theme song for the 1995 feature length theatrical film. Just a portion of it, at 2 different points. But that’s forgivable, considering that everyone and their family/friends/relatives knew that theme song when this film was released, because Power Rangers was all the rage at that point in time.
Oh, right, I should mention I also rewatched the first episode of the series to get a little more familiar with the show, which I remember nothing about other than the theme song and the looks of some of the villains and characters. What I’ve noticed is that there have been some character changes between the first episode of the show and the movie. Different rangers. Eh, maybe I’ll eventually summon up the willpower to go through one, maybe 2, seasons of the original Power Rangers show. But I have to admit, the show isn’t all that great. Very dumb and easy to spot slapstick humor, annoying as shit bullies, clear stock footage from the Japanese show vs clear footage shot in America with American actors, etc. But it does have a charm to it, with it’s 90s style and cheese and bad acting. Done at a time period when it wasn’t cheesy for us, we enjoyed that shit. And the series creators didn’t think this was dumb or stupid at all, they didn’t make it cheesy by intention, they were earnest when making this stuff. I kinda miss that about the 90s. Not to mention the importing and shameless redoing of Japanese tv shows like Takeshi’s Castle and Super Sentai. But the main reason you can tell this is imported from Japan is because there is no way in hell the fashion style of that villain chick Rita Repulsa would be made in America for an American show, even in the 90s.
I fell on the floor laughing when I saw that outfit again in the movie. Jesus Christ, I forgot how insanely ridiculous those pointed breast thingamajigs looked.
Oh right, the movie, I should talk more about that rather than the show itself. The movie starts out with one of those text crawl intros, where we see words that give background to the story, and a narrator repeating the words that are already on screen. You know, so the movie can appeal to those who can and can’t read.
Then we get a sky diving sequence. You know, those are always fun, I don’t care what people say. It’s always cool seeing sky-divers performing in-air tricks.
And the high schoolers (aka mid-20s adults) then transition to roller-blading, something else I miss about 90s culture.
The film also has those 2 annoying full-blown-90s-style bullies from the show, albeit just briefly, thankfully.
Rita Repulsa and her horn/boob gown is back, along with that golden gargoyle, the red guy with the bitchin’ mask and scepter, and then the villain exclusive to the film, Ivan Ooze. Did I mention that the actor playing the villain is the villain from Raiders of the Lost Ark? Yeah, that guy, Paul Freeman, played both Belloq and Ivan Ooze.
He hams his role up as much as he possible can, and is obviously having as much fun as possible. I mean, my favorite part of the movie is when he makes a pun that is stupid, but makes me laugh every time.
Just something about that line delivery, and just that pun in general. It’s 90s cheese at its best. And you also may have noticed he blew the birds up in the clip. Yeah, things actually get killed in this movie. Case in point:
I just can’t help but think that this was a way to get away with violence like this by making the blood purple instead of red, and monsters instead of people. Whatever the case, it’s appreciated.
And this whole fight scene that happens when the rangers go against these ooze clones. There’s some so-so fight choreography, in that you can actually tell what is going on (you see how fucking easy that is modern American action films/shows!?). Along with plenty of backflips (see above image). But the most hilarious moments in this fight sequence is after “morphin time!” Once they get into their Power Ranger suits, every gesture they make, every turn they do, every movement with their hand or arm, is accompanied by a *swoosh* sound effect. And there is the occasional dumb and obvious one-liner thrown in off and on. The point is, I found it entertaining, dumb lines and all.
Then they eventually have to go to another planet (for reasons I won’t explain just because all I’ve been doing so far is just a plot recap) where they have to meet a hot chick and fight a skeleton triceratops.
They get their suits and powers updated, somehow, and then return to Earth to finally defeat Ivan Ooze. But here’s the problem with the final 20-ish minutes. Up until this point, aside from a couple poor CG moments, the effects largely stayed practical, with the Rangers fighting guys in rubber suits. Even the triceratops skeleton had a mixture of CG and practical which seemed acceptable to me, even more-so considering when this was made. But then all of a sudden they decide they’ve had it with Japanese guys in suits causing destruction, and instead opt for full blown CG when it comes to the Zorgs and Megazorgs going against Ivan Ooze and his 2 mega silver insects. The special affects have aged horribly here. Who would’ve thought, practical effects aging better than CG effects?
So, yeah, while you can tell what’s going on with the fighting when the CG shows up, it still looks horrendous. Honestly, it would’ve been more awesome if they went for 2D hand drawn animation. Like what they did when the Power Rangers had to teleport from one location to another.
All in all, this film deserves to be in a 90s time capsule. Both this and Space Jam are perfect representations of both the absolute best and worst of what it meant to be a kid in the 90s. It was cheesy, but not intentionally so. It was made in a time period where it was natural to be cheesy and ignorant, and for kids to enjoy it as such without embarrassment. Not just a representation of kid shows and films back then, but of society itself from an entertainment industry point of view. 3 Ninjas can suck a Might Morphin cock, Power Rangers is the best kiddy martial arts show/film series out there in the 90s. Unless I’m forgetting something…
PS: For those looking for a history into the show, this is probably the best link for that: