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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995) Movie Poster
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  •  USA / Japan / Australia / New Zealand  •    •  95m  •    •  Directed by: Bryan Spicer.  •  Starring: Karan Ashley, Johnny Yong Bosch, Steve Cardenas, Jason David Frank, Amy Jo Johnson, David Yost, Paul Schrier, Jason Narvy, Paul Freeman, Gabrielle Fitzpatrick, Nicholas Bell, Peta-Marie Rixon, Jean Paul Bell.  •  Music by: Graeme Revell.
        Six teenagers Tommy, Kimberly, Adam, Billy, Rocky and Aisha have discovered the power to fight the forces of evil. A giant egg is unearthed in Angel Grove. Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa investigate the egg, and release the creature inside - Ivan Ooze, whom Zordon had trapped him inside the egg six thousand years ago. Once released, Ooze left to seek revenge on Zordon. And now Zordon in his crystalline deathbed is dying because he has no power, without the power then Zordon of Eltar will never existed. Now the fate of the universe is in their hands. But this time the Power Rangers head for a distant planet to meet up with a bikini-clad warrior babe named Dulcea who imparts ancient wisdom and power. But now that they have their powers back and becomes Power Rangers once more they will now get back to business and defeat Ivan Ooze at all costs.


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Image from: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
Image from: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
Image from: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
Image from: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
Image from: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
Image from: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
Image from: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
Image from: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
I was born in the late 80's and grew up a total 90's kid. There were three facts I knew to be certain... the kids who owned both a Sega Genesis and a Super Nintendo were gods amongst men, Ren & Stimpy were the highest achievement in comedy humanity has ever witnessed, and the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were the world's greatest heroes. Seriously, I was obsessed. I had tapes upon tapes of recorded episodes, owned all the toys and merchandise my parents would allow me to get, went as the Green Ranger for two Halloweens in a row, had a holographic Red Ranger pocket-wallet... I was obsessed. So of course, the second a movie was announced, I was stoked beyond repair. Heck, I even talked my parents into ordering me the movie's making-of scrapbook from my elementary school's Scholastic Book-Club!

In honor of Saban rebooting the franchise with the upcoming big- budget, big-screen 2017 film, I decided to nostalgically revisit the original 1995 movie that the series spawned after its first few years on-air. I haven't actually watched the film start-to-finish in darned-near close to twenty years. (I drifted from the series just a few years after the movie came out.) What would happen? Would I relive my childhood thrills? Would it be a nostalgic blast from the past? Or would it falter and fail to live up to those great memories of mine growing up? Would it just feel like a cynical cash-grab?

Sadly, thought I know many a fan still enjoys the film, my feelings upon revisiting it do definitely fall back on the later feelings above. While it is a fairly competent aesthetic and tonal transition for the series from the small to the big-screen, the story presented feels wholly manufactured exclusively to bring in the big box-office and merchandising dollars without really pushing the series forward or even really making an effort to connect with it. (Heck, the movie isn't even feasibly canonical with the show given all the ret-cons and continuity errors!) And while it is far from a terrible film, this former Rangers fan feels sadly let-down looking back at a movie I once loved, now that I see it for what it is.

The Power Rangers Rocky DeSantos, Adam Park, Billy Cranston, Aisha Campbell, Kimberly Hart, and Tommy Oliver are in for the fight of their lives when their foes Lord Zed and Rita Repulsa unearth and resurrect an ancient and vile villain known as Ivan Ooze (Paul Freeman)- a "morphological" being with a wide-range of powers. When Ooze destroys the command center and gravely injures the Rangers' leader Zordon, the super-powered teens will be forced to travel to a faraway alien planet in search for a "Great Power" to save their master and find the inner strength to defeat this new threat!

To give the film the credit it deserves, there are some definite positives to be had. The actors portraying the Rangers all do about as well as they do on the small screen, and they're all pretty likable. Freeman makes for an entertainingly over-the-top villain with some great riffs and gags that I'm assuming were his additions. (A hilarious joke where he lists the things he missed out on before being brought back by Zed and Rita in particular is uproarious.) And the film does a nice job updating the Rangers for the big- screen. The then- cutting-edge CGI, brighter and more detailed costuming work and grander scope are definitely appreciated. This is the best the original Rangers ever looked, and everything feels a lot bigger and more bombastic thanks to the higher budget.

Unfortunately, the rest of the film falls very flat in my opinion, and comes off as little more than a mindless cash-grab. The script by Arne Olsen and John Kamps hits every note that you'd expect a cynical kids movie to hit. From the addition of a never-before-seen child "sidekick" who needs to assist the Rangers by helping them save the day (a common trope in children's entertainment, and always an unwelcome addition), to adding in plenty of new villains and heroes and robots and costumes to drive up toy-sales, to constant eye-rolling banter and catch- phrases that stink of 40-something writers trying to emulate their teenaged children... it's all so lazy and trite. Direction courtesy Bryan Spicer is barely passable, with his structuring of scenes feeling overly suspect and standard. And the film can barely even try to hide the fact that it's an expensive, 90-minute commercial. Each and every scene shows off new products to buy, blasts new music for kids to beg their parents to buy them, shows us the shiny new versions of last years toys that parents must now re-buy... it's kinda shameful, to be blunt.

I keep seeing a recurring theme in the positive reviews claiming that this is all fine because it's "just a kids movie"... no, sorry. We as adults need to demand more from the entertainment geared towards our children. It's completely not OK to just give them bad entertainment and justify it by saying it's "just a kids movie." There are plenty of good, high-quality kids films out there. Stop enabling what is nothing more than inherent laziness on the part of filmmakers trying to make a quick buck off of children.

Look, I still love my memories of the Power Rangers. And I'll never regret my time spent with the franchise. Heck, I'm probably gonna see the new movie in theaters when it comes out. But we have to admit... it's not the perfect pop-culture relic that we pretend it to be, and some facets of the series- including this film- are little more than cheap merchandising tools.

I give "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie" a sub-par 3 out of 10.

Review by MaximumMadness from the Internet Movie Database.



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