Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Watching Power Rangers ... Without Nostalgia Goggles

Growing up in the '90's, I was a huge fan of Saban's Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. So, in 1995 when Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie hit theaters three-year-old me had to see it!
This morning when I decided this would be the next movie I would review I got a little excited. I quickly realized, however, that if I were to truly review this movie I would need to take off the nostalgia goggles and put my sentimental feelings toward the Power Rangers franchise aside.

For anyone who didn't grow up in the 1990's or did and failed to watch one of the greatest things television at the time offered children, Power Rangers is an American version of an older Japanese television series Super Sentai. And by "American version" I mean we took out all of the Japanese parts, added American teenagers, racism (only at first), and used all of the Japanese footage for action sequences.
The premise of the show was that a group of color coordinated teenagers were given skin-tight suits and giant robot dinosaurs, called Zords, from a space wizard named Zordon and run around the town of Angel Grove and stop bad guys from space.

In the movie, an ancient evil is freed: Ivan Ooze ...
Purple demon wizard of nightmares.
... played by Paul Freeman, who is better known for his role as Renee Belloq, Indy's rival French archeologist from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Yep, same guy.
Ooze breaks into the Power Rangers' headquarters and breaks everything, including Zordon, and cuts off all the power. Somehow, this makes it so the Rangers can no longer put on their suits and fight crime. They are quickly sent off to another planet with what little power is left at the HQ (the same little power that somehow isn't enough to let them put on their suits) to find a new source of power.
While the Rangers are away, Ooze decides to dig up his giant robot bugs that are conveniently buried beneath Angel Grove. He turns the adults of the city into his workforce by dressing up as a purple-pedophile wizard (with rhyming skills that challenge Dr. Suess) and giving kids his "ooze" ... yup.
Who wouldn't trust this guy with a bunch of kids?
Meanwhile, the Power Rangers find their spirit animals on another planet and become ninjas with the help of a woman who can turn into an owl. They fight dinosaur skeletons and get new Zords of their spirit animals. After getting new giant robots, they fly back to Earth to stop Ivan Ooze.
The Rangers fight Ooze's giant robot bugs with their giant robot spirit animals. Then the nightmare pedophile wizard possesses one of his robo-bugs and makes it stronger, which causes the Power Rangers to use teamwork and combine their Zords to form a Mega-Zord and work together to defeat Ivan Ooze.
This fight takes them to space where (SPOILER!) they throw Ivan at a comet that is conveniently shooting by. The END.
In case you couldn't tell by reading the plot of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie, it was not a good movie. At all. Taking off the nostalgia goggles made me see that. As much as I loved the Power Rangers as a kid, it was difficult to sit through the entire movie and here's why:
1. The acting is terrible. Of course, the acting in the television series was no better, but it seems the Rangers' acting chops only got worse when they moved to the big screen.
2. The dialogue is riddled with puns and cheesy one-liners. As someone who normally loves puns and cheesy one-liners, I found these ones to be just  annoying. I cringed at the lines, really I did!
3. I still can't figure out how nobody in the city of Angel Grove has figured out who the Power Rangers are! There is a group of teenagers that wear the same colors as the Power Rangers who all practice martial arts and are into extreme sports right in front of your eyes, people! They're the Power Rangers!
4. So much is unexplained in this movie. Like how the Power Rangers suddenly have way cooler looking leather suits as opposed to the spandex ones from the show (besides a bigger budget). Or how they suddenly have flood lights and scanners in their helmets. Or why literally (and I mean literally) every time they move there's a "Whoosh!" or "Whippsh!" noise. Or why they didn't have enough power to put on their suits, but had enough power to be transported through space to ANOTHER PLANET!
The list goes on and on, but I'm going to stop there so I don't get anymore carried away than I already have.
Moving past my childhood love of this movie was dangerous. I can't understand why I once thought it was good! Now, I would like to formally apologize to my parents for making them sit through this movie in theaters and all the times I rented it at Blockbuster (remember when Blockbuster was a thing?).
If you haven't seen Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie then I would recommend not seeing it. This movie is only suitable for watching with the intent of purposefully watching a bad movie and making fun of it ... like Big Trouble in Little China (except nowhere near as awesome). Of course, it is a movie for a children's franchise made in the 1990's, so it could only be so good. I am sorry to any die hard Power Rangers fans who have read this and were offended (like my older sister).

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