Classic Movie Thursdays: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie Review

So I watched Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie…

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I may be stretching the definition of ‘classic’ with my choice of throwback movie today. It may not be the greatest work of cinematic art but the Power Rangers are a global phenomenon that have stood the test of time. Also with the reboot being released tomorrow, I was contractually obligated to write this review.

Okay, basic plot: 6000 years ago, Zordon – leader of The Power Rangers – fought against a powerful and villanious being named Ivan Ooze (Paul Freeman). Zordon managed to trap Ooze in an egg, an egg which accidentally becomes unearthed by a construction crew. Ooze is set free and vows revenge on the Earth and Zordon for imprisoning him. With Zordon defeated, The Power Rangers – Ashia, Tommy, Kimberly, Rocky, Adam and Billy – are drained of their power. The only way to defeat Ooze is for them to travel to Phaedos – a mysterious planet that contains The Great Power. No visitor to this planet has ever survived but The Rangers must risk the journey in order to save their leader and their planet.

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This is not a good movie. To stand any chance of enjoying it you have to watch it through the eyes of your younger self – assuming you were young enough to get caught up in The Power Rangers frenzy. You also have to watch it with the mindset of a child – when you didn’t know any better and would not only tolerate but love any nonsense filmmakers shoved in front of you as long as it was colourful and had giant robots. I wish that I could say that if you do all these things and switch off your brain you’ll enjoy this movie but that’s just a lie.

The major problem with this film is that it suffers from an identity crisis. It thinks it’s just an extended episode of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV show (and not a feature film) and offers nothing in the way of character introductions or development. If you’ve never seen or heard of The Power Rangers, chances are you’ll have no idea what’s going on. The characters are also completely lacking in terms of substance. There isn’t even a need to learn any of their names because their personalities are completely confined to the colour of their costumes. They don’t feel like real people and you, therefore, have no reason to root for them or invest any sort of emotion in their success. Furthermore, none of them ever seem to be troubled or even affected by the events around them.

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The characters are not only poorly written but also poorly brought to life. The only time the actors behind the individual characters show any hint of life is when it’s time for a backflip or a flying kick. Other than that you’re stuck watching six lifeless teenagers who I wouldn’t trust with the fate of my imaginary friend let alone the world. There’s also a myriad of forced one-liners in this film that made me wish The Power Rangers would stick to flipping and kicking and just zip their lips.

I could lay into this movie more but I feel like I’m taking a knife to my childhood…

Though I criticise this film heavily it’s not completely without moments of pleasure. This film is clearly a product of its time and was made to satisfy the current needs of its audience with no thought paid to long-term timelessness. The film reached a point where it was so bad that I actually started enjoying it. The Rangers constantly having to punctuate every word they say with a swift swing of the arms had me laughing. I also felt a moment of gleeful nostalgia when The Rangers combined their Zords to make a MegaZord. I’m only human, after all.

Overall, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie is one of those things you look back on and have no choice but to smile at. Like that time you dyed your hair when you were younger or the pretentious way you used to speak. It looks foolish and unnecessary when looked at with older eyes but it’s a thing that you loved at the moment. This film may push the definition of classic but sometimes something isn’t a classic because it’s good, sometimes it’s a classic because of the impact it had at the time. I hate tearing this film apart and I wish I could go back in time and review it as a kid…

1 star

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