Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

  Power Rangers ruled my childhood from the time I was old enough to watch TV. So basically three years old.  Fun times.  It just must have been the horrible acting and super obvious plots that kept me coming back week after week to see if the Power Rangers would defeat Rita Repulsa's latest monster. Soon enough, there was a new head honcho in the house: Lord Zedd.  As Martin Lawrence of Bad Boys fame would say...
"This shit just got real." 
And for a while, the rubber monsters, outdated effects, colorful outfits, and bad catchphrases of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was the coolest thing in the world.  Unfortunately its not the early nineties anymore.

  Now, its hard to review this movie without factoring in a huge chunk of nostalgia.  If you obvious don't have the same enthusiasm for the show that I did, this movie will be a cliche',  kid-pandering, colorful, mindless, wreck.  If you do have a penchant for the rubber monsters, colorful outfits and bad catchphrases, you'll feel right at home more or less.  Anyone over the age of 12 that likes this movie, accepts it for what it is. And what it isn't. To be completely fair, its not a good movie.  And even as a Power Ranger's movie its simply okay. Partly because half of the charm of the show, from where I'm sitting, IS the rubber outfits, the tokyo looking miniature cities, and the really outdated effects. All that is gone in the movie.  We now have actual body armored outfits for our colorful protagonists, the fight choreography is better, and the monsters have halfway decent animatronics. The special effects are much improved (as much as can be expected from anything in the 90's) and the villain can be vaguely taken seriously. Somewhat.

  Personally I have to say, when they're all suited up, kicking ass, spouting cheesy one-liners in the heat of battle, and saving the world in all six colors... I like it. Its a saturday morning live-action cartoon with a proper Hollywood budget.  Its fun in a young-at-heart popcorny way.  However when the movie take stabs at character development, only one or two actors in the whole cast has enough believability to carry any development at all.  Its unfortunate too. It seems like they really have their heart into it.  But sadly in these kinds of serious and mature moments, it falls flat on its face and fumbles the ball.  Its like a dog trying to be a cat.  This kind of movie, based on this kind of show, will never be critically accepted. It'll never be synonymous with anything but the kid's section at a rental joint and 'nostalgia'.  Perhaps it should stay that way.

  So, alas, we have our fully American big-budget Power Ranger romp.  With probably one of the best villains the franchise has ever seen. Ivan Ooze.  Say what you will about this movie, but Ooze still makes me laugh. He's the best written, best acted character in the whole movie. He gets all the best lines, a killer outfit and the actor is clearly having loads of fun.  He's a blast to watch.  Otherwise, the big budget charm of this movie wont do much to win over anyone who isnt already a fan. Its a one-off deal. And already a mixed bag at that.  Anyone not nostalgically attached whatsoever should stay away. Its Power Rangers! What did you expect? Good writing? Decent acting? A good story?
No, sorry people. On principle alone, 'The Movie' isn't a good movie.

But, those hungry for a shiny, colorful piece of 90's nostalgia with all the fancy gadgets, blinking lights, bells and whistles one could ever hope for...

It's morphin' time.

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