How much you appreciate the movie instalment of the popular 90s TV show will entirely depend on whether you were a fan or not. Nostalgia can hide many faults and it does exactly that here; capturing a moment in many people’s childhoods while actually delivering a story that isn’t that bad.
Not to be confused: this isn’t much more than an extended episode but one that feels slightly special. Unlike other TV shows which just throw a couple of episodes together and call it a movie, Power Rangers actually attempts to up the ante and create a story which has lasting consequences and much more than a usual 20 minute instalment of the TV show.
This includes introducing a new villain. Paul Freeman, better known as the principle bad guy in Raiders of the Lost Ark, plays Ivan Ooze and steals the film. He is a camp, over-the-top cartoon of a villain who transforms, slimes people and actually poses a threat to the Power Rangers.
Those Rangers are the original stars of the TV show (for the most part). The cast had changed slightly from the 1993 original but Jason David Frank, Amy Jo Johnson and David Yost will all be familiar to fans of the original series. Each return as iconic Rangers and the fighting is just as choreographed as many will remember from the show. Again, this brings a smile for anyone who was a fan and when the high-tempo music begins to match the fighting sequences, you may find yourself transported back to the 90s.
Which is why it is also a bold move to make some major changes to the staples of the show. Circumstances introduce new “powers” for the Rangers and brand new “zoids” and even suits. It is a credit to the movie that it attempts something different, a move that would then be carried on into the show itself.
Nostalgia can only get you so far though and this is still a film aimed squarely at kids with little in the way of decent story and plot. It isn’t a surprise where the movie goes and the direction of the story overall. It is also a victim of it’s time with poor CGI aging it badly.
Overall, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ first movie is a good attempt but has aged badly. It has plenty of nostalgia-worthy quality for fans of the original show but a camp villain, poor CGI and a story, which although ambitious still has major faults, means this is a journey into the past you may want to take only once.
Rating – 2.5
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)