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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

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RELEASE DATE: June 30
RELEASE DATE: June 30

MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS: THE MOVIE is easily the crappiest movie in my Summer of ’95 retrospective so far. Maybe less offensive than BATMAN FOREVER, since it doesn’t seem to be made by professionals who should know any better, but it’s really something. I know it’s an extension of a cheesy kids TV show made up partly of stock footage from Japanese shows, but it’s amazing that a soundtrack album and a little bad CGI was enough to get this into theaters alongside real movies. APOLLO 13 and

JUDGE DREDD came out the same day. Watching it 20 years later POWER RANGERS does not seem like it belongs in the company of either, and the dark, low quality transfer on the DVD isn’t helping things. It didn’t get completely killed at the box office, though. That weekend it came in below APOLLO 13, POCAHONTAS and BATMAN FOREVER, but above JUDGE DREDD.

Like APOLLO 13 this is the story of an elite team of squares chosen to put on uniforms and helmets and fly into space. The Power Rangers are five teenagers chosen by a giant face in a glass tube named Zordon (Nicholas Bell, DARK CITY) to “transform into a superhuman fighting force” and defend the Australian-looking city of Angel Grove, California. That means morphing into masked and color-coded martial arts super heroes and piloting robotic dinosaurs called Zords that combine into a bigger, humanoid robot called Megazord to fight giant monsters. In their spare time the Power Rangers like to skydive, rollerblade and act as role models to local children who don’t know they’re the Power Rangers because it’s a secret identity, although that is never relevant to the story. As far as we see, none of them have parents, schools, jobs, homes or alone time.

Let's be honest, these are some pretty fuckin cool motorcycle helmets. Yeah, maybe it's weird to have a fake mouth on your helmet, but who says you can't?
Let’s be honest, these are some pretty fuckin cool motorcycle helmets. Yeah, maybe it’s weird to have a fake mouth on your helmet, but who says you can’t?

Usually I guess they fight a sorceress lady and a skinless HELLRAISER type guy who have a pigman and an apeman with golden wings as their lackeys, but today some construction workers accidentally dig up an ancient egg that hatches into “Ivan Ooze” (Paul Freeman, DOUBLE TEAM, HOT FUZZ), a blue wizard dude who cackles and puns, shrinks those bad guys into a snowglobe and hatches an ingenious plot to hand out jars of purple slime that brainwash all of the local adults into digging up his two giant robot insects that are buried in the dirt because that way he can take over the world but first he has to go to the “command center for [Zordon’s] never-ending struggle against evil” and smash a bunch of stuff so that the Rangers become Powerless and Zordon’s tube breaks and he’s an old alien guy laying on a bunch of crystals slowly dying. Therefore a robot beams the now regular teens to a planet where they will have to obtain “The Great Power” in order to save Zordon and be able to turn into Power Rangers again. Obviously.

This sounds like an inexcusable suicide mission to send some unarmed kids on, because many people have tried before and all have failed. The ground is strewn with the skeletons of giants who tried before them and failed. The middle of the movie is a pretty dull quest on this planet of rocks and woods. There’s a lady named Dulcea (Gabrielle Fitzpatrick, Snowy River: The McGregor Saga) who looks like the Barbarian Queen, but otherwise the only lifeforms are a dinosaur skeleton that comes to life, statues that come to life, and birdmen sent by Ivan Ooze, all of whom they have to fight and kick into walls and things so they explode.

The quest earns them new animal symbols and ninja costumes. There’s an actual kind of funny joke where they’re told their new animals in a ceremony (wolf, falcon, etc.) but one guy is sad because “I’m a frog.” (I don’t want to be Mr. Pink.) Later they’re fighting in giant robots of their animals and he seems okay having his make a “ribbet” sound, so that’s nice.

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The martial arts scenes are kinda fun, but could use more variety. The gag where they kick a guy and he goes flying on a wire and slams into something and explodes into slime is the best effect in the movie, so they do it over and over again. Still, it’s fun how much they flip around and travel from point A to B using handsprings. Even though they can basically fly they like to use grappling guns and swing around like Batman. And they do moves like that thing where you jump up and just run on a guy in the air, a whole bunch of kicks in one. You guys do that move too, right? I love that move.

Credited second unit directors are Gary Hymes (action choreographer for HOOK), Jeff Pruitt (fight choreographer for MARTIAL OUTLAW) and Jeff Imada (John Carpenter’s favorite stunt guy) for the “ooze fight.”

It wouldn’t be fair to complain about all the cheesiness in the movie as if it’s not part of the appeal. For example, the bland interchangeability of the characters is pretty funny. They are ethnically diverse and they wear different colored uniforms, but otherwise the only difference I notice is that the Pink Ranger (Amy Jo Johnson, who it says here was also on the tv show Felicity playing some sort of troubled roommate who is a guitarist/singer-songwriter and searching for her birth mother or something like that, who knows) gets more emotional about everything. Also they have just enough of two painfully broad “comic” relief characters to make things weird – they forget to put on their parachutes and almost jump and the Rangers laugh about this near-tragedy. Those goofballs. Almost died horribly and caused this skydiving company to be sued out of existence. Ha ha ha.

And I gotta approve the use of animatronic monster dudes just hanging around. There’s a pigman with a monocle. Coulda used one of those in BATMAN FOREVER for sure.

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That kind of stuff was pretty goofy and out-of-date for movies of the time, but it holds up much better than the stuff they did to try to play with the big boys. The decision that really doesn’t withstand the test of time, among other tests, was to replace the show’s lo-fi robot costumes with computer animation which, at least at their budget, was not yet up to snuff to handle giant robots. The “Mega Ninja Zord” vs. Giant Ivan Ooze scene beats even the MUMMY RETURNS Scorpion King scene for hilariously terrible digital effects released in theaters. It’s hard to even remember a time when animation this crude was played on TV.

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So you get a laugh, but not the cool robot action they were probly going for. Hats off, though, for trying to make what I believe is the first digital giant robot effects (beating MARS ATTACKS! by a year) and for the deadpan use of an “Emergency Only” button that makes their robot knee the other robot in the balls. And it works! I guess Ivan shouldn’t have built his with that testicular pain simulator.

So, other than the embarrassing computer animation what distinguishes this from episodes of the TV show? Well, the score is by Graeme Revell (DEAD CALM, HARD TARGET, THE CROW, STRANGE DAYS) and music supervisor is Happy Walters (JUDGMENT NIGHT), who put together a soundtrack featuring The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Devo and Van Halen, I guess maybe to help the parents survive through the movie. But the catchiest song is pretty obnoxious, it’s “Trouble” by a group called Shampoo and it sounds kinda like a fake-bratty cheerleader chant.

The Ranger costumes look very similar to on the show, but they’re armourized, they’re not just spandex. The Yellow Ranger has headlights on top of hers (“Activate power beam!”) which I assume is a movie thing, but I could be wrong.

post-script:

"At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi."
“At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi.”

THE MOVIE director Bryan Spicer had come from TV (Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, SeaQuest DSV) but he followed this with McHALE’S NAVY and FOR RICHER OR POORER. And then obviously he returned immediately to TV where he has been extremely prolific. Just a few of the shows he’s directed for: The X-Files, The Lone Gunmen, Dark Angel, C.S.I., 24, Prison Break, Heroes, Human Target, V, etc.

Co-writer Arne Olsen had written RED SCORPION and COP AND 1/2, his subsequent works have included ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN 2 and GRIZZLY RAGE. The other writer, John Kamps, has gone a little more respectable with THE BORROWERS, ZATHURA, GHOST TOWN and PREMIUM RUSH.

Of the Rangers in the movie, Pink Ranger Amy Jo Johnson has had the most high profile career. She was the lead in many TV movies including the Lois Duncan adaptation KILLING MR. GRIFFIN and the Olympic gymnast eating disorder story PERFECT BODY before being in the casts of Felicity (50 episodes), The Division (22 episodes) and Flashpoint (75 episodes). Last year she was on 8 episodes of Covert Affairs.

But Black Ranger Johnny Yong Bosch has been the most prolific, racking up 159 acting credits on IMDb, mostly as a voice artist for anime and video games (he even plays Kaneda in the dub of AKIRA). In 2005 he co-directed a DTV horror movie called DEVON’S GHOST: LEGEND OF THE BLOODY BOY, co-written by Yellow Ranger Karan Ashley. And he’s also in a few cheap-ass action movies:

White Ranger Jason David Frank has a couple of those under his belt too. The one I need to see is the one where he plays stuntman John Stewart in FALL GUY: THE JOHN STEWART STORY, written, directed and produced by John Stewart (ACTION U.S.A.). I don’t usually spend twenty-some-bucks on a blind buy I expect to be cheesy, but I just ordered it after watching this trailer:

In 2010 Frank began competing in mixed martial arts, going undefeated in 4 amateur fights and 1 pro. From what I have read none of his opponents exploded into slime when he beat them.

MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS: THE MOVIE seems to have been a successful outreach for the afternoon kids show which started in 1993. The movie made $66 million, which is not a huge amount of money, but if it wasn’t profitable then somebody got fuckin ripped off because none of that money is onscreen. It was followed by the 1997 sequel TURBO: A POWER RANGERS MOVIE which was even more like a TV show and should probly be called TURBO: THE LAST POWER RANGERS MOVIE because it made less than $10 million worldwide.

Actually, Lionsgate is working on a new rebootening or adaptification of some kind, from the director of PROJECT ALMANAC (Jonathan Liebesman’s cousin). Meanwhile, Wikipedia informs me that the TV show has stayed on the air this entire time! After three years under the original title they started a tradition of revamping with a new name and robots and stuff each season (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, Power Rangers Jungle Fury, etc.). They only took a break in 2010 to play re-edited versions of the original episodes. This year it’s called Power Rangers Dino Charge.

appendix: Joseph Kahn’s POWER/RANGERS

Earlier this year director Joseph Kahn (TORQUE) released this completely unauthorized 14-minute Power Rangers short that looks much more slick and cinematic than the actual MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS: THE MOVIE. That caused some initial legal troubles because of the official reboot in the works.

We’ve all seen (or purposely not seen) fan films before, but this is of a different breed. Producer Adi Shankar (THE GREY, DREDD, A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES) is the kind of guy who does what many nerds think they would do if they had a bunch of money: spend it on the kind of movies they want to see, money be damned. So he started what he calls his “Bootleg Universe” where he gets real directors and actors to do weird shorts based on characters he doesn’t have the rights to.

The previous best known example was THE PUNISHER: DIRTY LAUNDRY directed by Phil Joanou (THREE O’CLOCK HIGH, GRIDIRON GANG):

I know that one is popular, but I’m not a fan. Thomas Jane already did my favorite Punisher movie. He gives a great badass performance in what is basically an ’80s action/revenge movie with some extra absurdity and over-the-topness to honor its comic book origins. I disagree that it’s an improvement to put him in this fake-gritty bullshit as a white avenger beating digital blood out of the all black “fuckin animals” and “savages” as Ron Perlman’s character calls them. I prefer him fighting the guitar playing assassin and the oaf with the striped shirt who nearly takes down the apartment building wrestling him.

POWER/RANGERS has an even more aggressive poser-grittiness, but in this case I believe it’s a joke. Following in the footsteps of the stories that followed in the footsteps of ’80s super hero revisionist stories like The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, Kahn and co-writers James Van Der Beek (!) and Dutch Southern move the light-hearted adventures to a dystopian future where Power Rangers are physically and psychologically scarred from their battles, they turn on each other, they become murderers, they die, they curse, and dude it is sooo fucked up man. They make the point that recruiting teens to fight monsters is basically enlisting child soldiers.

It’s a great looking short, a very detailed, fully-realized world, the opposite of the real movie. There’s a cool fight scene in the middle between the Black Ranger (Gichi Gamba, TORQUE, THICK AS THIEVES) and gangsters/soldiers/something led by Will Yun Lee (THE WOLVERINE). Even though he’s wearing the Power Rangers uniform (now with fake rubber muscles) it’s a fight that seems more inspired by THE RAID, with the Ranger stealing people’s guns and knives and using them against them. (Choreographers: Don Theerathada, Daniel “Danimal” Hernandez.) Maybe the coolest bit is when he takes a couple bullets to the helmet. It jerks his head a little but he keeps going.

But I think there’s a joke that some fans (who said that this is what a Power Rangers movie should be like) don’t get: this deliberately removes most of what is appealing about Power Rangers. I mean wasn’t it a show about people who do kung fu poses and shout commands as they get into robotic animals and dinosaurs that combine into a bigger robot to fight giant monsters? Yes, it was, and none of that shit is in the short. The only robots are glimpsed briefly from the distance, blurry and shakycam, in an opening flashback. Most of this movie is about the star of Dawson’s Creek acting tough, shouting exposition and knocking furniture over in a futuristic interrogation room.

And what about colorful villains? Not gritty enough. As soon as they bring back Rita (apparently played by an actress who played her on some of the shows, but not the movie) they cut to the credits. “People love these silly Power Rangers. How can we do it without all the silly stuff?”

It’s such an effective parody of the “gritty reboot” that people seemed to actually like it. Which hopefully will influence the actual reboot they’re doing, because that could be some funny shit.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Thursday, July 2nd, 2015 at 12:51 pm and is filed under Martial Arts, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

33 Responses to “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie”

  1. My one okay memory of this is that it used Van Hagar’s “Dreams” over the last scene, which involved fireworks or something. I watched this in the theater, not necessarily by choice because the woman babysitting us brought us along with her kids to which the TV show was basically a religion.

    Amy Jo Johnson is memorable for one other thing besides the VH1 movie where she played the lead singer of the band that opened Woodstock. On an episode (featuring the leads of the DAREDEVIL cast since Jon Favreau was in it) of the great IFC show DINNER FOR FIVE, Jennifer Garner says she gets mistaken for her, to which future divorcee Ben Affleck asks who the fuck is she.

  2. Not gonna front I used to watch the shit out of that show when it first came out. By the time the movie dropped though I had already outgrown it. I did see it on home video eventually with my little cousins. I remember thinking it was ok and was glad that the production values were at least better than on TV.

    I was also 12 years old and of less discriminate taste than I am today though also very precocious. That was a point in my life where I was already well versed in classic R rated horror, action and comedy fare since I grew up on that stuff since I was very small and was also really getting into Hitchcock and Kurosawa & Kubrick and moving on past just watching stuff like EVIL DEAD 2, 48 HOURS and COMMANDO all the time. Thinking back 1995 was actually a really awesome year for me in terms of coming of age is concerned but boy this retrospective series really made me realize that I can’t believe just how many turkeys really dropped that summer.

  3. and why is this the first time I hear of a POWER RANGERS reboot movie. Somehow I must’ve been under a rock when that was announced cause I genuinely missed it and usually stay up to date on these type of things. I guess the capitalizing on 90’s nostalgia thing is really real after all.

  4. Oh and Kimberly was bae. Trini wasn’t bad either (R.I.P. to the actress). Can’t really remember the other girls from the MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS era though.

  5. TROUBLE was by a proto-Tatu double act called Shampoo, and it was very popular in the UK in the mid-90s, at least among kids. Apparently Shampoo were very big in Japan. I remember a kid in my school claiming it was an early Spice Girls single “before they got really big, yes it was, you just don’t remember it was then”

    As I mentioned in the CASPER comments, or maybe it was BRAVHEART, anyway, I chose the ghost film over this back in the day despite loving the show at the time, and I think I still regret that despite seeing MMPR quite recently and finding it terrible and even kind of boring.

  6. Ah yes. POWER RANGERS. Don’t have much to say about them. I watched it when I was a tween, but don’t have any nostalgic feelings towards it. I remember that the series was quite controveral among parent groups because of its “violence” and probably come kids lost some teeth while roundhouse kicking each other. The producers responded by airing PSAs with the actors, saying the usual “Don’t try this at home, we are professionals” stuff. (I liked that they showed the nerdy looking blue ranger actor doing a backflip and commenting it with something like “I may not look like it, but I’m a professionally trained athlelete”, which hopefully boosted some nerdy kid’s ego into becoming a successful martial artist.)

    Because of that controversy something very rare happened: Over here, the movie ran in theatres in 2 versions. An uncut one with a “12” rating and a cut one with a “6” rating. When I rented the movie on VHS, my sis and I made sure to get the uncut one, of course. (We also rented NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and DEMON KNIGHT that New Years Eve and the triple punch of Oogie Boogie’s worms, the Power Rangers slime and the Cryptkeeper gore, made her actually feel a little bit sick afterwards.)

    Random trivia: I never watched more than the original series, but one of the follow ups (Space Force or something like that. I don’t know.) featured some soldiers wearing the armor from STARSHIP TROOPERS and apparently Vernon Wells played the villain in a full season of another spin off show.

  7. Vern, I’ve been trying to get you or anyone else to watch ACTION USA for years. It’s a movie made entirely by and for stuntmen. The first scene has cars. The second scene has tits. The third scene has shooting. The fourth scene has a dude hanging from a helicopter. What I’m saying is anybody who can direct a piece of work like this deserves the chance to direct a movie about himself.

    I am too old for Power Rangers so I don’t know what the hell y’all are talking about.

  8. Steve Wang (DRIVE 1997) was the original director of this film:
    http://www.nerdsociety.com/interview-with-steve-wang-kamen-rider-dragon-knight-guyver-predator/
    NS: I read on imdb.com that you backed out of directing Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie after disagreements over the production design with various companies involved. Was that a tough situation for you? Do you wish that you got to direct the Power Rangers movie?
    SW: I did quit that film after being on it for about 3 months, but it was not over production design. To make a long story short, I quit because they hired me for my experience in making these type of films but did not care what I thought of the script or listen to me on anything creative. I was treated like garbage by people who knew nothing about Power Rangers or cared to. In the end I did not respect my bosses and saw the production heading towards a giant train wreck, which it did.
    I have no regrets about quitting the film, my only regret was that the producers involved didn’t care about the film and it showed. I can go on for days about all the bad things that happened, some totally over the top and ridiculous. But hey, it’s Hollywood and that crap happens everyday. You either accept it or you get out. All I know is that I seemed to be the only one who wanted to make a good film and you know the old saying, “No good deed shall go unpunished!” LOL anyway, I know I could have made a cool Power Rangers film if only I was given a real chance.

    How his burgeoning directing career went away:
    http://www.kungfumagazine.com/ezine/article.php?article=1166
    CD: Drive is one of the best martial arts films produced in America. Why do you think it was treated so poorly here?
    SW: Thank you, but that’s one I’m still trying to figure out. When we finished the film, we tested it, and when the scores came back it was incredible. People just loved this movie. The investor took it to the film market in Italy and a week later I took a call from him. He said, “It’s about the movie, nobody wants to buy it.” I thought it was impossible. I made the film for the foreign audience and I know what they like. They like action, comedy, and special effects – they respond to that. There’s one hour of action in an hour and fifty minute movie. How could they possibly not enjoy this? About two years later they took it away from me, butchered it, then just released it to HBO. Brian White who was working for Hong Kong Legends was a huge fan of Drive. He contacted me and said they had my film but wanted to release the director’s cut of it. He said, “I’ve never been wrong about anything before when it comes to Hong Kong action movies and we saw your film. We were at the film market selling Jet Li movies and John Woo movies and people were saying Drive was the prize of the market.” They thought it was going to be a huge hit because it was the perfect Hong Kong / American crossover. The investor thought if he kept the film, cut it shorter, and changed the music it would be a bigger hit. He never sold the film, refused all the offers, spent another year butchering it, then it died. So they had to lie to me about everything because if they had told me the truth, I never would have cooperated. So anyways, Brian from Hong Kong Legends put out my version of the film and it was huge – it even beat out some James Bond collection. So that’s what happened in a nutshell and it still can’t get a proper release here in the U.S.

  9. Vern, I love your relentless and defiant use of references to the STAR WARS prequels in general and PHANTOM MENACE in particular. I’m never sure whether you’re doing it as a genuine fan or just to annoy people. But keep it up.

  10. The Original Paul

    July 2nd, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    The whole Power Rangers thing came along a bit too late for me to be in it (I think I was in my late teenage years when it first started, although I could be wrong about that – anyway, it didn’t get popular over here until at least the mid nineties I think) so I pretty much missed the entire TV show. The movie, unfortunately, I didn’t miss; and while I’m tempted to try a BATMAN FOREVER-style defence (along the lines of “It’s not quite as bad as you think it is, honest!”)… I can’t. I really can’t. Yeah, the best thing about this one are the occasional odd moment, and Vern’s pretty much listed all of them.

    Other than that… it’s not on MUMMY RETURNS levels of sheer unwatchability, mostly because it’s not just one obnoxious CGI action scene after another. But man, the Power Rangers movie has no reason to exist. It’s bizarrely badly-paced – you’d think you’d at least get some good fast-paced action but actually the whole thing is crawlingly slow. I think there’s about half an hour of pure exposition before we get any action at all, and at that point it’s just a huge let-down. More than that, though, there’s just no story here. I think this might be one of the most blatant cash-in movies ever – the total lack of effort, care or passion involved in making it is obvious from the first frame to the last. (Well, it’s got that in common with MUMMY RETURNS, at least.)

    And talking of which, that Steve Wang story is just sad. Nothing Sam says surprises me. I gotta see if I can get a copy of DRIVE from somewhere. It might be on DVD over here even if it isn’t in America.

  11. grimgrinningchris

    July 2nd, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    The “dark & gritty” short film and all the nitwits shouting from the rooftops “THIS is what a Power Rangers movie should be like!!!” just baffles me.

    It’s more geek rationalization… Trying to “adult” up something they probably should have grown out of as kids to justify their fandom…. “No, man… you don’t get it… It’s daaaaark and violent and serious!”

    Yeah, take everything about a property that made you fall in love with it and completely change it… Ugh!

  12. I really dug this in 1995. Never saw the show but still felt nostalgic for putting a cheesy kids show on the big screen. Skydiving, the soundtrack, Ivan Ooze puns. It worked for me, but then I was also getting over my first breakup and looking for an escape. Haven’t revisited in 20 years.

  13. As a kid I fucking hated the Power Rangers, even at 5 years old I thought it was the cheesiest, hokiest shit ever, it was probably the first time I learned that my taste in entertainment could be very different than everyone else, but to be honest the only kids I knew who were really into the Power Rangers were two redneck kids (I seem tor remember other kids dissing it as “for babies” which as you know is the worst insult kids can use to describe something).

    So Power Rangers is one of the things from the 90’s I have no nostalgia for whatsoever.

    By the way, Johnny Yong Bosch is one of the best voice actors in the anime dub business, I love that guy.

  14. Great review Vern (as always). I’ve got kind of a soft spot for Power Rangers. I was about 10 when the show first came out. Yes it was super cheesy and moralising but it also served as a gateway drug to Godzilla/Gamera movies and martial arts flicks. So I’m thankful for that.

    You must must must check out a film Johnny Yong Bosch did a few years back called Broken Path (aka Broken Fist, aka Attack of the Yakuza). It’s an awesome martial arts flick that is essentially one 90 minute fight sequence! I’m not kidding, after a 10 minute introduction the whole movie plays out in real time as this guy has to fight off countless attackers. It’s directed by Koichi Sakamoto who was the fight choreographer on Steve Wang’s Drive.

  15. I had completely forgotten that there was such as thing as a Power Rangers movie. I was around nine when the Power Rangers were really popular, and I really hated the show. It was far too cheesy for me to enjoy, and I thought the love it got in school was inexplicable. My brother was about five at the time, and we bonded over making fun of how terrible the Power Rangers were. It was a little something that set us apart. Anyway, one day I got terribly sick and had to stay home from school. I was kind of in and out of consciousness on the couch when I heard noises coming from the television. And there was my brother, sitting in front of the TV watching the fucking Power Rangers! It turns out that for some time he had bowed to peer pressure and started watching the show so he wouldn’t be left behind. My school day started later than his, so all this time he had been sneaking down stairs in order to catch some of the show before being shipped off to his kindergarten class. I remember absolutely blowing up at the time. It was a complete betrayal.

  16. Fun Fact: This movie opened up relations between Hollywood and Australia, allowing Sydney to stand in for every american city for years to come.

    Just think, without MMPR:TM, we would have no Matrix Sequels, McG might’ve directed Superman Returns or any Star Wars Prequels, and that is a world I do not want to live in.

  17. Jack – I was trying to remember what that was called. Haven’t seen it and couldn’t find it legitimately, but read about it on a list of underappreciated action movies.

  18. I was 5 when this came out and it was like, the greatest shit ever at the time, although I have more memories of the sequel, because the villain in that one had some serious cleavage. It made 6 year old me feel some things, know what I mean?

    I haven’t seen this one in years and I assume it’s shit, but like Jack Thursby, Power Rangers was my gateway to kaijus and martial arts flicks. That’s pretty awesome for a children’s TV show. I also can’t believe we talked about Power Rangers this much and haven’t once mentioned Isaac Florentine. He cut his teeth on that show! I think the show deserves some respect. It was weird and introduced kids to some stuff they might not have been fully aware of yet at that age, and it gave us Isaac Florentine, that alone justifies its existence.

  19. I read that Issac Florentine really enjoyed his time on the show. They gave him a lot of creative freedom to shoot.

  20. “Just think, without MMPR:TM, we would have no Matrix Sequels”

    Ohhhh, Sydney was the city in the Matrix sequels?

  21. THE MATRIX 1 also was filmed mostly in Sydney, on the streets and at Fox Studios. It was one of the first major Hollywood productions to use our state government’s(at the time) tax concession for overseas film companies. Pretty sure it’s not as attractive now, since a lot of Hollywood stuff gets filmed in Queensland, the latest being the new PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN.

  22. Seems like everything is scorched earth now.

  23. Between Robot Jox, co-writing Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, and filming Fortress in Australia, I wonder if Stuart Gordon was considered as a possible director?

  24. I was 10 when POWER RANGERS premiered. I had outgrown NINJA TURTLES because I didn’t like the direction the cartoon & comic were head in anymore (it was around the end of Mirage Turtles and beginning of Image Turtles in comics & the more sci-fi with new villains stuff in the toon which were eh). I also loathed TURTLES 3. So POWER RANGERS was like my surrogate kung fu shit to talk about with kids who weren’t fortunate enough to be allowed to watch Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee or Shaw Bros Studios movies like was. Not that growing up in Washington Heights there were many but there were a lot of traditional and more conservative families in my hood definitely.

    Even as gangs like the Wild Cowboys ran wild right down the block from me in a section of good ol pre-Guiliani NYC with only ONE precinct for 60 plus blocks full of a majority of dominicans as well as a lot of mexicans, ricans, blacks, arabs and jews there were a lot of good hearted people from DR and other countries of origin keeping the sanity alive amidst pure chaos (ever seen your friends dad get shot up in the middle of the street outside your window? not cool) . So I couldn’t really talk about Jason or Pinhead to many of the kids at school. The most I had was like GI JOE, SILVER HAWKS, TURTLES and THUNDERCATS and stuff like that.

    My parents were kinda unconventional they were Dominican immigrants and more laid back than your average American parent. So in the sense that even as a shorty I watched movies like SCARFACE and THE FLY with them. I was also still a kid so I watched DISNEY movies and the most warped kid movies to ever be called kid movies like GREMLINS and THE GATE and stuff like that as well. My folks always explained to me that it was just “grown up make believe” and since they were separated and both worked to support me I spent the majority of the time at my aunts and cousins who lived in a worst section than my mom did. So they knew I’d be exposed to worse in real life anyway. But that’s the kind of stuff that got me into checking out the behind the scenes shit for movies at a very young age which was awesome.

    At the same time it also made me more mature for my age for better in the sense that I was a very eloquent speaker which is a skill that has helped me greatly and always charmed people, a good observer and listener and an overall secure person since an extremely young age. I was never embarrassed to read comic books or video game magazines in high school and nobody ever gave me any shit for it no matter what click they fell into. I was always just me. Rapping in hallways between classes, selling chocolate milk for 50 cents cause my family instilled hustle in me from jump and shit like that.

    People always respected my individuality as a kid for the most part but I must say but at the same time there would be one or two crack babies that would snap on my reebok classics cause I didn’t see any sense in my parents buying me sneakers they really couldn’t afford (like Jordans) just so I could show off. I always kept it humble and had a very unique style thanks to that cause “fuck a fad”. Anyway if they started beef I always fought back and fought even dirtier. Chin checks were definitely in effect back in the good ol late 80’s and early 90’s.

    But this precociousness also worked for the worse in the sense that because I was such a lone wolf who got easily bored talking to other kid I had developed social anxiety growing up. Even took therapy for it. I was just more into my hobbies than socialising with other kids outside of school because I didn’t like “dumbing myself down”. So I was very cold to the people that always tried to bond with me but movies, TV shows, cartoons and comics, video games and music and sports those were my fortresses of solitude; Always there for me during my free time. That’s probably why I always found more fun in making beats with my two deck boombox and later my learning to work my first beat machine than say: joining little league.

    So MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS was like the one thing I did have in common with most of my 5th grade peers at that time and even when I went into middle school I remember so many kids in the cafeteria hyped up for this damn movie. So it was an easy gateway for me. At least the first 3 seasons or whenever it was that they changed from Billy (second best ranger) and Zack to the white bread guy and Jonny Yong Bosh.

    Though I recognized some flaws I also enjoyed the whole Godzilla “it’s low budget as fuck but we make due with what we have” like aspect (I had been into GODZILLA waaaaay before POWER RANGERS). It showed passion and creativity because they still sold the hell out of it and so it was respectable of course that was without ever knowing it was really from some obscure Japanese TV shows back then. So once I learned that I didn’t think Saban was as clever as I gave him credit to be. Also the comic book and cartoon fan in me appreciated the mythology and world building and over the top villains and puddy henchmen.

    But like I said in another post by the time of the movie I was already getting over it and didn’t bother to see it at the flicks. It’s funny in retrospect cause I had no problem going to see CASPER by myself or BATMAN FOREVER with my friends and both movies are no more dumber than this one. I never saw POWER RANGERS: SPEED RACERS or POWER RANGERS: ZOO CREW and whatever the hell else came after either but I do have to say it’s kind of cool of the Green/White Ranger to be the one dude to be like “fuck it I’ll stick around with consistent work and easy money”. It’s only right since he was easily the coolest one.

  25. Random PR memory that popped up in my head earlier: The commercials for the action figures were simply the American ones, not translated into German. The voice over was just Zordon, saying stuff that the target audience wasn’t able to understand (Except when he said “Mighty Morphin’ POWEEEER RAAANGEEERS” once in a while).
    The only thing they added was a kid asking in German “Any question?” at the end. I don’t know if they were just lazy, blew all their money on the license and couldn’t pay for more than one line or where simply assholes, making fun at the kids who couldn’t understand English.

    BTW, does “Mighty Morphin'” means that they are morphing mighty or that they are mighty and able to morph?

  26. My friends and I used to watch this movie all the time during college. We had a drinking game for it. Drink every time the plot stops so that characters can high-five. In fact, we’d do that with EVERY 90s kids movie. High-fives were a big fucking deal back then.

    To this day, we’ll just yell, ‘Gratuitous high-five!’ at each other sometimes.

  27. MAJOR OMISSION ALERT —

    The great Issac Florentine directed a bunch of episodes of the series and acted as fight choreographer for several seasons, iirc.

  28. Funny or Die did a series of videos of a “gritty reboot” of CAPTAIN PLANET, with Don Cheadle in the role. It’s clever for about two minutes into the first one, but after that it kind of goes into TOO MANY COOKS territory. ROBOT CHICKEN did a better spoof, with Ted Turner as the character. FWIW I never liked that show much either though now I can admire it’s environmentally conscious tangent. But all it was something I had to wait through for WCW wrestling to come on Saturday mornings.

  29. Those CAPTAIN PLANET shorts really don’t work on any level, since their only two jokes are “Look! We have celebrities wearing silly costumes of Saturday Morning Cartoon characters!” and “Look! Captain Planet is now a swearing asshole!”

  30. Ted Turner Saves Earth | Robot Chicken | Adult Swim

    Environmental concern kicks ass! SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/AdultSwimSubscribe About Robot Chicken: Robot Chicken is Adult Swim's long-running stop-motion anim...

    The Planeteers | Robot Chicken | Adult Swim

    The Planeteers have a political disagreement with Captain Planet. SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/AdultSwimSubscribe About Robot Chicken: Robot Chicken is Adult Swi...

    I should say ROBOT CHICKEN did two better spoofs.

  31. Sorry Mr. Kahn, you’ve been outdone:

    Power Rangers (2017 Movie) Official Teaser Trailer – ‘Discover The Power’

    Power Rangers – In Theaters March 2017 Featuring the song, “I Walk The Line” by Halsey #PowerRangersMovie https://Facebook.com/PowerRangersMovie https://Twit...

  32. “It’s such an effective parody of the “gritty reboot” that people seemed to actually like it. Which hopefully will influence the actual reboot they’re doing, because that could be some funny shit.” – Vern Predicts (2015)

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