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  Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie Boos For The Ooze
Year: 1995
Director: Bryan Spicer
Stars: Karan Ashley, Johnny Yong Bosch, Steve Cardenas, Jason David Frank, Amy Jo Johnson, David Yost, Paul Schrier, Jason Narvy, Paul Freeman, Gabrielle Fitzpatrick, Nicholas Bell, Peta-Maree Rixon, Jean-Paul Bell, Kerry Casey, Mark Ginther, Julia Cortez
Genre: Action, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Power Rangers are six teenagers from the city of Angel Grove who take up the fight against evil thanks to the machinations of Zordon, an entity who has been leading their battle for thousands of years before they were born. Today the Rangers, wearing their civilian clothes, are participating in a sky diving charity event for the local observatory and it all goes very well, with every Ranger hitting the target on landing. But across the city, their friends Bulk (Paul Schrier) and Skull (Jason Narvy) are way out, and land in a building site. And in this site is uncovered a large, iron seal which when opened sees a huge egg emerge from it - and this spells trouble for the Rangers...

Ah, is there any sight more poignant than yesterday's fads, now discarded for the latest in toys, games, movies or television shows? Well, yeah, probably, but the first Power Rangers movie, a soulless cash-in if ever there was one, makes up for a complete lack of depth with a surface flashiness that entrances the eye like a sparkling jewel. Made of plastic. Written by Arne Olsen from his and John Kamps' story, it is based on a TV series that, like Battle of the Planets before it, took a Japanese original and added American elements to make it more palatable for the Western audiences.

The difference here was that Power Rangers was live action, not a cartoon, although it certainly resembles a live action animation for kids. Perhaps noticing that its stars were less the focus of the series than their stunt doubles, the American cast get much more to do here as the story manages to get them out of their tight fitting suits and into an alternative wardrobe. The villains of the show are also present, but take a back seat to a new baddie, one Ivan Ooze (Paul Freeman hamming it up under layers of latex), who has a nice line in purple goo and equally purple lightning bolts which he liberally fires around.

Yes, it was Mr Ooze in the egg, and he wastes no time in putting his universal domination plans into effect. First he conjures up a group of henchmen from the goo, and sets them on the Rangers who hold their own against them until they are forced to transform into their super-powered alter egos. Meanwhile, Ooze has visited their base and generally smashed it up, leaving Zordon in a bad way and relieving our heroes of their abilities and emphatic hand gestures, although rest assured they can still kickbox with the best of them. Now there's only one hope for humanity, and with the last of his energy Zordon send the Rangers across the galaxy to a distant planet where they can regain their skills.

Tremendously exciting isn't it? Actually, as easy as it is to sneer at the film, it moves along at a breakneck speed and packs in action at every turn; couple this with a self-deprecating sense of humour (Ooze entering the villains' lair with a cheery "Hi honey, I'm home!") and it's all trashily enjoyable. Sure, the Rangers have no personalities outside of the varying colour of their uniforms, and older viewers may find themselves backing the baddie to win, but the filmmakers know their audience and thankfully don't allow the story to lapse into heavy irony or outright parody. The effects tend to look less than impressive now, with clunky CGI prevalent, but the vigour and enthusiasm that energises the product (and it was definitely a merchandising gimmick first and foremost) make the Power Rangers movie a guilty pleasure and a decent item of nineties nostalgia. Music by Graeme Revell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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