Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)

MMPRIt’s kind of sucky that, though “Mighty Morphin” is a solid bit of silly escapism, it’s also a film that promises a lot, but never really amounts to anything, in the end. If you followed “Power Rangers” in the 90’s rabidly like I did, the series was overhauled again after the movie, and everything cool that was in this movie was never featured. Even the cool helmet headlights/scanners. Also, how horrible must it be to live in Angel Grove, eh? Does anyone else suspect this is a hell mouth or is it just me?

In either case, the color coordinated do gooder band of friends known as the Power Rangers are in their first big feature, and it’s filled with odd inconsistencies. Not that the television series was a beaming tide of taut storytelling, but hell, it at least had some sense of silliness that it upheld time and time again. For one, why isn’t Billy the head ranger if he’s the senior Ranger who was there with Kimberly? And is it necessary to dress in your Ranger colors all the time? It almost looks like the writers never have enough faith in the audience to remember which character is their assigned color. It’s likely because though they’re heroes, they’re not all that interesting. They’re broadly written archetypes with no actual flaws.

There’s also not a lot of conflict within the group. Conflict usually makes things in the story so much more interesting, especially when concerning five high schoolers given almost god-like powers over the world, but even when they’ve lost their powers, they band together and try to topple evil. Some bickering would have at least added some sense of story substance. “Mighty Morphin” is a step above the series by far, with some interesting special effects that add to the sleek superheroes, and their journey to garner fancy new powers to fight the evil Ivan Ooze, is pure variety for folks who haven’t quite been accustomed to Zedd and Rita Repulsa.

Ooze has been buried under Angel Grove for a thousand years in an egg (man it has to suck to live there), and now broken free from Lord Zedd and Rita, Ooze has plans of his own for world dominance and imprisons the two baddies. He destroys the command center, kills Zordon, strips the Rangers of their powers, and now they must travel to a far off world to conveniently reclaim even greater power that also serves as a spiritual journey. This allows them to become Ninja Rangers, and then super power rangers with brand new spirit animals.

The Power Rangers save Zordon with love, Ooze’s big plan is to possess the adults of Angel Grove to walk off cliffs to their deaths, and none of the guys on the team ever hit on their sensei, the uber-hot and nearly naked Amazonian warrior Dulcea. Are they really high schoolers? “Power Rangers” was always a lot of gloss and glitter, but not too much pay off, but the film itself is a goofy bit of science fiction junk candy that fed the appetites of Power Rangers addicts during its nineties domination. It’s a fun bit of nostalgia these days, especially when you consider Dulcea likely introduced many of the movie’s young fans to puberty.