PG – 95mins – 1995
IT’S MORPHIN’ TIME!
Even at the ripe old age of 31 I can still be a nostalgic old fool at times, and I enjoy nothing more than to sink back into the comfort of my film and televisual favourites from yesteryear. With the TV series still continuing in its gazillionth incarnation and a much-hyped big screen reboot due in January 2017, I decided to do some revision on a ’90s phenomenon.
I’m not ashamed to admit (although I probably should be) that I used to be a bit of a Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers nut growing up. Even then I was probably just a little too old for the colourful fantasy superhero show, but that didn’t stop me becoming quite obsessed with those intergalactic arse-kickers in their spandex suits and dino-helmets. Action figures, video cassettes, notebooks, backpacks, plastic swords – you name it, I owned it.
Regardless of its quality, this 1995 big screen outing was always destined to be a massive hit, and when viewed through “kid goggles” it does the brand name proud. It sticks to the tried and tested template – an extra-terrestrial evildoer is unleashed who threatens world domination before the teenagers with attitude and their megazords roll up to show them whose boss. Padding comes in the form of an additional quest narrative to track down new ninja powers after the Rangers’ secret HQ is invaded and their original powers drained, but it goes about proceedings with elevated panache.
Bigger (budget) and better (sets and effects – although the early CGI is still rather too obvious) than ever before, MMPR: The Movie is infectiously overconfident, the script bursting with snappy putdowns and droll banter from both good and evil quarters. Big bad Ivan Ooze (Paul Freeman) is a great mix of mad, menacing and mocking, even if tradition dictates that he doesn’t stand a chance against Angel Grove’s most athletic students. Parents will quickly sicken of the constant need for every second of screen time to be filled with absurd asides and inane dialogue, but they can’t deny this isn’t bombastically entertaining eye candy.