Morphin mania appears to have cooled somewhat during the past year, as the novelty of the campy Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV series has begun to wear off. The movie won’t do much to reverse the trend. But the sci-fi adventure pic, which is much slicker than its small-screen counterpart, should please the millions of youngsters who remain addicted.
The Rangers are six teenage martial artists who moonlight as superheroes when they’re not attending high school in Angel Grove, USA. Each has a color-coded uniform and Zord, a mystically powered, animal-shaped attack vehicle.
Individually, each Ranger can kick more butt than a dozen Ninja Turtles. Most of the battle scenes – and the rubber bogeymen – are lifted intact from a Japanese TV series, giving the show an undeniably amusing air of low-rent tackiness.
The special effects in the movie, shot in Australia, are a great deal more special. High point is a battle with two huge, brightly metallic insect creatures that thrash downtown Angel Grove. On just about every other level, however, the pic plays like an elongated version of a 30-minute episode. Dialogue is as corny as Kansas in August. The photogenic young actors are, well, sincere.
The plot involves the accidental unearthing of Ivan Ooze (Paul Freeman), a centuries-old villain who’s bent on crushing Zordon (Nicholas Bell), the Rangers’ mentor, and ruling the world. In order to save Angel Grove, the Rangers journey to a distant planet where a mysterious power source is hidden. There they are aided by Dulcea (Gabrielle Fitzpatrick), a warrior woman who wears what appears to be a Stone Age version of a string bikini.
There is plenty of slam-bang action here, but no genuine bloodshed. Some of the dialogue is difficult to hear over the din.