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Saturday, June 2, 2012

My 100 Worst Movies of the 90's - 06 - Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (1995)

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movies
(1995; Twentieth Century Fox)
Another fad from the 90’s, this one appealing to young males as apposed to young girls, Power Rangers was an import that was sort of Godfrey Ho’d (the process of cutting new footage into old footage to change the cast or narrative) in places to feature American actors in the dialogue portions with the original fight scenes at the end of each episode.  It was campy, but sort of fun in its own weird way.  It was a blatant Voltron ripoff, and it was some of the most low-budget crap you’ll ever lay your eyes on, but I like camp.  I enjoy riffing on b-grade nonsense.  So what happens when you take B-grade and give it a budget?  You get Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie.

This one is a truly surreal experience.  By the time this movie came out, I had already grown out of watching the show (I pretty much gave up on it after its first year) and didn’t recognize a lot of the characters, especially the bad guys.  This was a strange little movie, filled with terrible acting, silly-looking monsters and really, really bad special effects.  One of the things that made the first season of the show sort of fun to riff on was how bad it was while just not giving a crap.  It was cheap and it knew it.  This movie acts as though it forgot it had a budget behind it and decided to keep the same terrible actors from the new series on for the fans and that is a mistake because they can’t freaking act.  

The film sort of has a plot.  It has to do with the Power Rangers losing their ability to summon their robots and weapons, and in the mean time their leader was kidnapped.  So they team up with this celestial being and learn a new fighting style that’s even more powerful than ever.  So we get lots and lots of mindless action that is so badly choreographed I would have thought Godfrey Ho himself directed this.  I can tell he didn’t however, because if he did it would have been AWESOME! (I’m sorry.  Ho’s movies are bad, but god they can be a lot of fun.)

The dialogue is also terrible.  Actors swipe their arms in rhythm with their speech (they have to because we can’t see their mouths move behind their goofy masks) and they shout lines in monotone.  The action is worse as we get one cut of a character striking at thin air followed by a second cut of a reaction from the target.  This worked on the TV show but when your movie has a slightly higher budget, we expect more.  

Box office-wise, this one did good... I suppose.  For a movie it still didn’t have a mega-budget but it was a boost from the TV show’s weak fare.  It more than doubled its return, but man it sucked.  This movie was a failure.  It came out the same year as Toy Story, one of the best films ever made, and it pales in comparison.  

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