It's not fun to have something all written and prepared, only for something to show up at the very last minute and fuck your shit up royally! I had February's Month review all finished, while excluding the topic of Spider-Man (for obvious reasons) I also excluded this little indie movie so I can explain why it's a gigantic ball of unadulterated fail all by it's lonesome.
Before I continue, I am fully aware it was recently pulled from the Internet by Saban. I can understand why it got pulled (cus like it or not PR is a childrens brand) I DON'T agree with the decision to pull it. You mean to tell me things like this and Princess Molestia get pulled cus "that's not allowed" but Mad Mad Mario and the endless pile of Sonic porn online is a-ok?
Just wanted to get that out, back to the rant.
As a child of the 90's. I was infact a fan of Saban's Frankenstein hybrid known as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the show that answered the question of "What happens when you pit 80's Japanese stock footage against half retarded Digimon led by the cast of Killer Instinct?!"
While a ratings winner, I think we could all agree (even hardcore fans of the series) that it was a show practically begging to have the piss taken out of it. With its stock footage, bad acting, laughable writing and corny one liners not even the almighty Arnold Schwarzenegger wouldn't dare read out loud! Yet to me, that's the charm of it. The show knew it was ridiculous that even future iterations such as RPM became self aware of how concussed the writing staff were. Basically take a modern WWE storyline but replace the cast with teenagers from High School Musical, who turn into colourful versions of the Stig from Top Gear and.... Okay, I'm stalling; let's talk about this indie film.
I'm often quite weary when "fans" of a dead franchise offer their spin on things. Especially that laugh-tastic train wreck that was the Tekken movie, the underwelling (but with good intentions) Mega Man movie and the absolute dung heap called Sonic. Yet surely a simple concept like Power Rangers should be easy to translate with an infinitely lower budget than Saban wasted on the first 3 seasons of MMPR right?
Then the film opens with a flashy set piece straight out of Call of Duty and I found myself saying "apparently not!"
Much like Call of Duty, the film makers made the ill fated choice of taking something known for having the piss taken out of it and started treating it 100% serious. So wait, a franchise known for comical acting and messages about friendship long before MLP made cash of it suddenly wants to be taken seriously? And by said seriousness, it gives characters machine guns, drops F-Bombs and shows off more blood and guts than a butchers window?
Before I make my negativity grow, let me go down a few positives on this piece of film. The cinematography works well, costume design vastly superior to the 95 movies capability and the integration scene between Rocky and "Kimberly" was well timed and performed. Beyond that, it's a boring, preachy and rather predictable little story that I can't see working as a full 2 hour movie.
I get that exploring themes such as making kids fight a war against alien tyrants would mentally scar people, but in the same vain I found myself retorting "Yeah, but this is Power Rangers!" in it's premier episode, Kimberly's chief concern was "the helmet is messing up her hair!" now all of a sudden she's trying to maintain a poker face while Rocky violates her rights faster than you can say NSA. The themes the short addressed are worth exploring and raise a few note worthy questions, but I don't think it executed the answers in a way I'm comfortable with. Mainly with Zack the Black Ranger. At what point do you go from taking that laughable notion of "Hip-Hophokido" on the road.... to taking down North Korea?
Folks, if there is one thing I'm sick and tired of beyond Zombies, Reboots and Frozen's fanbase, is this continued notion of taking works of fantasy/escapism and bashing it over the head with the banality of real world news and events. Zack needs to be fighting Koreans like Iron Man needed to Uni beam Pseudo Al-Qaeda!! Fucking desist with this reactionary bullshit, before Saban's private emails are put online and Tommy Oliver gets picked up by the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
Zack snorting crack cocaine and blasting Koreans heads off with guns felt like the movie was being edgy for the sake of it, like a 9 year old throwing shit on the walls screaming "LOOK MOMMY!!! I'M BEING FUCKING EDGEY!!!" (Also known as Mortal Kombat) and comes off looking like the opposite and incredibly immature.
The thing I've seen people praise the movie for is how it ties into the shows story/lore but spiralled into a dark dystopian future. Which I can smugly declare that's weapons grade bullshit! The fact the movie sets up shop squarely in the Power Rangers Zeo era, with it's continued references to the Machine empire, is all I need to curb stomp this movie quicker than the one sided fights against the Megazord in any MMPR episode!
So if I'm to accept this happens in Zeo's place in the timeline, maybe you could fill up these plot holes big enough to drive the Ultrazord through.
1: If this is in the Zeo era, why does the team have their MMPR suits?
2: If Rocky turned to the dark side and Jason is dead (spoiler alert) then who's the Red Ranger exactly?
3: Why is Kimberly still a ranger when she left before the events of Zeo happened?
4: Why is Zack still a ranger when he lost his powers in Season 2 of MMPR. Many years before Zeo happened?
5: Shouldn't Bulk & Skull be in their Junior Police Patrol phase by this point and not the generic bully stereotypes?
6: Jason and Kim got married. At what point did those two ever show any romantic affection for each other?
7: Shouldn't Rocky have a cybernetic spine instead of a cybernetic leg?
8: Billy wouldn't be on Earth, he'd be on Aquatar!
9: Tommy was in his Green Ranger suit when Kimberly died (spoiler alert) so why would anyone accept Rita was her by the time the events of Zeo happened? Nobody is that stupid!
10: How come we never see Cogs or the entire Royal House of Gadgetry? Despite the Machine Empire being name dropped constantly.
11: Why is Rita working alone? She was married to Lord Zedd at the time.
12: Why is Tommy so hung up over Kimberly? When the show clearly made attempts at a forced romance between him and Kat.
13: Where are Kat, Adam, Trini, Tanya, and the Gold Ranger or dare say Justin?
14: Wouldn't Zordon just pull some deus ex machina out of his tube to deal with King Mondo?
15: More to the point, where is Zordon?
16: You cannot seriously tell me the rangers would lose in the Zeo era. They were powered by a Crystal that grows more powerful with each passing moment.
17: On top of that, the Machine Empire was a JOKE!!! They went through more leaders than Tomb Raider's had reboots. They ultimately were defeated by Lord Zedd and Rita with, and I hope you’re ready for this..... A bomb disguised as a gift. The kind of shit Elmer Fudd fell for on a weekly basis.
18: And on top of that, none of the Rangers allies from space came to help? No Gold Ranger, Masked Rider, Alien Rangers or even Andross?
19: A more realistic one now. You mean to tell me the United States of America would let the Machine Empire roll in and take over? The same country that goes to Def-con 4 when ISIS waves a gun around in the Middle East? I don't think so some how.... Unless the USA of the PR universe is mentally retarded and let's the rangers do everything for them.
20: Finally, if the subplot of the movie was for Rita to get Tommy back on her side, why go to the length of murdering the others in cold blood? Can't she just brain wash him like she and Zedd tried with Kat? Or pull another Green Candle out of her big fat arse?
Nitpicking? Perhaps, but I felt like calling attention to the Masterdon zord in the room with how little this follows the actual plot of the show its based on. Finally I think my warning flags fired right the fuck up when I heard the following line.
"What happens to a dog chasing cars?"
I immediately wetted by lips and asked in response "Why so serious?"
Maybe it was unintentional, but I got a "let's be like the Dark Knight trilogy" vibe from this movie. A trend far too many people need to cast in the fires of Mt.Doom where it fucking belongs! Bottom line, I regard this movie as a below average attempt to reenergise the Power Rangers but makes too many missteps and ultimately comes off more of a joke that the show it's based on.
I think that cancelled Origins movie would have been a better idea.