‘Power Rangers” Second Movie Is An Improvement On The Franchise’s Cinematic Debut

Courtesy: Saban Brands/Shout! Factory/20th Century Fox

For those who have not heard lately, the ongoing saga of the proposed Power Rangers movie reboot recently took another turn. The latest update in story is that the reboot will happen, though that could of course change in the blink of an eye.  As audiences wait to see where that story goes, they have another Power Rangers movie to enjoy at home in the form of the newly re-issued Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.  Set for release July 30, this second entry in the Power Rangers cinematic universe has proven over time to be another divisive entry in that franchise, though not as bad as the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Movie (1995).  That is due in part to the story at the center of the movie, which will be addressed shortly.  The look and feel of this Power Rangers movie plays into its presentation just as much as its story.  It will be addressed a little later.  The bonus content featured with the movie’s new re-issue rounds out the most important of the re-issue’s most important elements.  It will also be addressed later.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the movie.  All things considered, they make Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie not the best of the Power Rangers cinematic offerings, but definitely a step up from the first Power Rangers movie.

Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, the second entry in the Power Rangers cinematic universe, is not the best entry of that franchise.  It is however, an improvement from the first of the Power Rangers movies.  That is due in part to the story at the center of the movie.  The story is the precursor to the then fifth season of Power Rangers.  It sets the stage for Power Rangers Turbo by telling how Divatox came to be the next “baddie” that the Rangers had to face in their never-ending battle against intergalactic villains who are hell bent on galactic domination.

While it does an admirable job setting the stage for Power Rangers Turbo, the story at the center of Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie also suffers slightly in that it fails to fully bridge the divide between Power Rangers Zeo and Power Rangers Turbo.  There are story elements clearly missing here between the two seasons that, had they been included, would have made the story full.  In the same breath, there is a bit of suspension of disbelief issue with the story.  The issue comes in that the movie’s writing team never fully explains why the Rangers needed to upgrade from their powers and zords following the events of Zeo.  In the first few seasons of Power Rangers at the time, the upgrade was always because the villains found ways to destroy the Rangers’ zords, leading to the need (and discovery) of more powerful zords.  In this case, the story never really explained that story element.  To that end, it does leave one scratching one’s head.

Adding to the concerns in the unexplained plot elements, the re-introduction of the original Red Ranger – Austin St. John (as Jason) – and original Pink Ranger – Amy Jo Johnson (as Kimberly) – seems just as unnecessary to the story, especially considering the falling out that led to the pair’s departure early in the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers run, and the whole issue with Jason as the Gold Ranger in the series’ Zeo installment.  Their inclusion doesn’t hurt the story, but it does not necessarily prove its necessity either.

As if all of this is not enough, the writers never do explain how Bulk and Skull got their minds reset by the story’s end.  The pair still seemed to think they were some sort of German figures (not to give away too much).  This was not explained away in the Turbo TV series, either. It’s another minor item, but one that cannot be ignored and detracts from the story even more. That aside, the story still is not a total loss.  The fact that it does not just completely break from canon (unlike Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Movie) is itself a saving grace, making the story while maybe not perfect, still a positive in its own right to this presentation.  The movie’s story is just one of its most notable elements.  The look and feel of this movie is just as important to note as the movie’s story.

Again, making a comparison to the Power Rangers’ first movie, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Movie, the look and feel of this movie is right in line with the franchise’s source material.  Instead of over-the-top metallic type outfits, CG-based zords and fight scenes, and animatronics, this movie’s look, this movie’s creative heads obviously took a lesson from those failures of the franchise’s first movie.  On the surface, this might not seem like much, but in reality, it is very important.  It plays into suspension of disbelief just as much as the movie’s story and its related plot elements.  Viewers who got so used to a certain look from the TV series were justifiably bothered by the look of the first movie.  Having that familiar look from the series re-introduced into this series makes for more comfort for fans, and in turn, at least a little bit more ability to suspend disbelief.  That serves to help viewers enjoy the movie more.  It still is not the last of the movie’s most important elements.  The bonus content featured with the movie’s re-issue rounds out its most important elements.

The bonus content featured with the upcoming Blu-ray re-issue of Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie includes the original short making of featurette and a new, longer and more in-depth featurette, “Ranger Tales: A Look Back At Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.  Actress Nakia Burrise (who plays Yellow Ranger Tanya) gets the most screen time in this featurette.  One of the most interesting of the stories she shares focuses on the Rangers’ island morphing scene.  New cast member Blake Foster (Blue Ranger Justin) turns the wrong way in said sequence.  Burrise reveals in her interview that this was not planned, adding it actually upset her.  The reason that it upset her will not be revealed here, but rather left for audiences to discover for themselves.  Burrise also exhibits great humility in her discussions about being tapped to become a member of the cast.  That humility makes her an endearing figure.  A now grown-up Foster exhibits just as much humility as he discusses his time on the show in a separate series of interview segments in this featurette.  He talks about the very real tears that flowed off camera as former cast members made way for himself and Burrise.  It is another moving moment.  There are other discussions featured in this new bonus, but again, viewers will be left to discover those talks for themselves.  Between those discussions, the discussions noted here and more, the movie’s new bonus featurette presents its own importance to the whole of Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.  It will certainly keep the most devoted Power Rangers fan engaged and entertained throughout.  Considering that and the engagement and entertainment that the movie’s story and aesthetics generate, the whole of Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie proves a worthwhile addition to the noted viewers’ home libraries; much more so than the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers movie.

Shout! Factory’s upcoming Blu-ray re-issue of Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie is a worthwhile addition to the home library’s of the most devoted Power Rangers fans.  That includes even fans who already own the movie’s previous releases.  That is mainly because of the new bonus featurette included with the movie’s new re-issue.  The story at the center of the movie is both a pro and a con that only slightly improves on the problems of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers Movie.  The movie’s aesthetic side helps improve the movie over its predecessor, too.  All three elements noted here are important in their own way to the whole of this movie.  All things considered, they make Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie not the franchise’s best cinematic offering, but definitely an improvement from the franchise’s cinematic debut.  Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie is scheduled for release July 30, and can be pre-ordered online via Shout! Factory’s store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

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