TL;DR – Well, this film shows that nostalgia is limited, even when wearing rose-tinted glasses.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this film.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always Review –
I was at the perfect age when the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was first released. I watched through the first couple of seasons before losing interest sometime after the movie. It was enough to get to come back and watch the film reboot a couple of years ago, and I think I may have been the only one who liked it. Well, when they announced that there would be a 30th-anniversary movie bringing the old cast back together, I was happy to hear it. A little less so now that I have watched it.
So to set the scene, back in 1993, the great sorcerer Rita Repulsa (Barbara Goodson) escaped. It was only through the powers of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, chosen by Zordon, were they were able to defeat her. 30 years later, Rita has returned as Robo Rita and strikes down the Yellow Ranger as Zach (Walter Emanuel Jones) and Billy (David Yost) look on in horror. A year later, Zach is trying to help raise Minh (Charlie Kersh) when Rita returns, and this time, she wants to take out all the Rangers.
What I did like was how well they captured that feel of the old show. The opening shot of Billy surrounded by the Putties on a New Zealand cliffside is pure nostalgia. Well, nostalgia with an added dose of ‘we have drones now’. You see hints throughout the series, with Alpha (Richard Horvitz) and Rita being perfect links back to the original characters. The villains all work well, the combat is on point, Minh’s character arc works perfectly in the universe, and it was nice to hear all those familiar sounds and musical queues.
However, there is only so much nostalgia that can cover over. Indeed there are some things not even rose-tinted glasses can fix. There first of these issues is the script. I am unsure what happened here, but nearly all the dialogue is awful. Like painful to listen to at times, and while you expect that from Robo Minotaur (Ryan Cooper) and Robo Snizzard (Daniel Watterson), you don’t expect it from the whole cast. While I felt they did an excellent job of exploring the Yellow Ranger’s story, given the real-life tragedy of Thuy Trang, it felt a bit tacky how they went to cover over the cast members that didn’t return. Finally, if you are going to tug on our nostalgia, at what point do you think it is a good idea to do away with all the guys in ridiculous costumes pretending to be giant kaiju and mechas crashing into the cityscape?
In the end, do we recommend Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always? Well… Look, there were a moment or two where I got sucked back in, but then you would hear a line of dialogue, and it would all come crashing down. The nostalgia was not enough to hold it all together. If you like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always, I would honestly recommend giving the 2017 Movie a go because there is good there.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always
Directed by – Charlie Haskell
Story by – Becca Barnes & Alwyn Dale
Based on – Power Rangers by Haim Saban & Super Sentai by Toei Company
Music by – Ron Wasserman
Cinematography by – Ollie Jones
Edited by – Brad Davison
Production/Distribution Companies – SCG Power Rangers, Hasbro, Entertainment One, Toei Company & Netflix
Starring – Walter Emanuel Jones, Steve Cardenas, Catherine Sutherland, Charlie Kersh, Karan Ashley, Johnny Yong Bosch & David Yost with Benny Joy Smith, Howard Cyster, Richard Horvitz, Barbara Goodson, Ryan Cooper & Daniel Watterson
Rating – Australia: PG