Well, I WAS going to do a vlog about the movie. Unfortunately, there are new tenants upstairs from where I live with little kids who like to run around a lot, so I opted to write about it instead. lol So, here they are, my written thoughts on the new Power Rangers movie, having just gotten home from seeing it with N. Harmonik.
Okay, I know that we live in the age where saying this sounds like an insult, but I thought the movie was GOOD. It’s not great, but it’s good and it’s fun to sit back and enjoy. And, believe it or not, THAT’S OKAY. I’m sick of people who take someone saying that something is good but not great as an insult. But yes, this movie is good. The best way to describe it is being dumb yet fun and ultimately harmless. And I will admit to being worried about it, particularly after finding out that Billy would be autistic and Trini would be gay. Why would that bother me? Because, if you’ll lean in real close so I can share a little secret with you: I’M ON BOTH THOSE SPECTRUMS…I know, I just revealed the best kept secret in the flipping world. I’ll give you all a moment to recover mentally. lol But anyway, my point is, with how very Bay-esque this movie was coming off in the trailers, I was worried the decision to make them autistic and LGBTQ would be simply to play up the stereotypes of both and have those BE their character traits. Thankfully, though, I think we may have dodged the bullet on that one. In fact, if I may be so bold, the reason I think this movie is actually better than both the Transformers and TMNT movies going on right now has a lot to do with the characters and our ability to actually LIKE them. And, that being the case, let’s go over each one, shall we?
The first thing you gotta know about the characters is that, while they’re people we can relate to and get on board with, they’re also very much delinquents. Jason, for example, finds himself in trouble after a prank gone wrong, to the point where he’s under house arrest. However, he’s still a good person, as shown when he stands up to a bully to protect Billy. He’s also the one who decides to go with being a Power Ranger first, much like his TV counterpart. I should also note that he’s not a martial artist, but rather a football player. In fact, none of the team go in being at all experienced in martial arts, and have to be trained by Alpha 5 (who is thankfully more adept than the TV version, or that would’ve ended horribly). However, he nonetheless comes off as the physically strongest (even after they get their powers) and seems to take on a leadership role rather easily. I did love how he at one point says they should stop pretending to be superheroes and then IMMEDIATELY goes into a superhero team leader speech. 😛
Zack is…the crazy one. No, seriously, that’s pretty much his character. He’s the more reckless of the team, opting to try and pilot his Zord before being able to morph, is all too willing to try and test the limits of his enhanced strength and leaping ability, and even gets into a fight with Jason at one point. However, he’s also the one to come up with the idea of sharing secrets around a fire as a means to help them get closer. And it turns out he might have a reason for his recklessness: His mother is dying, and he doesn’t know what to do with himself and his life when she goes. But, by the end, he finds he does have something more to live for: His friends. He also feels a connection to Trini, doing all he can to keep her with the group and helping her open up about herself. I’m not sure if that’s because he’s crushing on her hard or what, but the point stands that he gets her to be herself with the team.
Billy was honestly the one I was most concerned about since pretty much the first trailer. Of everyone presented, you could instantly tell through him that these were NOT going to be the same characters as we’ve known since 1993. And yes, that’s absolutely true, these are NOT your 90s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. However, here’s the thing you need to remember: That doesn’t automatically make these characters BAD. In fact, if I can be thoroughly honest, these characters are 100x more developed and interesting than the originals were in the beginning. They developed into much more well-rounded characters over time, but in the beginning? Not so much. And no, Billy’s character is not that he’s autistic. It’s a part of who he is, but it’s not his character, and as someone with Asperger’s Syndrome and having worked with people all up and down the autism spectrum, I was not offended at all by his character. Right from the beginning, he’s the one who values his new friendships the most, and because of that, he’s the first one to morph, albeit briefly. He also has a MAJOR moment late in the movie that…well, let’s just say I did NOT see it coming, but I honestly thought worked perfectly. Also, if you’re wondering, he’s in detention for blowing up his lunch box. Seriously. 😄
Ahh, Trini, my first love. Which is why learning she’s LGBTQ in this movie is hilarious to me personally. lol And, much like Billy, her being gay is not her character. And while I was worried they might’ve only done that just so that they could have Rita go succubus mode on her, really, there’s only one line in particular that seems to have that kind of subtext to it. No, if I had to sum up her character, it’s best displayed in her sarcasm and her difficulty gelling into a group. In fact, her more sarcastic nature could even be seen as a defense mechanism/smokescreen. She quite literally has to be forcibly pulled into the group. But, once there, she realizes she likes being part of a group of friends that care for her and will watch her back, and is able to open up to them about her issues at home with her family who just want her to be “normal”. Granted, I still can’t say that I care for this character the same way I did Trini, but that’s my natural bias, and I did not have any kind of issues with this version. That said, what IS her last name now, since it’s obviously not Kwan? o.O
Kimberly is a bit of an odd nut to crack at first, but then the reveal is made why she is the way she is: She once leaked a photo of a friend of hers with some guy to her boyfriend. Looking on her actions in hindsight, it’s easy to see that she’s carrying the guilt of what she did the entire time, and when she considers that it may be her keeping this to herself that’s keeping them from morphing, she tells Jason, who tells her to carry that with her, and to be the person she wants to be. And yeah, they hint several times at the two having feelings for each other, though the kiss from the trailer has been removed. And all the better, I say. If they DO decide that’s the direction they wanna go as opposed to her with Tommy, better to have it develop slowly over a gradual amount of time.
Beyond the team, there are several other things that got revised for this movie. For example, Zordon is now the original Red Ranger, and rather than being trapped in a time-warp that he speaks through via a tube, he’s actually dead and had his consciousness transferred into his ship (the movie’s version of the Command Center) and speaks through a wall that reforms itself to be shaped like his head. Rita Repulsa is likewise the original Green Ranger, but betrayed and killed the team. And, if I can be honest…I really love that change. Honestly, it just fits, and even could’ve worked in the original version of the story without changing much. Hell, I don’t even think it was ever revealed exactly how she got her hands on the Green Power Coin originally in the show. Zordon being the Red Ranger is admittedly a little trickier to work in, but it could be done.
Now, about the Zords… … …Eh. Look, they aren’t bad designs, especially in their separated forms. Really, the only thing that bugs me is the multiple legs on the Mastodon Zord to make it “more alien”. Otherwise, they’re fine, and I actually appreciate the Pterodactyl Zord being the most useful of the group since…well, this is kind of a no-brainer, but because it can freaking fly. But then they combine, and…look, I get what they were going for, and it works for the most part, but it just does not hold a candle to the original design. And admittedly, that could totally be a me issue. What’s funny is, it was actually when I noticed something familiar about the Zords’ individual designs that something hit me about this movie. Specifically, I started to realize that there was one other PR story that this seemed to resemble a fair bit more than MMPR…
Think about it: The teens aren’t friends in the beginning and instead meet by chance that leads them to becoming Rangers after freeing the source of their powers from stone. Their mentor is a former Ranger. They actually have a tie to the time of the dinosaurs beyond the Zords simply being modeled after them, which, as I noted, actually look less like the original Dino Zords and more like the ones from Dino Thunder. Hell, even certain characteristics of the team can be seen as similar to the Dino Thunder team, like Jason being a sports jock. And I’m not even saying any of this as a negative thing. Honestly, if you’re going to use any season as a model of how to update the teenagers with attitude gimmick, Dino Thunder is the one to go with.
As for stuff I didn’t like…well, for starters, I was not a fan of some of the moments that seemed to be trying too hard to appeal to a more adult fanbase. For example, I did NOT need the thing with the cow’s penis, and frankly, I found that joke to be done better in City Slickers 2. I also did NOT need to hear Billy have to stop himself from saying motherfucker. That was going a bit too far with the gag of him having to stop himself and others from swearing. And while I agree that it’s probably for the best that Bulk and Skull are not in this movie, as they wouldn’t have fit the tone, the new bully is just the stereotypical bland bully that only exists to have his comeuppance and doesn’t really have a character. And then there’s Alpha, and while I appreciate him being more active and understand the reason for the new voice, the voice seems like a very random choice, and he doesn’t have much of a character at all, though putting developing that on the back burner for the first movie is understandable. Plus, while I understand where they were going with the new design…the eyes are weird. I’m sorry. lol
Now, all of that said, I have to be blunt about something: If you’re coming to this movie expecting to see a perfect adaptation of the original MMPR to the big screen, you will not get what you want. I’m sorry, but that’s just how it is. This is not the 90s MMPR. However, that does not make this a bad movie, and while there are things about it that are inferior to the original, there are also things about it that are better. Will it be beloved to me in the same way that the original was? Of course not. But it’s something that I enjoyed watching, and wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel to, especially since it’s been all but written in the sky that the next movie will be Green With Evil. And speaking of, I am totally in favour of the idea of making Tommy a girl, just so long as she remains the badass martial artist. That part of Tommy has to remain the same, no matter what else they change about him/her/it/they/whatever. Also, I would just like to point out that Jason David Frank and Amy Jo Johnson are in this movie… … …That is all. 😄
Anyway, I think that best describes my own personal thoughts on the movie. So, if anyone else was on the fence about seeing it, I hope I’ve helped you come to your own conclusions. Ja né, and may the power protect you always!
…Oh, and lastly, N. Harmonik and I marked out like mad when Go Go Power Rangers played. 😄
OMG, I just now realized I was wearing my Superman hat and Heroes Beacon (local comic shop) t-shirt while watching two superhero movie trailers. lol Anyway, if you haven’t seen them, here’re the trailers we watched today…
…and here’s our reaction to them. Enjoy!
I was recently having a conversation with my friend Sam about badasses in Power Rangers, when we eventually came upon the topic of who the most badass Red Ranger of all time is. I couldn’t really decide that, though, because in over two decades of Power Rangers, it’s usually a constant that the Red Ranger is a badass. Even the most unlikable of those that have worn the colour red have had plenty of badass moments. Nick, for all his belly aching, was still willing to charge The Master alone, and Mack, despite quitting with the other Overdrive Rangers in Once A Ranger, was willing on multiple occasions to sacrifice himself to save the world. Even Red Rangers that didn’t lead their respective teams, like Rocky, still had plenty of memorable moments where they put it all on the line to stop evil. So, with all of that in mind, I’m gonna try and determine who the 10 most badass Red Rangers are in all of Power Rangers. Before I do, though, here’re some ground rules…
- Power Rangers ONLY, no Super Sentai entries. Main reason is because it makes the possible candidates even longer than it already is. In Power Rangers alone, there’s been like 30+ individuals that have worn Red or a variation of it, maybe even closer to 50 when you consider that the Samurai Rangers were a generational team.
- Only one per team. In other words, if I, for example, picked one of the SPD Red Rangers, I can’t choose another.
- No evil Rangers. Nothing against them, it’s just, when one generally thinks of badass Power Rangers, we usually think of them in terms of what they’re willing and able to do against the forces of evil.
- The choices have to be made based on their credentials as Red Rangers, not any other powers they’ve had. As such, and I KNOW I’m gonna get a bunch of comments for this, Tommy is NOT on this list. Reason being, in having watched every episode of Power Rangers that Tommy was a participant in, his more badass moments happened when he was the Green or White Ranger, or even just as himself, plain Tommy Oliver, without his powers. Nothing against his tenure as the Red Ranger, he pulled off the role with the level of competence expected of him, just that in terms of those sheer “OMG, that was frigging awesome!” moments, they’re lacking when compared to other things he’s done.
- The powers have to actually be THEIRS. In other words, as much as I’d like to include more potential female candidates, Gia and Emma assuming Legendary Red Ranger Mode doesn’t count toward this list.
And as always, remember that this is all opinion based, so don’t freak out if my opinion is different from yours. Anyway, with all of that out of the way, I suppose we might as well start off with the archetype and standard bearer of the badass Red Ranger…
There’s this constant argument over who was the more badass Ranger: Jason or Tommy. In fact, it’s an argument that spills out into real life, with people debating Austin St. John vs Jason David Frank. However, while I refuse to comment on that and thus get it started here, I will say that, much like how Tommy’s more badass moments occurred when he wasn’t the Red Ranger, Jason was probably a bigger badass when he WAS the Red Ranger, as opposed to, say, when he was the Gold Ranger in Zeo. When the Rangers lose their confidence after being subjected to horrific nightmares from Goldar, he still finds it in him to stop Goldar’s plot. He manages to fight off Goldar and Tommy as the evil Green Ranger when trapped on his own and without his powers long enough for the others to find him. He defeats a monster by himself when the Rangers have been kidnapped, and then goes to rescue them before their powers are taken. He defeated Tommy in battle and freed him of Rita’s control. He took Cardiatron out. And there’s just his opening line to the General Venjix in Forever Red: “You know, if you miss King Mondo that much, I promise we can help you join him.” In the end, all you can say about Jason is that he is a consummate badass, strong in mind, body, and spirit, and is able to stand up to any threat, no matter how imposing…Actually, here’s food for thought: In today’s day and age with Power Rangers, MMPR Season 1 probably would’ve ended with Jason fighting Rita while she’s in some powered-up form. Imagine THAT ending. lol
What else can I say about a guy that tried to run down a monster with a hummer, held off two giant monsters with just his side-arms, blew up a monster at point-blank range, charged through deadly energy blasts to punch a monster in the chest, and whose trademark response to a monster terrifying people was to pull his blasters and shoot ’em down?…Well, not much, other than to say that I’m pretty sure his theme song is Move Bitch by Ludacris. lol Add in the fact that he is both an action hero and a rescuer, more concerned with the protection of people than the kicking of ass, and you’ve got more than enough reason for Carter to be one of my all-time favourites.
This was REALLY hard to determine, given his competition on his team, but ultimately, I decided to go with Eric. The first sixth Ranger to wear the colour Red while being sixth, he’s just a really ballsy, hard-assed SOB that will plough down anyone who gets in his way. And of course the Q-Rex is sheer metal awesome, too. For those that have never seen it, it’s a giant robotic t-rex with a pair of cannons strapped to its back, and can also turn into a warrior mode just for funsies. But, if nothing else, you gotta look at his Mega Battle armour and think, really, how many people can you think of who look badass while wearing ROLLER-BLADES? With that said, I DO feel bad leaving Wes outta this, because he had his awesome moments on the show. One thing I’m actually kinda upset about is that we don’t see his final stand from the timeline where he didn’t make it. Why? Because according to that, he managed to take every single one of the bad guys with him! Hot damn, that’s a hell of a way to go out!
………………Just show it.
Oh yeah, and he also had that fight to the death with Trakeena that ended with him blasting her at point-blank range with his Battlizer set to full power, and…My God, I could make breakfast on those abs…………………………………………*slaps myself* NEXT!
Okay, I MAY be a bit biased in this pic given my general favoritism and desire to see a girl on this list, but let’s be fair, she DID manage to destroy a giant monster that had taken down the Claw Armour Megazord with just ONE Zord. Right from the get-go, she’s shown to be someone with skill on par or greater than Jayden’s. Plus, anyone that can take the long-since dead running gag about how Mia can’t cook and make it funny again is plenty awesome in my book. Really, the only reason Jayden might rank higher with some people is because he was around longer. I guarantee that if Lauren had been on the show from the beginning that we would’ve gotten plenty more awesome moments from her. But, I suppose I should give credit where it’s due and bring up some of Jayden’s more awesome moments, particularly his deadly duels with Deker, where he showed he was a force the likes of which only a few other Rangers could compare with.
Looking back, I’ve realized that Mack really deserved to be on a better season with a better team. The potential of his character, being an artificial lifeform raised to believe he was human, could’ve been explored a bit more, and he wouldn’t have to be remembered as the Red Ranger on the worst season of Power Rangers. Also, while he DID quit with the others in Once A Ranger, he made it clear he wasn’t going anywhere, and I DO believe he would’ve at least tried to help out around the mansion and their base however he could. Then there’s his credentials as a badass, and he does have plenty. Ignoring probably the more infamous (and complete bullshit) of those moments, when he chopped a giant monster in half unmorphed, there’s the aforementioned moments where he was willing to die to stop evil, like when he was gonna blow himself and the Fearcats up, or when he went to the volcano alone to fight Moltor and retake the crown, or when he used every last bit of his power to destroy Flurious. Granted, one can argue that he did these things seeing himself as disposable with nothing to lose, but there’s still something to be said for his passion and relentlessness in the face of evil.
Yes, I like Wild Force. Leave me alone. lol And I like Cole Evans. Yes, his character was a ham and cheese sandwich, but he was still likable, and Goddamn if he couldn’t kick some serious ass. He was also capable of brushing off some pretty epic beatings, too. Just look at his fights with Master Org. These two lay the most epic of beat-downs on each other. He even took the team’s combined weapon, the Jungle Sword, and Savage Slashed the heck out of Zen Aku over and over on his own. AWESOME. And of course, there’s the infamous moment where he destroyed Serpentara with a frigging motorcycle. Although, looking back on it, you wanna know what annoys me more than that? The fact that, after doing so, he only ever uses said motorcycle for transportation. He has a War Zord slaughtering motorcycle, and he never uses it when, say, Master Org was killing the Wild Zords??? C’mon, given his character, you don’t think he’d summon that thing and go straight for Master Org’s head? That woulda been awesome! Oh well, Cole still had plenty of sweet moments, which make it all the easier to look past his cheesy dialogue.
It’s admittedly hard to stand out as a badass on a team FULL of them. For example, take Scott, RPM’s Ranger Series Operator Red and leader of the team. His whole team is one big pack of badasses. Even Ziggy, the clown of the team, has his fair share of moments where he’s walking awesome. So how do you stand out on a team like that? Answer: You be Scott. Everything he does exemplifies his awesomeness. He owns the room when he’s in it. He has mastered the art of being an action hero, where in his own words, “When it comes to talking, less is more”. And despite being from a completely different dimension than the mainstream PR universe, he’s clearly read from the Carter Grayson book of badass, in that if necessary, he can and has charged giant opponents with nothing but his weapons. To quote Jim Ross in talking about Shawn Michaels, Scott is “like a pitbulldog, he doesn’t know how big or how little he really is… he doesn’t really give a damn”. And everything he does just has this element of cool and charm to it, unless story-wise he’s specifically SUPPOSED to be shaken or vulnerable. He’s like the Will Smith of Power Rangers. How can you not like him?
Again, a tough crowd of Rangers to stand out from. Hell, one of the Jungle Fury Rangers is a blind warrior. Still, while he started off Jungle Fury as the new guy that was unsure of himself and made mistakes aplenty, Casey quickly grew into a kickass fighting machine. Even the big bad of the series, Dai Shi, found himself on the receiving side of a most righteous of beat-downs from Casey on more than one occasion, though the best was near the end of the season: Casey just walks through a squad of Rin Shi without much effort or thought put into it, and then proceeds to have a brawl with Dai Shi that trashes the villain’s lair. He’s also willing to put his life on the line to prove that Jarrod could overcome Dai Shi’s influence, turning his back on him and telling him to destroy him. He even dispenses of the standard Battlizer armour and instead gets smaller armour components meant to work with a kick-ass motorcycle that literally steams through opponents. Yes, Camille, Red IS the tough one. 🙂
HE SAVED THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE! Case dismissed! And even beyond that, just look at Andros’ first appearance, where he managed to infiltrate the meeting of the United Alliance of Evil. Not only does he manage to do so and get away while confronted with the biggest bads in Power Ranger’s history at the time, one thing I take considerable note of: He knocked Lord Zedd on his ass……..I will repeat that. Lord Zedd, one of the most feared enemies of the Power Rangers, the villain that tossed even Tommy around like a ragdoll and was only forced to retreat due to a stalemate in the fight, got KNOCKED ON HIS ASS by Andros. Anyone that can do that is a badass in my book. It kinda makes you wonder how quickly situations on Earth would’ve been dealt with if Andros was on Earth from the beginning. My guess is that, after Green With Evil, Andros would’ve been like “Nope, not going through this again, I’m taking my badass spaceship/Megazord to the moon and hacking that palace in half”.
Anyway, that’s my list. Who are some of your favourite badasses in Power Rangers? Leave a comment below, and we’ll see if the Red Dino Charge Ranger can live up to the legacy of the Red Ranger in February. Ja né!
So, a few days ago, I ranted a lot about everything that was wrong with Power Rangers Super Megaforce. However, while I did touch base briefly on various things I would’ve done with the season, as well as Megaforce in general, I thought I’d save the majority of it for its own article. Now, some of these might not add up with one another correctly. They aren’t necessarily supposed to, though. They’re just various ideas I’ve had about how the past two seasons could’ve been done differently. So, let’s start off with an idea I had about what they could’ve done with the Rangers before I learned their back-stories and such…
For those not in the know, in Tensou Sentai Goseiger, the season of Super Sentai adapted into Megaforce’s first season, the Rangers were actually angels. Well, kinda angels, anyway. They’re called Gosei Angels, come from a place called Gosei World, and blend in with humanity to generally guide and protect them. And given Jonathan Tzachor’s love of directly translating the Sentai, I thought that it would actually be an interesting twist on that (and would also fit with Super Megaforce, which was adapted from a season where the Rangers weren’t from Earth) if the Megaforce Rangers were actually from Eltar, having to blend in with humanity while defending them from Warstar forces, and meet up with Zordon’s apprentice, who grants them their Megaforce powers. Granted, you’d wanna make sure they didn’t go full-blown on reusing the stories from Goseiger, and do NOT show them with wings at any time. Also, doing this would make Troy’s Super Saiyan “I AM A MAN!” punch to Robo Knight make a lot more sense, since he could’ve been channeling power from Eltar, which we’ve established was enough to fuel the Turbo Zords and powers.
One thing that has made me scratch my head a LOT is the presence of Bulk and Spike in Power Rangers Samurai. It just seems completely out of left field for Bulk to want to be a samurai, and you REALLY need to make some serious assumptions with the timeline of Power Rangers to figure out how Skull has a teenage son (and I swear, if I hear one more person suggest that Kimberly is Spike’s mother…). What would’ve been much better use of Bulk, and hopefully Skull, would be for them to run the hangout for the Megaforce team. Why? Well, because having them run a juice bar or the like would be a great way to follow up on their development as characters. Plus, imagine some of the stories that can be told if Bulk and Skull found out about Troy and the others being Power Rangers, and being able to relay stories of the Zordon Era Rangers to them. And as a personal plus to me? We wouldn’t have the most literal retread of Ernie’s possible, even having a whole new character who has the same name…which is HIGHLY UNCOMFORTABLE TO ME. Look, maybe it was meant as a tribute or homage to the character and the actor who played him, but it still comes off as uncomfortable to me that we now have a character who more or less replaces him, especially considering that the actor passed away several years ago! Admit it, if the Yellow Ranger was named Trini, people would be more than a little uncomfortable. And speaking of stuff that should’ve been held back for Megaforce…
Look, I have no problems with them reusing Go Go Power Rangers for Megaforce (although I would’ve gotten Ron Wasserman to produce and sing the remix), nor do I have a problem with their morphing call being “Go Go Megaforce!”…Or rather, I WOULDN’T mind them doing those two things if it was JUST for Megaforce. However, these are both carry-overs from Samurai, which had no business using either of those things. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Samurai should’ve had its own unique theme with a Japanese tone to it, and the only reason it didn’t was so Saban could continue the theme of “Power Rangers is back!”. It would’ve been far more meaningful and make more sense if Go Go Power Rangers was saved for Megaforce. And if I may be allowed to go on a tangent (too late, lol), I know that there was originally going to be a different theme done for it, but this was vetoed by interference from Nick, and that the theme for Dino Charge is another remake of Go Go Power Rangers, all because Nickelodeon insists on using the old theme. Again, I don’t mind the song being used for Megaforce, since it’s the 20th Anniversary season. However, I DO mind it on the grounds for why it’s ACTUALLY being used. That said, at least Dino Charge is an ACTUAL remake, and very energetically…well, for a lack of a better term, CHARGED. And in terms of “It’s Morphin Time!” being used as a pre-morphing call order of sorts…Meh, I don’t really mind, honestly. As someone who’s used it myself in that same manner for my own Power Rangers story, I can tell you it works a hell of a lot better than the oftentimes used “READY?!”. I guess “Let’s Ranger Up!” is decent enough, but I just prefer “It’s Morphin Time!”. Just personal preference, really.
Now, I know a lot of people who love the Gokaiger suits and equipment are gonna hate this idea, and I’d be lying if I didn’t get why: They ARE really cool. However, here’s the reason why I wouldn’t use them: They kinda clash in more ways than one with the Megaforce Rangers. Why DOES Jake go from Black to Green? Now, the obvious explanation is because there was no Black Ranger in Gokaiger, but there were Red, Blue, Yellow, and Pink Rangers, so Jake was the odd one out. But beyond a production reason, another explanation is the fact that a lot of Ranger teams use similar colour-schemes, with several teams having a Black or Green Ranger, and few having both without one being the Sixth Ranger (notable exceptions including RPM, hence why Emma uses Dillon’s Ranger Key, to the point where now I’ve gotten way too used to seeing RPM Black’s costume have a skirt). But still, it’s odd to see a Super Mode change a Ranger’s colour, and the use of GokaiGreen footage is the reason why Jake had to be made a clumsy oaf, as to fit such footage. Instead, I would just have the Rangers go Legendary Ranger Mode using new Power Cards…which, honest to God, I thought they were gonna do at first, when the card game and Morpher sold in stores had cards for various Rangers both in and out of PR canon. Plus, I’m sorry, but it bugs the heck outta me that Super Mega Mode makes them look like pirates. Gokaiger makes the pirate motif work for them (especially since their enemies are a giant space fleet with a old-school navy feel to them, and pirates are the natural antagonists to naval fleets), but it doesn’t make any sense for these kids, especially since there’s no explanation for the motif, nor does anyone bring it up. And hell, why take focus off of the Goseiger suits? They work perfect for the 20th Anniversary. Seriously, look at the Megaforce Rangers and tell me they don’t heavily resemble the Mighty Morphin Rangers. And in terms of Orion, there WAS a Green Ranger costume made for Goseiger for a single scene. Really, the only thing I would do is add a golden shield to it, akin to Tommy’s shield when he was the Green Ranger. That said, there IS one other way they could use the Gokaiger suits…
Basically, among the Armada would be a group of space pirates who got mind controlled into becoming evil Rangers and wind up stealing the Legendary Keys from the Command Center. The two teams get into a massive battle until a monster from the Armada takes the keys when it looks like the evil Rangers might lose. The pirates are freed from their mind control and team up with the Megaforce Rangers to take on clones of the Rangers created from the Legendary Ranger Keys, and reclaim said keys. The pirates would then either give their Legendary Morphers to the Megaforce Rangers, thus justifying them having pirate-themed weapons, equipment, and Zords, or become a secondary group to supplement the team, making use of their ability to morph into previous Rangers. Hell, if they went with the former, it would be a better way to give Orion his own Ranger Key and Morpher: The pirates made them and gave them to him to go assist the Megaforce team. And yeah, in case you’re wondering, this WOULD make use of footage from the Gokaiger/Goseiger team-up movie, though with some additionally filmed footage…which brings me to my next point.
I’m sorry, but one the bigger issues with Super Megaforce is the overuse of Gokaiger footage. Now, in some cases, it’s perfectly fine to use the Gokaiger footage, since it’s plenty action-packed with badass action scenes. However, some of these scenes definitely needed to be left out or edited better than they were. Specifically, stuff like Jake and Orion’s mannerisms not matching the footage used for them (and Noah to a lesser extent), and certain Legendary Ranger Modes that really shouldn’t have been included (seriously, that battle with Levira should’ve had them use different Legendary Rangers, though at least they had Troy go MMPR Red). Now, on the flip side, there’s some moments in Gokaiger that weren’t used in Super Megaforce that I wish they HAD used. Time Force and Lightspeed Rescue were barely used at all in Super Megaforce, with I think only Jen and Chad’s keys being used to go Legendary Mode, and Quantum Ranger’s key used to summon the Q-Rex (which I assume is either a brand new version of the Q-Rex built by Time Force, or an upgrade of the original. Personally, I hope it’s the former, since otherwise, it means Eric doesn’t have a Zord anymore). Plus, I would’ve loved to see certain Legendary Ranger Modes used, like Yellow Ranger Mode, Silver Ranger Mode, Sixth Ranger Mode, and so on. So, I suppose it’s really about having a better balance of old and new footage.
What I thought would’ve been a lot better than what we got for the Samurai homage episode would be a made-for-TV movie set in Megaforce, where Vrak takes control of the remaining Nylok forces for his own purposes. And yeah, I know that the last made-for-TV PR movie didn’t work out so well, but considering how they got most of the Samurai cast to make cameos in Super Megaforce, I’m sure they could get the whole cast back for this, and if it was more or less an adaptation of Goseiger vs Shinkenger, trust me, the story would’ve been a lot better than Clash of the Red Rangers. It’d have awesome stuff like…well…Well, just look!
Hell, they coulda then made use of the episode of Gokaiger where they go back in time to the final battle of that movie (hence the Gokaiger debut being in that movie, which was set before the Great Legend War, when the Ranger Keys were created), where the Super Megaforce team has to do the same. Woulda been kickass.
This is basically the best way I could think of to excuse the use of the Legendary Rangers who were Sentai teams that weren’t used for Power Rangers. In a nutshell, they would be short 5-15 minute episodes telling about the Rangers’ stories, their battles, who they were, and who some of their enemies were. They coulda been exclusives shown on Netflix, or the show’s website. Granted, this is supplemental material to explain something in the main series, which can be considered a failure in storytelling, but at least we’d have SOMETHING. They’d also be super-easy to make, too. And hey, after you’re done explaining the various Ranger teams used for Legendary Mode, they could then tell some more of the back-story for Megaforce, where the keys come from, and what the Legendary Rangers are doing in the middle of the battle with the Armada.
So yeah, other than stuff I’ve already discussed (Jake’s stalker nature, the need for stuff to be properly explained, additional cameos) and little details that they got wrong about previous seasons (the island of the Wild Zords is called the Animarium, while the kingdom it once belonged to is called Animaria, and it wasn’t pronounced like you had people do in Super Megaforce), that’s all I got for now. Lemme know in the comments section below if there are any you’d add. Next time I talk PR, I think I’d like to discuss the future, which is honestly looking a bit brighter than the past four years have. So, feel free to check back in then, as we unleash the power of Power Rangers Dino Charge. Ja né!
WARNING: The following article contains a long-winded rant about the previous two seasons of Power Rangers, and of what is termed the ‘Neo Saban Era’ of Power Rangers in general. If you’ve enjoyed the past four years of Power Rangers, the writer of this article respects that viewpoint, and is sure to try to present his argument in as fair and unbiased a manner as is possible.
The Neo Saban Era has fucking sucked for four years! It is some of the worst produced garbage in PR history, beaten only by Power Rangers Operation Overdrive in my opinion. But whereas that season was the worst in terms of quality, this most recent season, Super Megaforce, may just be the single most disappointing season of all time. And yes, I AM referring to it as Super Megaforce and as its own season, because whereas Super Samurai was just a needless and pointless extension of the same story, Super Megaforce DOES actually have some distinction from Megaforce. Whether or not that distinction makes it better or worse…well, I’ll get into that later.
First off, lemme make something perfectly clear, just so we can get this outta the way: I have no issues with the actors this season. I have seen a few of them in other stuff, and while their characters may be bland (and in one case AWFUL), they all portray them as best they can with what little they’re given and with the sort of people running the show giving them direction. Also, as bland as these characters are, they still rank higher than Operation Overdrive. Why? Because when the Overdrive team lost their powers and were forced to face overwhelming odds, something that many Rangers have had to deal with in the past, they decided to up and quit, and only rejoined the fight because their lives were BORING. These Rangers, however, find themselves time and time again put in seemingly impossible scenarios, and press on. The Armada first arrives, and they run into the city to help as many people as they can. They find a missile with a drill attached that’s going to blow up the planet, and not only do they stop it, but they chuck it at the fleet in orbit, go to wipe out a few more in the Megazord, and then drop a big banner that says “Earth Fights Back” in the mall as a big flaming FU to the Armada. Their Zords are utterly destroyed by an Armada fleet that outnumbers them by millions, and they’re still resolved to fight, and wind up winning in the end. They may be dull, they may be bland, and one of them may be an unconfirmed attention-hungry stalker who steals Gia’s underwear, but Goddammit, they get fucking results. lol
You know what else is not the problem? The overall story concept. I will go ahead and put myself out here by saying that I actually really loved the cliffhanger ending for Megaforce, where if you didn’t know what to expect for next year, you weren’t sure how the hell the Rangers were gonna get through this. The ending of the first episode of the season, while perhaps making light of the fact that there’s a massive alien fleet that just did a major attack on Earth, actually did a good job of making that dumbass line of Troy’s in the first episode of Megaforce sound a lot better in the long run. I also thought the decision to save the resolution of Vrak’s storyline for late in Super Megaforce was actually a good idea, since we can assume that nearly a year went by to give him enough time to plan out and prepare for his revenge on the Rangers, and chose the perfect time to do so. And, of course, there’s the Legendary Rangers. While I wish we had gotten more of these throughout the season, it was great seeing Casey and Jayden come back to give the team encouragement when they needed it. And while I originally said that I’d wished Lauren was the one to appear, looking back on the video packages shown for Casey and Jayden made me realize something: They were specifically picked and shown to demonstrate how these characters grew to be who they are, and how the challenges and obstacles they helped overcome specifically allowed them to give the right guidance to the current Rangers in dealing with their own problems. If we’d gotten more of that for this season, would’ve made it all the better, and would’ve made it a far more fluid celebration of the show’s longevity, as we see the development of other Rangers as characters and giving them a chance to pass on their wisdom and experience to the current crop.
So, if I like all of these elements of the show, why am I so angry, and what makes Super Megaforce such a disappointment? Ultimately, it comes down to execution, and HOW the story developed. Like I said, IF we had gotten more moments with the Legendary Rangers, we’d have had a much better season. Guess what? We only had two of ’em make appearances, and then a bunch who appeared at the very end to save random people and fight in the final battle. And for the record, having Tommy show up for the final battle and then not actually see much, if any, of him in the fight is not good enough. I did not wait two years for this epic battle just to see random hits on baddies dubbed over with the Megaforce Rangers spouting clunky exposition, and then finish it all off with the team blasting a random bunch of X-Borgs. And while I am glad that the final bout with Emperor Mavro WAS kept in for the extended version of the finale (extended because God knows we can’t take up SpongeBob SquarePants’ TV time, so it had to be cut down to size to make room for a cartoon LONG past its expiration date), the fight really should’ve been saved for AFTER the mass of X-Borgs, and rather than being a battle between him and the Super Megaforce Rangers in Legendary Mode, they should’ve instead changed it up so that he’s fighting the real Rangers all bunched up to take him on at once, having to use all their powers together to finally take this conqueror of worlds and galaxies down as a team.
The biggest thing that drove me crazy all season long was the lack of explanations. Really, it started in Megaforce, but the worst of it was in Super Megaforce. Where DO the Legendary Ranger Keys come from? How were they created? Now, I assumed from the beginning that they were copies of the previous Rangers’ powers, hence why the Legendary Rangers never helped the team in a more active sense and why going Legendary Mode was so hard for the team. Remember, it’s been established in Ranger canon that two or more of the same Ranger cannot exist simultaneously, or else it could cause the power to fluctuate and even cause harm to the ones using it. However, we’re told near the end that the Legendary Rangers supposedly gave them their powers…except we never saw that, nor was there ever a single line suggesting as much beforehand. Does that mean that none of the previous Rangers have their powers as long as the Super Megaforce team have the keys? And if so, how were they able to morph in the end? Did Gosei give the keys back for the final battle? Because if that’s true, that means they were all standing by in that area for Mavro to go down before they could do anything, meaning they stood by while the Rangers engaged a monster that very nearly almost destroyed them. And just from a logical standpoint, wouldn’t it make more sense, if all of the previous Rangers had their powers, even those who had lost them before, to be out in battle with the current Rangers, like in the final battle? Wouldn’t that have ended things a lot easier and with a lot less damage and possible people dying? What about the other teams never before seen in Power Rangers canon up until now? Who were they, and what were their stories? We have team names for them, fine, but what about anything REAL about them, like where they came from and who they were? How did Robo Knight come back for the final battle when he died and gave his power to Orion? Why doesn’t Gosei ever explain a Goddamn thing to his team unless confronted about stuff he never told them?! Why was the Silver Ranger Key and its Morpher sealed away on some random planet for Orion to find?! Why aren’t Titanium Ranger’s powers used for Legendary Sixth Ranger Mode instead of White Dino Ranger, who was the FIFTH Ranger of his team?! Why does Corinth look NOTHING like it did before?! Why did Doctor K make a new Zord that was apparently sentient?! Why did they reuse footage of Mia and Antonio’s concert instead of just having them show up?! Did it honest to God never occur to anyone that Super Mega Mode makes them look like pirates?! Why did they hire someone to do a cover of Go Go Power Rangers instead of contacting Ron Wasserman?! GAAAAHHH!!!
…*inhales hard*… …ANYway…Like I said before, the actors do the best with what’s given to them, and the characters are all decent enough in their own right, aside from Jake being a frigging creeper. However, the problem is that, in the end, they don’t really have much, if any dimension to them. The only time we ever get anything different out of the characters, it usually comes right the frak outta left field with no rhyme or reason behind it. Like, Noah deciding to fight a monster alone. It makes no sense for him as a character to behave this way. Or Jake being made into a clumsy oaf, despite being physically fit, energetic, and good at sports. Really, it just comes down to their characters shifting to match source material footage from Gokaiger, making them more like their counterparts, without any logical development leading to these changes. And then there’s Gosei. Again, my biggest complaint is how he never explains anything to his team, but more disappointingly, we never learn of his time spent with Zordon. We know he’s his apprentice or the like, but really, we never get any reflection on that, or him wondering if he’s living up to his example. Ironically, the episode I felt Gosei was at his best was an episode I otherwise hate: In The Driver’s Seat, which was a terrible representation of RPM. In this episode, not only does he explain situations to the Rangers to the best of his ability, but we also see him questioning what the right course of action is. It shows a more vulnerable side to the character, in that he doesn’t always know what he’s doing, but sometimes has to just go with what he thinks is right and believe in his team.
But the biggest let-down of all is probably Troy, which ultimately is the biggest lack of an explanation I’ve ever seen, and basically makes him a walking plot device. The reason he didn’t make it to my list of least favourite Rangers is because Jake bothers me on a more personal level, and Troy comes off as more selflessly heroic. However, with Super Megaforce being over, and this team’s story given what little resolution we can hope for, at least for now, we have to discuss Troy. Again, in the spirit of not explaining a Goddamn thing this season, we never learn how or why Troy kept having visions of the Legendary Battle, especially since we can infer from his initial appearances that he’d never seen or heard of the Power Rangers beforehand (must’ve been super young and on the other side of the planet during Dark Spectre’s invasion, I guess). Also, there’s…this.
I just have this wonderful image of Jonathan Tzachor constantly telling Andrew Gray “No, it’s not good enough! You must ham it up more! MOOOOORRRRRREEEE!”, and then finally Andrew gives up and just decides to give the most over the top performance he possibly could, and Tzachor just sheds a tear and is like “My life’s work, complete”. And before anyone asks, yes, almost this exact scene played out in Goseiger. With that said, I find it funny that a guy who loves the Sentai as much as Tzachor claims to pays zero attention to the details of it and how story elements made sense there. In Goseiger, Gosei Knight had been overwhelmed with dark energy that had corrupted him, so Gosei Red summoned up all of his energy as an angel (yes, in Goseiger, the team were angels, and I’ll get more into that later) and punched Gosei Knight hard enough to transfer that energy to him, flushing out the dark energy and restoring him to normal. And even if you wanna say that’s what Troy did, little problem: He’s HUMAN! He has no powers beyond those granted to him as a Ranger, and he is not morphed in this scene! I kept expecting them to explain what the hell Troy’s deal was and how he apparently had precognitive abilities and whatever the fuck he just did to Robo Knight, and they NEVER ONCE EXPLAINED IT! It was his whole schtick, and it was never given any kind of resolution!
And yeah, speaking of which, that’s the other major problem I have: The ending. Or rather, the fact that there is no ending for these characters. They beat the bad guys, they lay in the sand for a while, they get up to go wander off, Jake gets a kiss from Gia (and presumably goes off into the woods to jack off, if I had to guess), and Troy sticks a Super Mega Saber in the sand as a marker for where the Legendary Battle took place…Oh, and I THINK that Orion and Emma hooked up, not sure. End credits. Now, I do admit to not actually seeing anything more than clips of the extended version of the episode posted online, since I don’t have Nick (nor do I wish to), I couldn’t watch it on their site without it crapping out on me, and last I checked, it wasn’t on Netflix (and if it is, please tell me so I can go watch it, since it’s at least a vast improvement on the original version). So, maybe there was more after that scene, but I’ve asked some people who saw it and they told me there wasn’t, so I’m going to assume that’s the case. And yes, I’m aware that PR has had anti-climactic non-endings to seasons before with no final resolution to said season’s cast…and I hated them too, so don’t think I’m just singling out Super Megaforce. Hell, Samurai had a better ending, with the team discussing their future plans and Jayden looking into new things to do with his life now that his mission was finally over. And I’ll get more into THAT later on too, trust me.
So, when all is said and done, no, Super Megaforce is NOT the worst season of Power Rangers ever. So congratulations, Jonathan Tzachor, for you couldn’t even succeed at that. I hope you NEVER come back to work on this show, and that Judd Lynn gets to keep your job forever, In Chip We Trust. Hell, just looking at the trailer for Dino Charge, I can already tell it’s gonna be a lot better than the past four years, and is actually gonna have the first original villain produced for Power Rangers in YEARS. However, I will give Tzachor this much: He’s not the only problem that plagued the Neo Saban Era. Nickelodeon’s interference with the show and failure to promote it in the right way has been hell for the people producing it, as well as for the fans. I can only hope that something changes in the future, because otherwise, even with Chip in charge, it’s gonna be an uphill battle to get PR back to the level it used to be at.
Anyway, that’s my rant. However, we’re not done talking about Super Megaforce. Check in again soon, when I talk about some of the things I would’ve done differently with this season, what my original idea for the Megaforce Rangers and their story was when I first heard Goseiger would be adapted, and some more of the things I legitimately liked about the last two seasons. Ja né!
Yeah, was cruising through Twitter when I saw LinearRanger mention this, and I could not help but record a vlog.
So yeah, feel free to discuss.