So I watched Turbo – A Power Rangers Movie last night. Man, how can I be nice about this…
The Star Wars stolen opening crawl explains the story that is unfolding; Divatox, an intergalactic space pirate is hunting the wizard Lerigot who holds the golden key to the inter-dimensional gateway. She wants the key to marry the demon Maligore who promises to grant her power and riches. But hold on don’t book the church yet as Lerigot is chums with Alpha 5 and Zordon, so he’s got the Power Rangers on his side. Boom!
Lerigot is kinda cute in a oversized yet shrunken kinda way but he’s totally useless. He’s supposed to be a powerful wizard yet all he does is shuffle along at the speed of a sloth and get captured and re-captured, oh and makes friends with some chimps.
The star of the movie is Divatox played brilliantly by Hilary Shepard Turner. Sure it’s a pantomime villain performance but that’s exactly what is needed. She steals every scene she is in with the witty dialogue she is given. Fantastic.
So early on in the movie we see the boys in the team training for a charity fighting competition when the Blue Ranger, Rocky injures his back. So the team are a Ranger down. So they replace him, get ready for this, sigh… with a kid! Justin is the Blue Ranger, a twelve or something year old child. Now I kinda get this, for the kids watching it’s a message “you can be a Power Ranger too” but would they really see it like that or would they be more cynical like me and think how come when he morphs he grows twice the size! No, I’m not kidding, when suited up he’s basically seen as a man with a childs voice. Oh dear…
And just because they can, they have thrown MMPR characters Kimberley and Jason into the movie. They don’t morph which is a shame but they do provide a nice link to the past. Towards the end of the movie they both become possessed and the normally placid Kimberley shows a wonderful evil side, a good performance by Amy Jo Johnson.
My biggest issue with the movie was the lack of morphing and fighting. We have to wait near the 1 hour 10 minute mark to see the Rangers in their suits and fighting. I’m all for building things up but this is a kids film, that’s what they are watching it for, in the episodes they morph every five minutes! As a result the last 25 minutes are the best as they represent an episode of Power Rangers. Though there is still issues here I’m afraid, we have waited all this time to see Maligore and he looks great, a nice design and a tough looking villain but no, the Rangers kick his ass in about five minutes, roll credits.
Sigh… the whole thing just seems like a missed opportunity and maybe in hindsight this one should have been a TV movie and not on the big screen. Look it’s Power Rangers, I can look past a lot to see the fun, I’m not asking for a lot but this movie doesn’t even give that. The most exciting moment for me was spotting Ernie in the crowd scene at the end, the 90’s version of Al from ‘Happy Days’. I love that guy, well both of them in fact.