Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers is huge hit
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 00:02
Rubber aliens, giant robots, dinosaurs, bland characters and the most awkward acting this side of Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker. Move over, Ninja Turtles. There’s a new children’s phenomenon in town!
They’re called the “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers,” and for the last several months, they’ve been inescapable and for some, insufferable. When an evil space empress (Rita Repulsa) and her alien cohorts are released from their 10,000-year exile, five of the most unrealistically perfect teenagers on Earth are chosen to become Power Rangers. They don dinosaur-themed multi-colored spandex and take the fight to Rita by defeating one monster a week, the same way every time.
Given the raucous popularity of “Jurassic Park,” it’s easy to see why this franchise has caught on so quickly. Riding on the coattails of the highest-grossing movie of all time isn’t all the Rangers have going for them. They’re not even the first team of spandex-clad superheroes. No, the Power Rangers are the 16th.
That’s because the show is adapted from a Japanese production called Super Sentai, which has been running continuously since 1975. Saban Entertainment bought the rights to use the “morphed” or transformed footage, then hired American actors to play the teens.
When they transform, the show transitions to using footage from the Japanese series, called “Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger.” Nearly all of the fight footage will be from the Japanese series, but one of the most telling signs that we’ve suddenly transitioned to Tokyo is this: The yellow ranger was a male in the Japanese footage, but is female in Power Rangers. She transforms into a super-hero and becomes conspicuously flat-chested.
Despite the cheesy dialogue being so thick you could dip a chip into it and the contrived, predictable outcomes, it’s easy to see why kids love it. I mean, it’s a team of superheroes that uses martial arts, summons giant dinosaur robots, and then combines all those into a gigantic, monster-obliterating dinosaur robot to save the day. If it seems like I’m bashing it, I am. There really shouldn’t be any enjoyment anyone over the age of 12 can take from this show. In spite of all that, there’s something kind of fun about it.
It’s so bad and so overdone, it’s actually pretty good. I particularly enjoy the actor playing the red ranger, Jason, who insists on yelling all of his lines like he’s William Shatner on steroids and caffiene pills.
It’s only a matter of time before the rangers are replaced with another fad for kids. Give it a year or two, and I bet you’ll never have to hear that insufferably catchy theme song again.