A year after ‘Robo’ Rita Repulsa kills the Yellow Power Ranger, Trini Kwan, the team are attacked by Rita and her minions while they are laying flowers on Trini’s grave. Once again, Rita gets the upper hand, by overpowering the heroes, and this time around she captures the Red, Pink, and Green Rangers and whisks them away to her lair.
Blue Ranger, Billy, and Black Ranger, Zack, escape Rita’s ambush along with Trini’s orphaned daughter, Minh, but they are unsure about their next move. Heading back to the Power Ranger Command Centre, they work with robot friend Alpha 9 to formulate a plan.
Calling in two fellow Rangers for help, Billy and Zack recreate their team as best as they can, in an attempt to rescue their fallen pals. But with Rita’s power increasing, the Power Rangers are going to need some additional help in order to tip the balance.
Directed by Charlie Haskell, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Once & Always stars Walter Jones, David Yost, Steve Cardenas, Catherine Sutherland, Barbara Goodson, Johnny Yong Bosch, Karan Ashley, Richard Steven Horvitz, and Charlie Kersh. This Power Rangers special/movie is new to Netflix today, and arrives on the streaming service to mark 30 years of the Power Rangers franchise.
Those who are keen to check it out will discover that Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Once & Always feels very much like a slice of good ol’ fashioned Ranger nonsense. It is cheesy as heck, a little daft in places, very much aimed at a younger demographic, but also a great deal of fun.
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Once & Always isn’t a film designed to reinvent the wheel, it is a piece created to celebrate the Power Rangers franchise. For young audiences it provides plenty of action and drama, while for 30/40-somethings who grew up on the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers series, Once & Always is a neat little hit in the nostalgia.
The film kicks things off with a tragedy, which adds an element of danger to proceedings, suggesting this could be a more mature Power Rangers picture, but in truth, it really is business as usual. So those looking for a way to reconnect with the show they once loved, will find this easy viewing because it plays very much like Rangers 101.
Fists fly with some frequency, monsters attack the innocent citizens of Angel Grove, and the Rangers do what they do best to fight the forces of evil. It’s all pretty formulaic stuff, but it’s colourful and likeable.
The original series was never Shakespeare, but it was wholesome stuff. This is more of the same, only with the added fun of seeing some slightly older Rangers, who are still fighting the good fight.
As for those who have never watched a Power Rangers show before (where have you been?), Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Once & Always is unlikely to turn them into life-long fans. This is a children’s film, with simple plotting, some slightly questionable acting, and a limited budget, and it feels as if it was lifted directly from Fox Kids back in the ‘90s.
But I don’t believe this picture has been designed to entice new adult audiences into the fold. It is here to draw in the next generation, while offering a window to the past for long-time fans, with a few nods and winks to the legacy.
I admit, those nods and winks would have benefited from a few more legacy cast members, and this anniversary feature could have been much stronger with more investment and a greater expansion in the story department. But kids watching this won’t be that fussed that some of the more seasoned actors didn’t come back for the picture, and will most likely be more interested in the action anyway.
The Power Rangers franchise has been going strong for the past thirty years, with no signs of slowing down, and this is largely because those in charge know exactly what they are doing with the property. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Once & Always is another example of this, and largely a case of the old saying, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’
Yes, this piece could have been bigger, and it does struggle at times with cast members David Yost and Walter Jones having to carry many scenes by themselves, but it just about works. It wouldn’t hit right as a big screen adventure at the cinema, but it seems perfectly fine for something new to Netflix.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review on It’s A Stampede!. For more reviews, check out the recommended reads below.
Leave a Reply