Directed by Bryan Spicer
Written by John Kamps (Story) & Ame Olsen (Story & Screenplay)
Beware of some very old spoilers!
Decided to go right back to childhood again for a classic review this week and stick with the non-DC Comics related theme started with TMNT last week.
Just like I was an obsessive fan of TMNT when I was little when MMPR first appeared on Sky I was hooked. The colours, the monsters the Zords oh man it was like nothing I had ever seen before yet amazingly compared to kids TV these days it seems relatively calm and docile.
After a massively successful first season worldwide MMRP was deep in production of its second season when it was decided to move the cast over to Sydney, Australia to film a movie (plus a couple of episodes of the series as the cast were in Australia for some time).
I still love this movie even as a grown up and I still watch it from time-to-time alongside re-watching classic episodes on Netflix but it always bothered me that it was decided the film would never be canon.
There was always a strong feel-good factor to MMPR and it translated perfectly in to a movie. Yes, it was cheesy and the acting was never going to win any awards but there were always such strong morals in the show that you couldn’t fault the lessons that it taught the millions of kids who watched it.
The film sweeps aside the TV baddies Rita and Zedd to make way for Ivan Ooze, an original villain who in this universe had the potential to translate back to the TV series and run on for quite some time if the Super Sentai footage had existed for it.
Note: I read in the Sky TV magazine when I was 7 or 8 that MMPR was a mix of American teen show and Japanese fighting drama. For years I didn’t know if that meant it was a genre mashup or genuinely a mix of two shows. I was shocked when I found out the real answer… so obvious now!
Along with creating an all new villain the film goes to great lengths to separate itself from the TV series. The bigger budget afforded to the film is almost all on screen with new costumes, weapons and rebuilt sets all on show.
The new costumes look a little awkward but on the whole work well in the big screen format and there was no way that the TV sets would have passed as convincing on film, they barely pass as convincing on TV. No self respecting MMPR fan can say they haven’t word a Megazord costume made of cardboard boxes that looked identical to the costume on TV!
My only complaint is the style of the CGI used for the Zords in this film. I don’t doubt for a second that as much of the budget as was available was spent on the graphics but it’s just not enough to make them look convincing to fans of any age.
The quest for the ninja powers makes for a compelling movie and nobody would begrudge you the fact that you worry for the teens when they lose their powers and all hope seems lost.
If you’ve never seen this movie before (WHY?!!!) then check it out. It would give you a good all round impression of what the original MMPR was like almost 20 years ago now.
There’ll be celebrations this year for the 20th anniversary of the first season of the show and so for those of your joining the party a little late go back and check this out.