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Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive (2007)

Operation Overdrive was the15th anniversary series. It was originally supposed to be called Relic Hunters but luckily they changed the title, or viewers might have gotten it all mixed up with Tia Carrere’s show Relic Hunter, which I actually watched a few times. It was pretty terrible but not as bad as Cleopatra 2525, which was on right after.Operation Overdrive Flurious & Moltor

Back to Power Rangers. These five teenagers with attitude are searching for magic jewels taken from this crown that the gods supposedly made. This guy called the Sentinel Knight took the magic jewels and scattered them all over the damn place to keep them out of the hands…paws…whatever of these two evil foam-rubber brothers, Moltar and Flurious (fire and ice, get it?). So this billionaire explorer dude finds the crown and recalls the evil brothers from their exile, and all hell breaks loose. The billionaire is not actually an evil billionaire (for once) and he finds the teenagers and modified their DNA to give them superhuman strength, speed etc.

Meanwhile, Moltar and Flurious discover that they really hate each other and so start fighting each other as well as the good guys. These other people/aliens show up also looking for all the jewels because when they are put back in the crown, the crown gives you ultimate power, although the exact nature of ‘ultimate power’ is never explained (not in this series or any other story where some artifact can give you ultimate power, now that I think about it). There’s a hot chick with a bad wig and some feline aliens called Fearcats. The Mercury Ranger- who really is a guy from Mercury- is the bonus ranger.

Despite having awesome genetic powers, the Rangers don’t actually use them very often. Instead they rely on their crazy advanced technology that apparently being a billionaire can also buy you.

Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive is just okay. But in its favor, it’s still way better than the next show.

 

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Power Rangers: Jungle Fury (2008)

For ten thousand years some evil spirit called Dai Shi has been imprisoned by a kung fu clan that for some reason lives in a jungle. The three top kung fu fighters in the clan (two dudes and a chick) are chosen to be Dai Shi’s new guards, but one of them turns out to be a backstabbing asshole so they get a replacement who is a newbie. The backstabbing asshole unsurprisingly releases Dai Shi, who kills the clan master, but before he dies he conveniently has time to tell the kung fu teens to go to Ocean Bluff, California, and find a new master. Because California is where all the awesome kung fu masters hang out. They have to get their shit together and fight Dai Shi, who wants to destroy humanity and let animals rule the Earth, which doesn’t seem like a bad idea some nights when I am watching the news.

They find out their new master is a stoner who runs a pizza joint. And at this point I stopped watching because Jungle Fury is terrible. The acting is atrocious, the action is mediocre, the costumes look silly and even the theme song is awful. I suppose at some point they add enough Rangers to reach the required number of six and they are a perfect gender/ethnic mix, and they defeat the bad guys but their Zords are destroyed. The end.

 

BLACK WOLF RANGER, YELLOW BEAR RANGER, RED EAGLE RANGER, GREEN SHARK RANGER, BLUE LION RANGER

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Power Rangers: RPM (2009)

Power Rangers gets all technologically advanced for the digital age. The villain here is an AI/computer virus. Venjix the virus/AI shuts down all communication across the planet and also creates an army of robots to destroy every city in the world. The last remaining human city is called Corinth (which is where Oedipus lived after being adopted by its king and queen, before sleeping with his mom and killing his dad. But I’m pretty sure it’s not the same city). Corinth has a dome and a forcefield, which is only lowered to let in survivors or to let out the RPM Rangers to fight the robot army.

The RPM Rangers actually have a decent set of helmets they can actually see out of, and their Zords look like animals but can also turn into sweet cars. That’s really all there is to know about RPM. It’s not great, but it doesn’t suck either. At least it’s certainly no Jungle Fury.

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Power Rangers: Samurai/Super Samurai (2010-2011)

In 2010, Saban re-acquired the Power Rangers franchise. And thank God, because Power Rangers: Samurai is about ten times better than any of the previous Saban-less shows.

In another dimension some creatures called the Nighloks are pissed off and want to (surprise!) Earth. A kung fu master who, oddly enough, lives in California, tells his student- the Red Ranger- to assemble his team, a bunch of kids who somehow have ancient samurai blood (of the samurai who originally defeated the Nighloks) even though only one of them is Asian. Samurai also brings back wannabe bully Bulk from the original series, but this time his cohort is the son of his old buddy Skull. While they provide the comic relief, they never actually seem to interact with the Rangers. 25

The Nighloks, led by evil Master Xandred, have this plan that is kind of awesome. There is this mystical river that fills up with water when people are sad, and they want to make everyone unhappy so the river will overflow its banks, because when that happens the world will be destroyed and they can take over. Master Xandred decides to accomplish this by sending lots of weird monsters to mess with people. Luckily the only place he is able to send them in our dimension appears to be California, so the Samurai Rangers can deal with them every time. Then this fisherman kid shows up (he really does catch fish and sell them out of a cooler) and he’s the bonus Gold Ranger. The Rangers use their ‘samuraizers’ to transform, which cracks me up every time.

There are also a couple half human- half Nighlok characters (I don’t even want to think about how that happened) whose loyalties waver back and forth: Deker, who looks like a person, and Dayu, who is hot until you get to her foam-rubber face. There is also a Nighlok named Octoroo who is like a goofy version of Cthulhu. There’s all this drama late in the series about how the Red Ranger is actually a big fraud or something, but then he turns in his magic ballet shoes and realizes that the power was never in the shoes, it was always inside him even if he didn’t realize it…or something like that. shinken-vi-dayu

At the end the Nighloks are finally defeated again and the Rangers go back to what they doing before, which seems awfully boring since they’re like a swimmer, a farm girl, a teacher and a fisherman. I guess it’s a decent trade for not getting killed.

Super Samurai is just the second season, and it’s pretty much more of the same, which is fine. The fights are good, the Zords are neat (they are called Foldingzords, and fold out of kanji characters, which is origami-ish and kind of cool). The acting is decent, and even if the helmets are silly-looking, the rest of the costumes are okay. At least the helmets are silly-looking because their visors are shaped like kanji symbols.

 

 

 

 

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Power Rangers: Megaforce (2013)

We haven’t seen this one since it’s not on Netflix yet, but it began running back in February. It’s the twentieth anniversary series, so I expect great (OK, decent) things. It looks lime aliens are after taking over Earth…again.

Surprise.

And that’s that. Thanks for hanging with me on this journey through two decades of people in tight costumes fighting rubber monsters!