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'Turbo' Rangers: Say Cheese

By Rita Kempley
Washington Post Staff Writer
March 28, 1997

Parents will have to take their kids’ hands and be led through "Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie," a purgatory of low-budget interplanetary adventure. It’s easier for tots, at whose short attention spans and bright color consciousness these jumbled tales are aimed, to figure out who’s new and who’s a repeater among the Red, Green, Blue, Pink and Yellow Power Rangers, the bad guys, the wizards, and all their cosmic cohorts.

Most young folk already know everything from the long running daytime TV series that spawned this epic and, in 1995, "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie" (PG). As before, much inspiration is owed to the "Star Wars," "Star Trek" and especially the ancient "Flash Gordon" serials, with which "Power Rangers" sets and special effects share a certain cheesiness.

Kids can relate to their parents how these squeaky-clean teens from middle-American Angel Grove were recruited by the wise Zordon (a holographic talking head) to fight evil around the universe. Kids can explain how these high-school martial-arts mavens can morph into rainbow-colored super-fighters, de-molecularize, shoot to some distant planet, jump into their Zords (souped-up cars and trucks jazzed to TURBO power this time) and face, in the case of this film, the cranky, bustier-bursting "space pirate," Divatox (Hilary Shepard Turner). She’s in pursuit of the kindly wizard, Lerigot, who can open for her the volcanic lair of molten monster, Maligore, with whom she plans to wed and rule the universe. (Been there. Done that.)

It’s doubtful, however, whether kids can clear up why, though the Rangers are a fairly diverse cross section of American ethnicity, only the Anglo-ish ones have many lines or heroics to perform. Or why the sets are so dimly lit (perhaps to make cheap special effects look better). Or why the comic relief, a couple of doofuses named Bulk and Skull (Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy) are supposed to be funny.

TURBO: A POWER RANGERS MOVIE (PG) — Some martial arts violence and a few scary monsters.

© Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

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