To me, the Power Rangers phenomenon was always a hard one to figure. Here we have a kids’ show featuring heroes and villains that look like they’ve escaped from a Ninja S&M Bar. Much like Ninja movies I have reviewed in the past – see my review for Ninja Collection Volume One: 10 Feature Film Set – these six episodes of Power Rangers Jungle Fury: Way of the Master share identical plotlines with subtle variations thrown in here and there for good measure. Looking back, I can’t really register this as a complaint, taking in to consideration the audience it’s in mind for, and the fact that He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was my favorite show as a kid. And honestly, how many of those plots were any different from one another? One dominating villain up to all kinds of vicious G-Rated evil – whatever that involves.
Instead of Skeletor, however, we have the Dai Shi forces and the Five Fingers of Poison. Caught in the midst of it all are the three main Power Rangers – we’ll call them Red, Yellow, and Blue – who answer to some creepy older animal-rights dude. There is also a clumsy friend, who helps out around the Jungle Karma Pizza restaurant, where the all-powerful Rangers work to make ends meet.
Seems the economy’s been tough on everyone.
Nevertheless, kids (particularly young boys) will enjoy the bright costumes, unceasing action scenes, and Japanese Godzilla-esque special effects. At least I think they will, if they are still as easily amused as I was twenty-something years ago.
The 1.33:1 full frame is pretty standard fare. Strong colors are to be expected from modern television, and this disc is no exception. Goofy effects and weak-ass animation will look exactly as you want them to on your HDTV, so no worries there. My only complaint isn’t with the transfer itself, but the poor production values. Of course, the Power Rangers aren’t the craze they used to be. (Again, stupid economy!)
Missing the initial Power Rangers bandwagon, I feel a lot like kids of today probably do when viewing this newer incarnation. Still, something keeps the Rangers in business. Perhaps its reputation as the most violent non-violent show in the history of Saturday morning TV? With fighters that stick and move like dancers rather than pugilists, Steven Segal it isn’t… at least as far as action’s concerned. As thespians, however, they share with him a more kindred spirit.