I’m just going to start off by saying, growing up I was never a fan of the Power Rangers. It’s odd considering I love live action robots and I was a fan of TOHO films, but the TV series was never something that could hold my interest, though I did always crush on the Pink Ranger (Amy Jo Johnson). Since the series appeared in 1993 it has spawned many spinoffs in the process, which brings me to the new release of Power Rangers Mega Force: The Mysterious Robo Knight. The DVD release is comprised of four episodes of the series following the Mega Force team as they use their Power Ranger skills to protect Earth from numerous alien invaders. You also get a small action figure.
United We Stand is the first of the four episodes and focuses most of its time on the female Power Rangers Emma and Gia. The two are best friends, but all that is disrupted when an alien queen Beezara turns the two against each other while also placing the male rangers under her control as slaves. For those coming into the show without knowing a thing about it, everything is nicely set up where you don’t need massive amounts of back story, and you can still appreciate the intended drama, having the two girls pitted against one another. Does everything get resolved in a nice little package before the end credits? I’ll let you scratch your noggin and leave that up for you to discover. As the starter episode I wasn’t disappointed.
Harmony and Dizchord is the following episode, where we meet, Dizchord, an alien that believes he is the greatest musician in the universe. He believes that with his loud, obnoxious music he has what it takes to disrupt the planet and by crippling the Power Rangers, he’ll finally be able to conquer the planet. This just didn’t work for me; of course the Power Rangers have a member in the group that can sing as well, and this kind of becomes a battle of music before evolving into a battle between a giant alien and the Power Rangers.
Who’s Crying Now centers around Troy, the Red Ranger, as he is confronted by a pair of bullies at school. Sure, this is an episode about bullies getting what they deserve, but also it’s a message about resolving conflict and not letting anger get the best of you. In a previous episode (not included on the DVD) Troy and the alien Creepbox had a confrontation, and Creepbox wants revenge. At this point the show had fallen into following the same pattern, and by doing so it just became predictable when the Rangers would confront the alien. The battle leaves someone hurt; a second confrontation follows after some lesson of self-discovery, then the final battle occurs and the world is safe till the next attack. I’m not knocking the formula since it’s worked well for the series, but basically any mystery to the show was quickly dissipated by this point.
The final episode Robo Knight introduces us to the DVD’s title character. The Robo Ranger makes his appearance after the Rangers are attacked by mutants at a power plant. For those familiar with Captain Planet, the moment Robo Knight appears and discusses pollution, this is all I could think about. Thankfully there are entertaining fights throughout to hold my interest as they sneak in their message to the kids about taking care of the planet.
Despite each episode feeling like a retread of the one before, only with a new alien to mix things up a bit, the show does at least keep things fun with the fight scenes. The violence is nothing a parent should be worried about, especially when you look at what is already on television and playing in the theaters. The fight choreography and the aliens are what I feel is the show’s greatest appeal; the cinematography and editing help give it a throwback feel to the old TOHO films. Unfortunately, I wish the scripts and storylines held up a little better, but this is a show that I know has its loyal followers who will have a blast with this DVD set.