Netflix Synopsis: Five average teens are chosen by an intergalactic wizard to become the Power Rangers, who must use their new powers to fight the evil Rita Repulsa.
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5 seconds in, and we’re shown a gang of what looks like Yu-Gi-Oh! card monster cosplayers in a desert. One is an “old Asian lady” (Rita Repulsa) and she’s screaming stuff.
SO MUCH IS GOING ON ALREADY. And we’re still only in the title sequence.
Next, we’re taken to a sandy castle where a robot is talking to the Wizard of Oz…
… and finally, the opening credits start! Notice how each Ranger is subtly assigned a colour to match and accentuate their racial and gender identities. Diversity by numbers, kids. (Side note: Bulk and Skull shown at the height of their badass-ness having a delightful day out with some candy floss. Adorbs.)
In this alternative version of the 1990s, any bozo could just become any astronaut and waltz around the nearest planet. Just remember to put the word “space” in front of any alien object you come across and you’re a bonefide pro!
Angel Grove Gym & Juice Bar: Think ‘The Bronze’ meets… er, a gym I guess. But with no coffee. Or sexy vampires. Actually, it’s nothing like ‘The Bronze’.
Billy rocks up looking like every undercover adult in a high school story ever. Think Drew Barrymore in ‘Never Been Kissed‘ or Steve Buschemi in ‘30 Rock‘.
Bulk and Skull rock up and take off their shades in PRACTISED unison. Skull is wearing a bike chain around his neck AND a bandana. Then he does a serial killer laugh whilst trying to ask out one of the Ranger girls.
TURN DOWN FOR WHAT.
Rita lives in a cyber peacock. Seems weirdly appropriate.
Has Rita been looking through a magnifying glass at another planet? WHAT KIND OF SORCERY IS THIS?!
Old man Billy get’s schooled by teenage Jason and that must be kind of embarrassing for a man of his age. Even worse is when Jason patronises Billy for memorising like three words: “You learnt that very quickly Billy.” I mean Billy isn’t wearing those nerd glasses for nothing. [FAN THEORY: Jason is Billy’s estranged son and he’s gone undercover to try and get to know him as a friend, only to reveal later on that’s he’s his father. Tears. Hugs. End.]
Props to Bulk and Skull for wearing their bad boy clothes over their karate outfits. Real commitment to the bad boi lifestyle. (Also, where did Skull get that bowler hat from on such short notice?)
Later at the juice bar everyone’s patronising Billy (again) and lying to him about martial arts not being a physical thing. Ernie (the man, the legend!) brings them a disgusting spinach-based drink.
Then an earthquake hits and Ernie tells everyone to “stay calm” whilst throwing drinks in their faces.
“Something tells me this is no earthquake.” (Um, what tells you that exactly…?)
Kimberley cleverly deduces that she’s not in the mall.
It’s exposition time from Zordon! He’s caught in an “inter-dimensional time warp”! Queue obligatory ‘Rock Horror‘ music now!
“TO THE VIEWING GLOBE.” TL:DR, Rita Repulsa is an intergalactic sorceress bent on controlling the universe. Yada yada yada…
Her grunts are the Blue Man group in morph suits, otherwise known as ‘Putty Patrollers.’
Just gonna leave this here.
Morpher belts! Sweet.
DINOZORDS! Some of which are not strictly-speaking dinosaurs, but I guess we’ll make do. Also, what is the “power of a dinosaur” anyway? Having tiny arms? Attacking Jeff Goldblum? Going all extinct like a total loser species?
Zack: “This is just too weird for me.” We feel you, Zack.
Zack does the smart thing and leaves and everyone follows suit including Jason, but not before staring longingly into Zordon’s eyes…
Side note: Alpha 5 is basically one of the aliens from the Cadbury ‘Smash’ adverts. Just watch the video below if you don’t believe me.
So, the Putty Patrol are literally made of putty… I don’t know why that’s surprising.
And they’re animated by steam power? Okay, now I give up.
Cut back to the kids who are walking all the way home from the middle of fucking nowhere. Zack is still the only voice of reason: “Guys, we were talking to a giant head!”
OH SHIT HERE COME DAT PUTTY. What’s all the more terrifying is that they make noises that sound eerily similar to another creepy children’s TV character of the 1990s: Mr. Blobby. British children of the 90s still cower in fear every time they hear his confusing screams of his own name – like a demented Pokemon that just can’t take it anymore. Just watch the video below for further proof.
Oh no! It’s… Gonzo? Gaydar? Goldar!
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T ZOOM IN PLZ.
Rita screams an innuendo: ‘Magic wand make my Goldar grow!’
It’s motherfucking Megazord time, bitches!
Kimberley: “Nice stereo!”
Who’s controlling this thing? No, seriously. How does it work?
The Rangers totally win, of course. Back at HQ, Zordon lays down ground rules like a boring adult: 1. Never use your powers for personal gain. 2. Never escalate a battle unless Rita forces you. 3. Keep your identities secret.
Again, Zack is the sole voice of reason: “I’m not sure we’re up to it, I mean, we were pretty lucky this time.” Zordon assures him (unconvincingly) that it’s just the power of them working together, blah blah blah, and after stroking their egos, surprisingly, Jason is all in, and the others follow suit. Billy answers with an: “Affirmative!” with a dorky thumbs up. (BILLY = ADORABLE.)
Kimberly pretends to be a prissy bitch and everyone believes her because she is one, but then she delivers a quintessentially 90s “NOT!” gag. Oh, Kimberley!