Sunday, February 3, 2013

Power Rangers Megaforce "Mega Mission"

What Happened

Power Rangers Megaforce is the story of a narcoleptic teenager named Troy. While experiencing delusions of grandeur on a bus ride to his new high school, he sees a spandex clad flash mob charging an army of mechanical men. This is the most normal thing that will happen to him today.

After arriving late to his first class, Troy is introduced to four good natured classmates with many great qualities. They would make a formidable fighting force, should a talking wall decoration ever summon them to fight the forces of an evil space alien invasion.

Meanwhile, an evil space alien invasion is about to begin. Some kind of alien, hovering above Earth in his space ship, decides the planet is no match for his army and decides to invade. Once Earth is under attack, Troy and his friends Gia, Noah, Emma, and Jake are teleported into a dark cave that is ventilated with a single fan spinning at a snails pace.

There they meet Olmec, a giant talking head mentored by Zordon, and his counterpart Wall-E. They present the five teens with awesome Ranger powers and send them on a mission that is mega. The teens use their new powers to defeat the aliens and save the city. The team returns to their new base and Olmec congratulates them on their first victory as the Power Rangers Megaforce!

Permission to fangasm? Granted.

What Worked

  1. The episode opens strong with premonitions of the Legend War. It even includes an American exclusive shot or two, reassuring the Sentai aficionados they have some unseen footage to look forward to. The fact that it pops up in the opening titles too gives me hope this isn't the last we'll hear about the Legend War until the finale.
  2. Power Rangers returns to high school and it works pretty well here. Mr. Burley is a welcome addition to the cast of characters, and pulls off an eccentric, but not too over the top teacher. The return of Ernie's as a place for the Rangers to hang out outside of class is a fun nod to the past.
  3. The first unmorphed fight was well choreographed with each Ranger attacking in a unique style (or in the case of Noah, hiding). It blended will into the morphed footage, which did a good job of demonstrating each Ranger and how their tech works.
  4. Initially, the announcement of using Goseiger footage for the anniversary season was confusing at best. After seeing the footage in use though, the Gosei aesthetic mirrors MMPR pretty well.

My mentor Ernie placed me here to serve smoothies to the planets youth.

What Kinda Worked
  1. Mega Mission is clearly intended to be an homage to Day of the Dumpster, but plays more like an outright remake. That's not a bad thing, but I feel like there were a few missteps.
    • There's no refusal to the call to adventure by the Rangers, and they seemed way too willing to believe everything that just happened to them.They were in disbelief for all of two seconds before charging onto the battlefield. Shortening the following fight could have given this scene more time to breath and be a bit more believable.
    • Some of the direct references felt unnecessary or out of place. The Kimberly line at the end didn't fit the tone of the scene and felt out of character for Gia.
    • It was nice they brought the Juice Bar back, but did it really have to be called Ernie's?

  2. The base of operations looks a little cheap at times. It's hard not to chuckle the first time Gosei speaks. The Ranger statue decorations lining the walls are a nice touch, though. I'm curious to hear an in-show explanation for why the base is lined with past Rangers, unless it's strictly because 'it's an anniversary season!' Then I will be sad.
  3. A few nuggets of continuity were tossed around this episode. How they decide to follow up on these callbacks, if at all, will effect my opinion of said callbacks. 

'Creeping Loogie' needs to be added to Urban Dictionary.

What Went Wrong

  1. The villains are exceptionally generic this year. None of the monsters have any presence and I wouldn't have known who was in charge if not for one of them being called 'Master.'
  2. It seemed a little early to toss out the first Monster of the Day. Having the Rangers scrape with one of Malkor's generals would have helped the flow of the episode.

Bottom Line
Mega Mission is a solid opener that offers hope that Megaforce will be a worthy anniversary for Power Rangers.
3 bananas out of 5

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