IHAO on ... Power Rangers RPM

Have you ever experienced shame?  Like, you acted out because of a thing you hate about yourself?  Rebelling against parents because you are ashamed of their lifestyle?  Working out crazy hard because you are ashamed of your weight?  Not bathing or taking care of yourself because of a painful rejection or relationship?  All of those actions happen because of shame.  Power Rangers RPM is ashamed of being a Power Rangers show.

Even worse than that, it thinks it is WAY too cool to be Power Rangers, based on a Japanese long-running television series made for adventure, heroics, and excitement.  Power Rangers RPM spends as much time as it can removing every ounce of Power Rangers from its identity.  It is a dour show in setting that treats all the sillier elements as if they are stupid.  It even re-shot most of its fighting footage because it wanted to be COOLER and MORE MATURE.  And it isn't.  It is lamer and super poorly made.

Oh come on, don't cry yet, I've got a lot more bad things to say!

In most episodes, they make fun of the costumes (with the Zordon replacement being a TERRIBLE stereotypical super-smart nerd girl character, who gets crazy upset if you call the outfits "spandex"), they make fun of the zords, they make fun of the morphers, they make fun of the explosions that happen when they morph sometimes, they make fun of the catchphrase, they re-edit footage to make the original series stuff they do end up using instead of being complicated into just characters screwing up.  None of the monster of the weeks talk or joke, all just making stupid gurgles and grunts.

They even remove the logo from the actual show.  Yes, they show it in the opening musical credits thing, but that song never plays during a single episode.  That logo NEVER shows up anywhere in the show.  Instead, they just show a white-on-black piece of awful typography, because that's EDGIER and COOLER than silly colorful logos.  The entire show is edited with a sepia filter on it to make everything look dingier and MORE MATURE.

THEY EVEN REFUSE TO USE THE TERM "MORPHING GRID", which is the catch-all phrase for what allows people to morph at all.  They call it "bio-field" for no reason.  There is NO REASON to not call it the Morphing Grid.  ARG!  Hell, the only things this show does keep from its predecessors is the WORST stuff.  Terrible comedy characters, three of whom are Power Rangers and one of those three is treated as completely incompetent the whole show, ridiculous "home office" sets, and insert-our-actress-as-bad-guy-here.

Raise your hand if you are a worthwhile part of this show ... where's your hand?

Even worse than all that, the show is patently stupid.  The good guys are incompetent, the bad guys are incompetent, the rangers are incompetent, everyone that isn't Zordon-girl are incompetent.  It is frustrating to watch a show where every action anyone takes that isn't this created Zordon-girl are ALL futile or easily fixed by another character, normally the Zordon-girl.

Oh yeah, and I talked about the shooting being bad.  It isn't he only bad stuff.  Shaky cam, terrible editing ... like, really bad editing.  You see a guy get destroyed, his limbs blown up, and then jump cut and he's stop-drop-rolling to safety.  Also the acting across the board, other than the lead, is either bland, 2-dimensional, or both.  The score is boring, average garbage that is forgettable at best and eye-rollingly irritating on average.

Let me talk about good things.  Every now and again, they focus on the black ranger, who it was their goal to make the "lead character."  I put that in quotation marks because the footage they have from the original Sentai series makes it impossible to make someone who isn't the red ranger the lead.  Which is why they just don't use the vast majority of footage.  Sorry, I was supposed to be talking positively.  Not only is he an intriguing character, he has a good actor.

The finale is also pretty good.  There's plenty of stupid in it, like the line by Zordon-girl that "the best way to fight a virus is with a virus" which is just the dumbest thing in the world.  But there is some really good emotional stuff (that is ultimately unearned, but since it is a finale, it is nice to finally see).  You know what, forget those parentheses, let me talk about this.  So a handful of characters die, as do a bunch of zords.  Everyone comes back, mind you, because of all-powerful always right Zordon-girl and her plot-magic, but they don't come back immediately and you get a nice weight of the tension and difficulty that the good guys are having to deal with.

Sidebar - In the original sentai, the zords were living creatures.  So when they got destroyed ... yeah, you just watched living things that talked and worked alongside the Rangers die.  That is POWERFUL.  But talking animal-vehicles is too silly!  Making terrible jokes and having a ranger that doesn't know how to fight isn't too silly, but you crossed a line there!

Wait, Zordon-girl, wait, I am about to do the wrap-up!  Where are you going?!

And that's it.  There are little things here or there that are nice, but ultimately, Power Rangers RPM is just awful.  And lots and lots of people think it is great.  I don't get it.  It is just like MacGruber, or Man of Steel or a lot of the other DC films.  It is ashamed of its "sillier" origins, so it over-corrects with ADULT-ness.  You know what I say to that mentality?  I say that Guardians of the Galaxy is the highest grossing film of this summer, maybe this year.  I say that the Croods is one of the most emotional films I've ever seen.  I say that the newest Super Sentai about Rainbow Trains is more mature and adult than anything RPM ever did.  So take that.  And yeah, I'll totally be reviewing Rainbow Trains once I finish it!

Looks like this is gonna be a thing, reviewing Power Rangers and probably Sentai series as well.  Hopefully some of you will enjoy it.  It'll be less frequent than the wrestling reviews, but it'll be around.  See you next time.

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