“Mega Mission - Mega Recap”

February 8, 2013



The twentieth season of Power Rangers is now officially underway. “Mega Mission” premiered last weekend, and I thought I’d give my thoughts on the episode.


Legend War


Let’s start where the episode starts, with the Legend War. While short, I enjoyed seeing the footage of this massive battle this early. I’m happy we got at least one original footage shot (as seen on the left). My take is that, for whatever reason, Troy is having premonitions about this great fight that is to come. My hope is that this is not the last time we see these kind of dreams from Troy. I’m not saying I want them in every single episode, just sprinkle them in lightly in three or four more throughout the season.


Theme Song & Intro


I will admit that I was hoping we would get a new & original theme song for Megaforce. However, after listening to it (early thanks to Bandai America), I can say I like it. Granted it is the same arrangement as the Samurai/Super Samurai version. However, I do like the changes in lyrics they put in, as well as the opening and ending. The intro on the other hand, that I have one problem with. I am tired of the roll-call shouting. I did not see the need during Samurai & Super Samurai for the Rangers to shout out their names, and I find it very annoying this go round. Honestly, children do not need to be told verbally what the Ranger’s names are in the introduction. By the time kids start watching Power Rangers, they likely have enough reading skills to be able to read names. If not, then they’ll quickly pick them up in the actual show.


Rangers


So let’s talk about our heroes for the year, who all ready have a LOT more personality that the Samurai team. I’ll start at the bottom, where I feel there is much needed improvement. Andrew Gray’s performance was bland. If felt like there was never any real emotion behind his lines. They were mostly all good lines for him to say, but he wasn’t selling them. Not to mention the fact that it seemed as though everything he said was done in ADR. There are also questions about his character. Such as how has he overcome adversity in his life? They need to show us, not just tell us and hope we just accept it. Oh, and why was he practicing martial arts on the roof of a building? (Seriously, who does that).


Moving on from bland to seen it before, we have Ciara Hanna as Gia. From everything I saw in the premiere, it felt like we are to believe that Gia is Miss Perfect. She excels in school, she’s pretty, she knows everything about her friends, she’s even able to catch books without looking. So she’s a Mary Sue, or as I’ll refer to her, Summer Landsdown Mark 2. I really hope there is more to her character than just being perfect at everything.


Progressing on to the Rangers I like. Christina Masterson as Emma took a bit of warming up to, but her character does interest me. I like the concept of her biking and enjoying photography. I hope these elements are kept throughout the season, as well as expanded upon. I also thought her using her camera to fight off the Loogies was clever. John Mark Loudermilk’s Noah is pretty cool. I felt he brought a good deal of fun to the episode, from wanting to be right & prove he’s the smartest, to his nerd style reactions and fighting.


Finally we have my favorite character & actor. Azim Rizk stole the entire show as Jake. I think this character is the star. I like everything about Jake. His humor is great & clever, he’s got good fighting skills thanks to his athleticism, and even though Gia pays no attention to him at all, he keeps on trying. Azim does a great job bringing a lot of life to this Ranger, and the show.


My one big complaint about the entire team, and this is comes from a writing perspective; how can they not know who or what Power Rangers are?!?! Seriously, this is set up to be in the Power Rangers universe. Over the years monsters have waged HUGE attacks on cities & the entire planet, yet these five have no clue as to who any of the Ranger teams are? Honestly guys, it would not have hurt to instead have them looking at the Ranger Keys, and one say, “I remember those guys. They protected Mariner Bay”, or something like that.


Warstar


There’s really not much to say about our villains this year, at least thus far. I like the voices they all have, but I hope we eventually get some real motivation as to why they want to take over Earth. The monster was just okay, and fine I guess for an opening episode with a short monster fight.





Allies


We have now moved on from Bulk & Spike the last two years, to a school teacher and a yogurt shop owner. Mr. Burley seems. . .a tad odd. Though I must say Mr. Burley, the wild west called, and they would like the mustache back. Ernie seems cool enough. I like that his shop is in a mall, and not just a stand alone location. I hope we get to see more quarks and interactions with these two characters.



The Base & Occupants


Let’s think back twenty years. Remember how even back in 1993, the Command Center still looked impressive, and a bit technological? But now what do we have? A cave...with five colored podiums...a Wall-E style robot...a big Morpher Head on a wall...and a bunch of Ranger Keys. This is bad. Power Rangers has had many great bases of operation in the past. But this? Just a simple cave? REALLY? For the twentieth season you guys could not have done any better than a cave? This was a big missed opportunity.


But the biggest attention grabber in this dull base is, to me at least, the Ranger Keys. Yes, I am calling them Ranger Keys. That’s what they are designed like, that’s what they look like, and so that’s what I’m calling them. From the shots we have thus far, it appears that maybe the production team didn’t have time to remake all of the various Power Ranger teams into keys. It almost looks like there are duplicate sets of teams, used to fill out the displays. Perhaps as the season progresses, we’ll get more time showing these gems off, and maybe even explaining them.


Tensou is, well let’s just call a spade a spade here, he’s Wall-E. I think the voice they have for him is cool, but his design leaves a lot to be desired. I understand the Saban team wanting to keep him small, instead of a robot suit that they’d have to pay a suit actor for. However, I feel like they could have still done a better job in designing him. When I look at him, I see the Star Trek Starfleet Emblem, wheels, a Wall-E head & neck, and two big solar panels on his back. But this is our robot assistant for the next year or two, so he’ll grow on me. Or maybe he’ll become a robotic parrot.


Finally we have our big talking head. For the most part, I like Gosei, especially the voice. The look has grown slowly on me, though I did enjoy the Freaky Tiki jokes from Jake. I do wonder, if this is the “familiar” form he chose to communicate with humans, then was he originally from Easter Island? Am I alone in thinking he sounded a bit bossy & demanding when he was instructing Tensou to find the five teenagers?


Oh, and if Gosei is only awakened when the Earth is in danger, then I have to question how many times he actually hit the snooze button. Seriously, if Zordon placed Gosei there, then let’s say the first time (post Zordon’s death), that the Earth was under attack should have been when the demons were released & attacking Mariner Bay. What about when Ransik & crew arrived and attacked Silver Hills? It’s just something that could have used a bit more thought.


The Fights & Morphing


I enjoyed most of the fight scenes in “Mega Mission”. It’s good to see them having a civilian fight again, and it would help the show if this continued for the season. I did feel like the two Morphed fights were just off. I don’t know exactly what it was, but it seemed almost repetitive, or something. I feel like they could have been edited better to create a more seamless flow. Still, they were good battles with a lot less talk, of which I am very thankful. Oh and Troy, never say the words “Mega Win” again please.


The Morph sequence itself is okay. I like that “It’s Morphin Time” has been brought back. Though I do wish the entire Morph sequence was original, as it’s very obvious where the original footage ends, and the Goseiger footage kicks in.


The References


Finally we have all the nods and references to the first Power Rangers episode, “Day of the Dumpster”. Yes, I understand with this being the 20th Anniversary that some of these were bound to happen, but some were taken just a bit too far. Having the teens in high school is fine, and them having another hangout that serves food is a good nod to the past. However, the location & owner did not have to be named Ernie. Having another big talking head mentor & robot assistant are nice as well. The one thing that needs explaining is Zordon being Gosei’s mentor. This can’t just be a “hey remember Zordon? We mentioned him, so yeah FUN” kind of thing. If you really want to pay tribute, then explain when & how Zordon found Gosei and bestowed him with this duty. Also, the copied lines in the episode were okay, but by the end, it was too much with Emma & helmet hair. Emma isn’t even the valley girl like Kimberly was, so it did not make much sense to have her say it.


Final Thoughts


Overall I enjoyed “Mega Mission”. I felt it did a good job of establishing some of the key elements for the season. I hope the areas that were lacking are explained & explored further in the future. It’s a brand new & exciting season, and let’s hope we continue moving upward.


Final Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.


“Mega Mission” images provided by MegaforceCast.com


ALLONS-Y!


 

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