Sometimes it’s better to leave things in the past.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was an idea that should have never taken off in the first place. An American TV knockoff based on a popular long-standing Japanese series required a sizable amount of cut-pasting and editing to take American-looking teenagers and match them with Japanese stock footage to create a successful TV show.
To this day if you go back and watch old episodes of Power Rangers, It is hard to believe that this show became one of the most popular television shows of the 1990s. Fast forward to modern times and the original lineup of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are either in their 50s or they’re dead.
Thuy Trang passed away in a car accident back in 2001, and the most famous Ranger from the entire franchise Jason David Frank committed suicide in late 2022. With Austin St. John dealing with legal issues and Amy Jo Johnson refusing to put on spandex in her 50s, the only two people who were able to do a Power Rangers reunion in 2023 were David Yost and Walter Jones.
According to Yost, this is a passion project that he has been trying to make for the last 20 years. With Netflix giving him an opportunity to bring his vision to life, ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always’ shows why some ideas are better left on the writing pad.
‘Once and Always’ is a Power Rangers Mini movie that was set many years after the initial series. Despite being in their 50s the Power Rangers are still hard at work saving the world from Rita Repulsa who is now taking over as the robotic personality of Robo Rita.
This version of Rita is far more sinister than her initial counterpart as during the battle with the Power Rangers Robo Rita kills the yellow ranger treaty in a blast that was meant for Billy. With her mother dead, Billy and Zack are left to be the facto parents of Trini’s daughter Minh Kwan, who is thirsty for revenge for her mother but it’s too young and over her head to join the Power Rangers team.
When Robo Rita strikes again and kidnaps half of the Power Rangers team, Billy and Zack must band together to save their friends and once again save the fate of the world. It goes without saying that Netflix is the last outlet that you would trust with your blood franchise so it shouldn’t be any surprise that this film is a complete dumpster fire from start to finish.
As much as everyone loves the reunion, watching your favorite Power Rangers attempt to punch and kick in their mid-50s is not the best look even for the most seasoned Power Rangers fan out there. David Yost, who looks like Dennis from Always Sunny in Philadelphia, is the brainchild of this project so most of the plot revolves around him.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was never known for his brilliant acting chops and it’s almost a Marvel that after 30 years some people in this film haven’t gotten any better at it. The acting is rough and the effects look cheap.
In 1995, when the Morphin Power Rangers movie was released in the theaters the effects of that film were so bad it’s been laughed at for decades afterward. In this film, the effects look somewhat better and somewhat worse at the same time. The film features all the worst aspects of nostalgia; it just goes to show you that some ideas are better left in the past.
‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always’ proves why David Yost’s idea was never good enough to make it out of a pitch meeting and its a big shame that it did.