03 August 2014

TV DVD Review: "Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive": Volume One: "Brownbeard's Pearl"

Rated: TV-Y7 for fantasy violence
Starring: James McFay, Caitlin Murphy, Samuell Benta, Rhoda Montemayor, and Gareth Yuen
Released: 2007 (Jetix premieres)
Famed archaeologist and billionaire Andrew Hartford (Rod Lousich) has finally found it: the Corona Aurora, a crown that, when combined with five jewels scattered across the planet, has legendary powers.  Unfortunately, his discovery has awakened an ancient evil: two brothers, the icy Flurious and fiery Moltor, who will stop at nothing to get the jewels and rule the world.  To defend the world from utter destruction, and to assist in finding the jewels, Andrew gets five teenagers--stuntman Dax Lo (Gareth Yuen), race car driver Ronny (Caitlin Murphy), spy-for-hire Will (Samuell Benta), brainiac Rose (Rhoda Montemayor), and Andrew's own son Mack (James McFay)--to undergo a genetic restructuring procedure, and equips them with powerful technology...which makes them Power Rangers! In this first set, the Rangers learn to work together and set out to find the first jewel...though their enemies try to stop them at every turn! Will they find the gem, or will their plans be thwarted?
As seen on Toon Disney's Jetix block.

Warning! Spoilers below!

The Good
First off: The special effects, though not perfect, are much better than they were in the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, likely thanks to a bigger budget.  Also, the action sequences are more intense and less cheesy, which makes the show more involving.  The actors all do well; even though the material can be silly at times, they make it work.  Rhoda Montemayor deserves special mention for playing a female pirate in the final episode; a much different character than Rose.  Miratrix, the main villainess, is more convincing and less over-the-top than Rita Repulsa ever was, especially since Miratrix is first introduced as Dax's love interest.  Positive elements--working as a team, uniting for a common goal, etc.--are also present.

The Bad
While intense action sequences is a great thing for older viewers like me, they may be too much for some kids.  Also, though it's cool to see Rose as a pirate, the way she becomes one--a ghost entering her body--is a bit creepy.  The theme song and closing credits music could also have been better, and the DVD title gives too much away.

Though not perfect, this inaugural title in the fifteenth season--yes, really!--of Power Rangers made for some great entertainment.  It's definitely different than the original incarnation, but it's still fun and entertaining nonetheless.  Those past the "target age" may scoff, but kids of all ages--including "grown-up kids" like me--might very well enjoy this.  I'm interested to see where it goes from here.

Score: 4/5

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