Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always is the 30th-anniversary reunion of the titular franchise that brings a lot of the original cast together to face a threat from their pasts. When one of their team members perishes, the Rangers must figure out a new plan of action to defeat a resurrected Rita Repulsa. It is now streaming on Netflix.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always opens 30 years after the events of the first film and sees Blue Ranger Billy Cranston looking for Zordon.
He accidentally resurrects Rita Repulsa in robot form, and Yellow Ranger Trini Kwan is killed in the resulting battle. Black Ranger Zack Taylor, Red Ranger Jason Lee Scott, Pink Ranger Kimberly Ann Hart, and Green Ranger Tommy Oliver regroup as Rita vows to return.
Zack and Billy decide to tell Trini’s daughter Minh about the tragedy, and the former gives up his career in Congress to raise her. Rita returns a year later, and the Rangers assemble to take her down.
However, she has a sinister plan involving time travel up her sleeve and starts capturing Rangers from across the world to harness their life force.
Things get complicated when Jason, Kimberly, Tommy, and Minh — in her desperation to avenge her mother — get captured.
The acting in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it is great to see most of the original cast like Walter Jones, David Yost, Steve Cardenas, Catherine Sutherland, Johnny Yong Bosch, and Karan Ashley return.
However, even though the nostalgia is high, the exaggerated acting is bothersome. The actors, in true Power Rangers fashion, spell out everything for the audience in a very campy manner, and it soon becomes a distraction.
Charlie Kersh as Minh is a fresh addition to the cast and holds her own among these veterans.
The one thing that this reunion does right is capitalizing on nostalgia. With most of the original cast, familiar villains, Alpha, the Morphing, and the Zords, it all is packed with fan service. There are even easter egg references to other Power Rangers shows.
The music brings back numerous memories, especially when Ron Wasserman’s legendary theme song, “Go Go Power Rangers” plays. Also, the pacing and runtime are just perfect for such a reunion.
There is a hearty tribute to the late Thuy Trang (Trinny) and Jason David Frank (Tommy) towards the end. Furthermore, cast members like Austin St. John and Amy Jo Johnson, who could not appear due to personal reasons are shown in archival footage.
Unfortunately, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always doesn’t know when to put a damper on the camp. To the original fans of the franchise, the cringe and corniness will go way beyond acceptable levels.
The visual effects are also subpar. Considering it is a Netflix project released in 2023, the makers could have paid more attention to making the VFX and CGI seem a little photorealistic.
The writing is TV episode-level and holds nothing special. Anyone watching can predict the next moment without even trying.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always is a lovely trip down memory lane, but soon runs out of steam as it cannot simply thrive on nostalgia. It will be attractive to a much younger audience, but to millennials, it might not live up to the mark.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always
Director: Charlie Haskell
Date Created: 2023-04-20 12:13