28 May 2017



I'm assured by my daughter that her first ever crush was on the original White Power Ranger. Or was it the Blue one? It certainly wasn't the Pink one. That was one of the girl Power Rangers and the one that she and her best mate Samantha used to beat the s***e out of each other over, to see which one would get to play her in their lunchtime games at school, haha.

Those, of course, were the 'Nineties. Happy Days. The Power Rangers are back now, anyway, or should I say that they never went away. The series we're looking at today is called POWER RANGERS DINO CHARGE and it's the 22nd season overall of the POWER RANGERS series. It has a jazzy new cast for the modern era and it's hilarious, good clean hammy fun. Let's move in for a closer look. Dino Charge, activate! Or words to that effect...

The live-action series is set in and around a place called the Amber Beach Dinosaur Museum. Our heroes all seem to work there or hang around there for some reason, and they all start life as ordinary young'uns. The museum is pretty cool, if tremendously hammy. It's like various dinosaur exhibitions that have come to Dublin at different times over the years. I remember once there was an amazing one yonks ago at Dublin Zoo called Dino Live!

Anyway, back to Amber Beach Dinosaur Museum. As well as the exhibits, there's a diner there where you can order Brontosaurus Burgers and Velociraptor fries and have them served to you ineptly by a cute bimbo of a waitress called Shelby, who's actually a Power Ranger in disguise.

Here's the science fantasy back story. Bazillions of years ago, the evil Master Sledge, a ruthless intergalactic bounty hunter and the villain of the piece, tried to steal the greatest source of power in the Universe, namely a selection of brilliantly-coloured gemstones known as 'Energems.' Cool, huh, the way they mixed the word 'energy' with the word 'gems...?'

The good guy of the series, an alien called Keeper who looks a lot like Yoda from STAR WARS (steal him, they did...!), objects rather strenuously to Sledge's hogging of the maple syrup (SIMPSONS joke!) and he blasts the nasty Sledge deep into outer space. But not before he's safeguarded the precious gems for another 65 million years...

His plan to keep the twinkly trinkets intact and out of the greedy paws of Master Sledge is rather ingenious. He entrusts them to the care (and stomachs!) of various dinosaurs. T-Rex, velociraptor, triceratops and so on. I'm only saying 'and so on' because I forget the other two, haha. Anyway, an asteroid hits the Earth and kills off the poor dinosaurs, as we already know, although it could also have been the Ice Age 'whodunnit.' Depends on what you believe. The poor dinos croaked with the gems still safely inside them.

Now, a whopping 65 million years later, the lost energems are being found left, right and centre by the brightest, bubbliest, bounciest and most enthusiastic young 'uns the acting world has to offer. They are Tyler, a Zac Efron clone, Shelby the ditzy burger waitress and the rather constipated-looking Riley, for whom Power-Rangering is a distinct step-up from cleaning out the pig-pens on the family farm.

Chase is a cheeky chappie from New Zealand, Kendall is their snooty female co-ordinator and Koda is probably the most interesting character. He's a cute young Japanese actor playing a caveman who apparently uncovered his particular energem back in the caveman times. He speaks pidgin or caveman English, saying things like: 'Koda scared of strange noise.'

Koda's been around since the time of sabre-toothed tigers and woolly mammoths but he still hasn't learned to speak anything other than the most basic of English and he freaks out at
the sound of a cellphone ringing or a television blaring, even though he was apparently around in person for the dawn of the technological age. Plothole, much?

It doesn't really matter. Koda is such a sweet-natured character. He wolfs down the manky-looking burgers the diner serves up with boundless gusto and his chest is so smooth he looks like he's been waxed and polished by Telly Savalas's hairdresser.

All the boys in the series (I can't in all honesty call them men!) are completely non-threatening, like the pop band DOE-EYED BOYS in THE SIMPSONS. It'd be perfectly okay for your daughter (or son!) to have crushes on any one of them because they're totally safe and super-sanitised.

I'm not kidding, they're so cutesy and non-threatening that I wouldn't be surprised if the producers specified 'must be completely devoid of genitalia and sex glands' when they were casting the roles, heh-heh-heh. They all seem kind of thick, too. I'm not being mean when I say that. It makes the action so much funnier, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, we haven't seen the last of the devious Master Sledge. When he realises that the energems are being found by, of all things, humans, he comes back with a vengeance. He will destroy anything on Earth to get to the gems, and that definitely includes the new generation of superheroes, ie, the new Power Rangers. 'The entire Universe will crumble before me!' He won't find it so easy, though...

The new generation of Power Rangers can harness the awesome powers of, um, dinosaurs, when they fight. Their gems, like most examples of modern technology, come complete with Dino Chargers, so all the kids need to do is to hold out their gem in the charger and shout:
'Dino Power, activate!' or something like that to get the battle ball rolling, so to speak.

Then there's a load of smoke and, hey presto! Out of the mist come the Power Rangers, all togged out for the battle. Talk about STARS IN THEIR EYES. Talk about: 'Tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be... THE RED POWER RANGER...!' 

It's all terribly dramatic, haha. They have a cool secret underground lab too, in which they can discuss top-secret superhero business. It's accessed through a dinosaur exhibit which is on clear view at the museum...! I can just imagine the janitor dispersing the looky-loos with his mop and bucket. 'Nothing to see here, move along!'

The battle scenes, in which the Power Rangers battle against Master Sledge and his evil minions, are hilarious. They mostly involve the kids holding out various plastic toys and gadgets and 'weapons' (which you can obviously buy in the shops for big money) for the watching kids to see and saying their names loudly and clearly.

'Plastic pop gun, activate!' and suchlike. Then little Timmy or Tammy Snot-nose begs Mommy or Daddy or Mommy or Daddy's same-sex partner (or even partner of the OPPOSITE sex; I guess anything's possible!) for the toy. The marketing campaign is amazingly simple and amazingly effective. Ad-men everywhere could learn from it, I'm telling you.

Imagine if you could organise your own life through the power of loud, clear talking and merely saying the name of the thing you want. I'd be all, like, hot guy and a vat of wine, activate! Winning lottery ticket, activate! More hot guys and more wine, activate! All the hot guys and all the wine in the world, plus a plasma screen TV and so on and so forth. You guys get the picture.

The battle scenes are like one long advertisement for Power Rangers products, props, toys and general related merchandise. It's like the MARS AND MATTEL CHOCO-BOT HOUR on the Krusty The Klown Show in THE SIMPSONS. 

This replaced 'THE ALL-NEW IMPROVED KIDZ' NEWS!' starring Bart and Lisa Simpson and urges you straight out with no faffing around or preamble to 'buy these entertaining products from MARS and MATTEL...!' It's just so funny. I nearly died laughing at the Power Rangers versus Master Sledge fight scenes.

The dialogue is pretty funny too, especially when they're trading insults with the villains during a battle scene. For example:

Power Ranger to Master Sledge: 'Ever heard of deodorant?'

Master Sledge to Power Ranger: 'The only thing I smell is your defeat...!'

Great comeback, Master Sledge. The hilarious thing about the terrifying Master Sledge is that he has a whiny, annoying girlfriend just like real guys do and she's trying to bully him into marriage and he keeps trying to get out of it, just like real guys do. It's just so funny...!

POWER RANGERS DINO CHARGE is out now on special (DVD) release from the
wonderful MANGA ENTERTAINMENT UK/ANIMATSU. It's the funniest and most enjoyable watch I've had in a good long while. The costumes are utterly magnificent and the in-house advertising is just so unintentionally funny. You have got to watch it. It's pure gold.


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


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