Sunday, January 22, 2017

MMPR Season 3 Episode 6: Ninja Quest Part 3


Police Attempt to Apprehend Interdimensional Sorceress
Inventor of the Power Coins Revealed to be Total Shithead







Last week on Power Rangers, the Ranger Teens took a long and boring trek through some shitty desert to go find new powers. Again. The former Rangers were seeking out the great temple of Ninjor. The being who had originally created their powers. Once they arrived, they were assaulted by all sorts of cheap-looking effects, and even a flock of Tenga Warriors that Rito gave Zedd and Rita for their wedding. Then the episode ended when the Ranger Teens went through an invisible portal and vanished into thin air. I don't know. I was checked out pretty hard.

So what lies beyond the magical portal? A temple that looks like a bonsai garden. Jeez, really? I'm glad we used last week's episode as a cliffhanger for this. The Rangers went from being in one poorly-defined location to being in another. How did Part 1 end again? Oh that's right! The Thunderzords fucking exploding. If you're going to step your game up in Part 1, try not to drop the ball in Part 2.

Kimberly, Adam, Aisha, Billy, and the other one all look for Tommy who apparently teleported really far ahead of them. Because he walked into the portal four seconds before they did. Naturally. Tommy's going to be ahead of them no matter what they do. Why change the natural order now?

I guess that means Part 3 is going to be all about finding Tommy's location and making sure he's not in any tro-oh hold on. He was about 20 feet ahead of them. Wow, my pulse sure was pounding. Wet paint has a more satisfying resolution than anything on this show.

So Tommy has found himself in front of Ninjor's temple. Or at least some stock footage we're supposed to believe is Ninjor's temple. I'm not really sure which.

You can tell this is Japanese footage because that prop looks like it cost money.

Oh and what does Tommy have to say when his concerned friends finally find him? "What took you guys so long?" Jesus Christ you are one ungrateful git. Sorry that we can't all stumble into a magical hole in the wall you cosmic ass. Next time you find yourself inside of another dimension we'll let you starve to death. You utterly thankless pecker.

The Ranger Teens wander into the misty temple and look around for the great Ninjor. Unfortunately, all they can find are candles, gongs, and other vaguely Asian objects decorating the room. Suddenly the Rainbow Brigade hear a hilariously flamboyant voice calling out to them and asking who they are. The former Rangers inform the disembodied voice that they're looking for Ninjor. The voice responds that he's never heard of this Ninjor guy, but he sounds like he's an animal in the sack and has a gargantuan dong.

Billy pinpoints the location of the voice; a large vase sitting in the middle of the temple. When Billy looks inside the vase, he sees a tiny blue creature sitting inside chastising him for his impertinence. Billy asks this little boy blue where they can find the great Ninjor. This creature proclaims that he is Ninjor. I don't know how anyone was supposed to figure out that this guy was a ninja-man!

The big golden N might have been a decent indicator.

Ninjor realizes that these shitheel kids aren't leaving his condo unless he makes an appearance, so he vase-cates his prison and asks the Ranger Teens what they're here for. He gives them a perfectly reasonable amount of time to make their case: Five seconds.

Between Rito and Ninjor, I think Season 3's new characters are going to grow on me.

Tommy whines about how he needs new powers cause some skeleton threw tornadoes at his tiger. Ninjor refuses to even feign interest in this story. He sasses the teens and tells them to not let the door hit 'em where the good lord split 'em. Rocky proclaims that he should care, since they're the Power Rangers and all. Ninjor asks why any of that should make a difference to him. They may as well be the buttfucking Beetleborgs when they're in Ninjor's house.

The Ranger Teens become utterly dismayed when they come to a collective realization: This Ninjor guy is a real dick. All they want are some brand new robot animals and he won't even give them an everloving Unicorn Zord! Kim ponders what they can do to stop Zedd's forces without any powers, and Tommy has an answer. He grips the camera with both of his murderous claws and makes sure that it's fully focused on his be-mulleted visage.

Tommy goes into some corny speech about how the power is inside all of them. No matter what Zedd does, there's nothing that he can do to stop them. I can already see the headlines tomorrow.

SIX  TEENAGERS FOUND SKINNED AND DECAPITATED IN ANGEL GROVE PARK! MOON SORCERY TO BLAME?

I hate speeches like this because they absolutely misunderstand the point of this show. I know that the Ranger Teens all have courage and kindness and strength inside them. That's perfectly fine. The problem is that they don't have their fucking superpowers anymore. Meaning Tommy's speech is nothing but meandering, nonsensical bullshit. You can't talk about how you still have powers inside of you when the entire crux of this journey is seeking out new powers. Did Tommy forget what they were even doing in the desert? Did he think they were seeking out third world villages he could teach karate to? Did he hear Adam say the word walk and got all excited before he scratched at the door to get let out?

Ninjor stops the Ranger Teens before they depart from his swinging bachelor pad. He states that their words were courageous and true, and perhaps they are worthy of holding the ninja power. To summarize:


"We don't need powers, they're inside of us!"
"YOU'RE RIGHT, HERE ARE NEW POWERS"



I would immediately hate Ninjor for turning so quickly, but his reaction to their speech gives me a chuckle. Instead of responding in awe, he gives out an exasperated "Oh boy…" as they're leaving. It's like the character realizes that he's been pigeonholed into a wise mentor stereotype and he's bemoaning his own fate. In five minutes, this guy already has more personality than Zordon does.

Now I wait with baited breath as I hope they don't bungle another character I like.

Back on the Moon, Zedd comes to the conclusion that his Tengas weren't able to catch the Rangers. Yeah, why didn't those newborn birds murder those teenagers? What a total blunder on their end. Zedd commands Rito to go back down to Earth and launch a full-scale attack on the city. Rito asks if he should bring those four monsters he had with him two episodes ago for the attack, but Zedd asks what he's talking about. There never were any four monsters with Rito. Yeah, we're just never going to mention what happened to those four recreated monsters from Part 1. Either because the writer forgot, or because…ah fuck it. The writer forgot.

Oh right. I almost forgot. Bulk and Skull are still training to become police officers. I was going to make a big fuss about how this is sure to be dumb, but I noticed something interesting in the police station. A little touch that is next to meaningless, but that makes it even more special. Check out who's got a wanted poster in Angel Grove.

Is turning soccer ball armadillos into giants really such a crime?

That Rita wanted poster is such a bizarrely amusing detail. You've got local law enforcement trying to slap the cuffs on some intergalactic Japanese Mexican space witch. They're not going to sit around and let the Power Rangers have all the fun. No sir, the boys in blue are going to try Rita Repulsa in front of a court of her peers. Smash cut to Rita sitting in the electric chair as Squatt prepares to throw the switch.

Oh. Maybe I should have watched a little while longer. That cute little background detail became a bit more prominent when the camera violently zoomed in on that wanted poster. All I wanted was a cute little easter egg for the idiots watching this more than once. I don't need you to rub my fucking nose in it. Why is this show for children not also providing for an adult man watching it?

Bulk and Skull fill out their application forms before they're greeted by police Lieutenant Stone. Stone informs Bulkmeier and Skullovitch that he's going to be their tour guide through basic training. The only problem is I can't focus on this scene when one of the extras playing a cop looks just like Uncle Jack from Always Sunny.

How can you be a police officer with hands that small? 

Bulk and Skull are led into the police station's barber shop. You want to know where we could save tax dollars? By clipping all these goddamned barbers off the police payroll. Lt. Stone shoves Bulk and Skull into the barber chairs and promises that he's going to make the boys "Look a little more beautiful." Criminy. Between Uncle Jack and this creep, it might be time to investigate what's going on at Angel Grove PD.

Bulk and Skull panic as the barbers give them both buzzcuts. What the fuck are these two yahoos worried about? Women were avoiding you two because you smelled like rat piss and sported open sores. Bulk's greasy ponytail had nothing to do with it.

While Skull gets buzzed, he mutters about how he's going to be a freak. This is sad on its own, but Bulk's reaction is far more disconcerting. He looks ahead with cold dead eyes like he's about to Private Pyle the whole police station. Oh well, he seems pretty on the ball. Give him a gun and tell him to point it at any dangerous-looking ethnic people.

The Ranger Teens are also busy bettering themselves. Only they're not getting badges and guns. A magical ninja monster is teaching them how to beat people up with robot wolves. Ninjor has the Rangers circle around him as they focus their spiritual energy. Or whatever malarkey this show is trying to make us believe. Ninjor rattles off some bullshit speech about the powers of ninja, which have been with mankind for eons. That or whenever we stole it from the Japanese.

When the Rangers open their eyes, they see they've been gifted with the greatest powers of all. Australian garbage.

Ninjor appears to live in some sort of mystical fuck mansion.

Ninjor informs them that they have been blessed with the power of ninja. The exact kind of vague nonsense that will keep kids quiet when they try to ask why the Power Rangers are stronger now. "Because they have the power of Ninja. Stop asking questions."

Ninjor escorts his new disciples outside to introduce them to their new Ninjazords. Oh goddamnit. The Ninjazords?! Those CGI atrocities? I have to look at those piles of puke for a full season? Well enjoy this post everyone, because it's my last. I'm off to go down a bottle of bleach. Alright, let's see how our new Zords this season.


Oh my God forget everything I just said.

Call me biased, but I'm smitten with these actual Ninjazords. Maybe I just prefer costumes over horrifying 1995 CGI. Though that doesn't change the fact I genuinely think these Zord designs look great. They look sleek, charming, and badass. It's not like the Thunderzords where the Griffin and Unicorn were basically palette-swaps, and the Lion only existed to provide a codpiece for Thunder Megazord and his Thunder Megaschlong.

Ninjor promises that the Rangers' previous powers won't hold a candle to their new ones. They originally used the power of the brutish dinosaurs, but now they have the swift cunning of ninjas. Didn't they used to have the swift power of thunder? Or are we going to ignore those pieces of shit? Whatever. As long as you put a more preferable adjective in front of your source of power that must mean it's stronger!

Rocky has been gifted the mighty Ape Ninja-NOPE. Fuck right off with all of this. I didn't sit through your goddamned movie just so you could shovel this exposition into my face twice. You're not getting away with that shit again. Rocky's got the ape, Aisha's got the bear, Billy's got the wolf, Kim's got the crane, Adam's got the frog, and Tommy's got the falcon. Any questions? No? Good. We're moving on.

Tommy asks how they'll be able to call on the Ninjazords. Ninjor promises that they'll know what to do when the time is right. Perhaps by yelling the name of their magical robot into the sky like they usually do. Maybe that'll do the trick. Who knows?

But there's no time to lose! Ninjor notes that Zedd's forces are attacking Angel Grove. The Ranger Teens want to stop him, but Ninjor says they have more pertinent matters to address. The Tengas are attacking his temple. Oh, I see how it is. Instead of saving our town from a skeleton monster we have to go clean bird shit off of your temple? I think Zedd also summoned a monster made of leaves and he made a mess out of my gutters. Maybe you Rangers could ninja your way up there and fix that.

The Rangers become one with their ninja animal spirits to power themselves up. This entails our heroes awkwardly yelling out their totem animal before rattling off two adjectives that ostensibly describe it. This scene falls flat on its face for a pretty simple reason. The Ranger Teens acting doesn't work when they're yelling. Like, at all. Tommy can kind of pull it off, but Rocky? Yelling about being an ape? Get the fuck outta here with that. I try not to harp on acting in this series too much, because I realize the actors had to film for 200 hours per week, but this particular scene felt like a gut punch.

The Ninja Rangers appear in front of the Tengas and start talking some big time trash. Our reinvigorated heroes leap at the birds, prompting the mother of all Tenga tussles. This fight even introduces a brand new piece of Wasserman rock entitled "Tenga Bye-Bye." It's not one of my favorite pieces of music from him, but I still get a kick out of it none the less. Of all the things you could make a song out of, why would you give the dumbass bird foot soldiers their own theme? Might as well give Squatt and Baboo their own song. "She Told Me She Was 21 Officer."

The battle between the Ninja Rangers and the Tengas is actually quite enjoyable. Probably because the Ninja Rangers are being played by stunt actors in loose-fitting karate outfits. Outfits that are probably less restrictive than spandex. It leads to some pretty good choreography of the Rangers decimating the Tengas while flipping them around and kicking their dumbass beaks all over the place. We even get some smooth ninja moves like when Kim vanishes to another location before one of the Tengas can hit her.

Also Rocky rides one of the Tengas like a flying surfboard. That part isn't as good.

Back inside the Command Center, Alpha 5 has finally gotten the Viewing Globe back up and running. He and Zordon tune into the Ranger's frequency and find that they're all decked out in ninja garb now. So whatever crackpot sold them that map wasn't lying about a magical genie living in the desert dispensing ponchos.

Trouble arises when the Command Center's alarm starts blaring. Rito is back in Angel Grove, giant-sized. Zordon exposits that his worst fears have been realized, and that Rito Revolto must have finally teamed up with his sister. How many goddamn times have your worst fears been realized in this series Zordon? This is supposed to be worse than Zedd coming back? A spooky scary skeleton sending shivers down your spine?

The Ninja Rangers stomp a mudhole in the Tengas bird butts, prompting the flock to flee. Ninjor congratulates the Ranger Teens on their success, and states that they're now worthy to hold the power of ninja. Unlike before when he let them use their powers against the Tengas. They weren't worthy then. Ninjor isn't used to this mentor business so he's clearly just making a bunch of shit up.

Now that the Rangers are back in action, they morph from Ninja form to Ranger form. Ninjor prompts them to summon their Ninjazords. They inform him that they will, but only when all the good boys and girls at home tune in next week for the exciting conclusion of this four part miniseries.

But there's still more trouble afoot, because that devious Vampirus egg is just about to hatch! What can the Vampirus do? Why is it so dangerous? Is it even more powerful than Rito? Wait till next week, because I'm sure we'll have an exciting answer to all of those questions.

I also have some great swampland in Florida I'd love to sell you!



TO BE CONTINUED





Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Being Allowed to Shave High Schoolers While Laughing





Personal Thoughts



This episode was a lot better than last week's. Mostly because it didn't feel so bloated and bogged down with bullshit. Also, no stupid little cartoon ghosts. That helped it quite a bit.

I don't vividly remember how the show handles Ninjor, but I really enjoy his introduction here. He comes across as a character who wants to be left alone so he can enjoy his limitless power in peace. Then a bunch of dweebs come into his parlor and start demanding a bunch of new toys. Bollocks to that! He may start to turn into a bit of a simpering dork, but he's still got a bit of an edge to him. At least as much edge as you can have in this show.

Ninjor comes from a character in the Kakuranger series named Ninjaman. Stunning lack of giving a shit right there. Interestingly enough, Ninjaman is basically the polar opposite of Ninjor. He's brash, impulsive, and sometimes acts as a detriment to the Kakuranger team. Ninjor's personality is basically anything but, and I enjoy that. It would be easy to copy and paste Ninjaman into Power Rangers. As you'll see in the upcoming episodes, it would actually be quite necessary to do so. But I love that Power Rangers is always putting its own spin on things. It keeps things interesting and allows you to compare it and the Sentai. Future Power Rangers installments would occasionally veer towards carbon copying their Sentai series, which would open up a litany of problems depending on the series.

But hey, stay tuned. Maybe we'll get there someday.





7 comments:

  1. This is episode 6, not 7.

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  2. UGLY UGLY BIRIDIES IN THE SKY

    RANGERS GONNA GET YOU

    WATCH THE TENGA WATCH THE TENGA WATCH THE TENGA

    TENGA BYE BYE

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    Replies
    1. I forgot to say, this song will absolutely 100% grow on you because it plays every damn episode.

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  3. Detective Jack Kelly, it's a pleasure to meet you

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like the ninja zords too but they are outshined later in the season by my favourite megazord of all time!!

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  5. Glad to see I'm not only one who liked Ninjor. It's a shame he was so underutilized. And he got written out for almost half the season because so they could use earlier Kakuranger episodes.

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  6. Ninjor's voice though.
    That was a bold artistic choice for an immortal ninja sage.

    ReplyDelete