This is one of those movies where you've rewound scenes so much that certain lines hit you like blows in their familiarity even when it's been 10 years since you heard them last. ("The ground is littered with the bones of those who have tried and failed!") I have generally blown past the Evil Villain plot so fast it left smoke outlines -- if I recall correctly, I put in immense effort to cut out as much of that plot as I could along with the commercials when I taped it off TV, and I have literally never watched the final battle -- but I made myself sit through it this time and it was kind of enjoyable in its cheesiness. Ivan Ooze is delightfully hammy ("Wooo-eeh! Where's mah autograph book?"), and oh no, in the ultimate betrayal of my childhood self I may not hate Zords when they are still shaped like animals. But...that's not why I'm here.
90% of this movie's appeal to me is the part that takes place on planet Phaedos. The main reason "Trinity of Avians" was kept as Power Rangers fic instead of an attempt at an original story was because of my love for Dulcea and the animal spirits and how much I wanted to tie those in, and I watched this segment of the movie about 900 times for inspiration. It was so life-affirming to see it again.
Bullet points away!
- I don't really remember Aisha beyond how cool I thought she sounded when calling out the power of the bear, but she seems nice enough.
- Billy is significantly more fetching than I remember giving him credit for, although it's kind of hard to enjoy seeing him with the new knowledge in my head that David Yost eventually quit due to harassment about his sexuality
- It is quite the trip seeing Adam as the Black instead of Green Ranger.
- DUCLEA. Her excellent outfit, her hair, her staff, her accent and general way of speaking and her frankly awesome ability to turn into an owl...she is the only non-Ranger character from this series that I would write stories about, maybe consider reading a fantasy novel just to picture her as the title character.
- (Interesting fact, I just learned that they temporarily cast Mariska Hargitay in this role when this actress almost wasn't able to complete filming. I cannot even imagine the downgrade.)
- edit: I found a picture. Warning it is as terrible as you'd expect to see Young Olivia Benson in green leather wrappings.
- Kimberly's high waisted jean shorts + white jean crop top low key screams "fashion disaster" to me, yet somehow I really love the combined effect on her.
- I don't know why I'm picking on her when the guys are running around with raggedly cut off sleeves and/or open vests and Aisha is wearing a baggy sweatshirt becuse who even knows why. The 90s are strong in this team.
- The team's skydiving intro, which I'm sure is a typical high school student hobby
- The Tengu Warrior Birdmen, bwhahaha
- The Forest of Vicious Dino Skeletons (or at least the one Triceratops With Teeth). Best campy action sequence ever, with such 90s effects. I get particular satisfaction out of Tommy pulling the lynchpin bone out of its neck to make it collapse into a pile of bones
- The creatures who come to life out of the rock, swinging battle axes (and a lot of those trigger-memory lines I mentioned before are the silly ones tossed off in this skirmish)
- Tommy doing his usual swagger up to fix problems and promptly getting knocked on his ass by Dulcea and pinned to the ground with her staff, while seeimg oddly afraid she might use its extremely blunt end to spear him through the heart
- The ceremonial bestowing of the mystical animal spirits. I am still enthralled by every last one, as well as her individual statements to each teen
- But most especially Adam's despondent "I'm a frog" followed by her musical laugh and "yes, a frog. Like the one you kiss!" *forehead smooch* *adorable blushing*
- The short-lived tenure of the Ninjetti Rangers is a tragedy. I would watch 100% of the fight scenes if they were draped in soft cloth ninja robes and you could still see their eyes. That's really my issue with the concept of Power Rangers, those terrible androgynous suits that turn them into beetle-like androids.
- The romance in this movie is so sparse as to be nigh invisible unless you add up all the pieces and/or know it's there, but I am a big fan of the little moment Kimberly and Tommy share on the rock against the crashing ocean waves, the latter catching the former's worrying about Zordon. He also squeezes her shoulder while Zordon's giving his defeatist death speech, and puts his arm around her during the fireworks at the end. Cripes, it's like being a slash fan.
- Oh wait there is also that cute moment she clings to his arm after Dulcea lets him up
- And since I'm desperate at this point, her screaming specifically for him while almost being eaten by a skeleton counts as a White Knight Rescue.
Apparently this movie is AU/does not canonically fit into the timeline anywhere. I would ask how I could possibly not have realized that before now, but I assume it's the kind of thing it's only possible to notice if you were aware of what giant robots they use at the end.
Up next: everyone is saying that the second movie was terrrrrrible and baaaad compared to the first one, and I'm sorry but I know in my heart that is just not true for me. It's got Kat, it's got rangers getting injured, it's got Divatox and Kimberly and...I honestly don't remember how the main plot goes (at some point they're on a pirate ship? A haunted pirate ship?) but I know that I kinda love Lerigot, so that right there tells you what kind of viewer I am.