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Film review: Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie

Violent, complicated and dopey, this movie steals blatantly from 'Star Wars,' 'Waterworld,' 'Mad Max.'

Published: Friday, March 28 1997 12:01 a.m. MST

As amateurish as any special-effects driven effort in recent memory, "Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie" should be "Turbo: A Straight-to-Video Clunker."

Of course, it will be going to video within the next few months, but its theatrical stopover is a misguided venture at best.

Violent, overly complicated and amazingly dopey, this second "Power Rangers" movie steals blatantly from "Star Wars" (specifically "Return of the Jedi"), "Waterworld," "Mad Max," "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "Godzilla," "Dante's Peak" and, believe it or not, "Dumb & Dumber."

"Turbo" actually has the gall to begin with an outer space crawl that explains the plot, copying the opening of the three "Star Wars" movies, of course. Then we are introduced to a "wizard," who seems to be a cross between Yoda and an Ewok — and he's being chased by bad guys through trees that resemble the forested moon of Endor.

The plot, which has more complex twists and turns than parents will be able to decipher, much less their children, has something to do with the evil Divatox (Hilary Shepard Turner in an over-the-top performance that would make Jim Carrey cringe) wanting to travel to another dimension where she plans to wed a weird "Godzilla"-like creature that lives in the lava pit of an active volcano.

Divatox is a wisecracking cross between Princess Leia and Darth Vader, wearing a cleavage-revealing outfit that seems rather inappropriate for a kids' picture. (And why do the men get to wear pants while the women are always in shorts — no matter how chilly the weather?) Meanwhile, her minions wear clunky outfits that appear to be so heavy that the actors can barely balance themselves.

The Power Rangers don't "morph" into their colorful super-outfits until quite late in the film. And the film is far too long.

My two grandsons Connor and Davis (ages 5 and 3, respectively) became quite antsy after awhile. Davis asked repeatedly why the Power Rangers wouldn't morph. And though both were quite happy when it finally happened, it was too little too late.

There are some in-jokes for "Power Rangers" fans, but anyone over the age of 5 or 6 is bound to be bored silly — and rather surprised at how cheesy it all looks.

In fact, was this made for 5-year-olds, or by 5-year-olds.

"Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie" is rated PG for violence, scary (and gooey) monsters, one profanity (spoken by Divatox, of course), a few mild vulgarities and Divatox's skimpy outfit.