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Power Rangers Encounter 'Turbo'-Charged Villainess

Movie Review

March 28, 1997|KEVIN THOMAS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

"Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie," which once again moves the popular "Power Rangers ZEO" children's TV series to the big screen, has lots of energy and a sensational villainess, Divatox (Hilary Shepard Turner), whose fashion tips come from Ming the Merciless and who has been given all the film's sharpest lines.

Turner delivers lines like "That's right! Bow down to me, you little peons" with the kind of spoofy wit that adults, obliged to take children to a kiddie show like this, will really be grateful for. But then filmmakers Shuki Levy and David Winning have brought much panache and sophistication to the making of this fantasy adventure extolling the good old-fashioned virtues of spirit and courage embodied by the Power Rangers. "Turbo" is a solid follow-up to the entertaining 1995 "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers."

The Rangers are an ethnically diverse group of young people tapped to conquer intergalactic evil with character as well as world-class martial arts skills and a battery of crime-fighting gadgetry that would turn James Bond green with envy. The filmmakers go for that great kitschy vintage comic book/Saturday matinee serial look that's been in vogue since "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Conan the Barbarian." They do it very well, and they set it off smartly with top-notch special effects and a hard-driving rock score.

The alien Divatox is determined to free the evil, all-powerful Maligore so that she can marry him and thereby "raid all the riches of the universe." To do this, however, she's got to kidnap the diminutive blue-eyed, golden-bearded alien Lerigot, who holds the special key that keeps Maligore imprisoned in the depths of an active volcano on an island kingdom.

Unfortunately for her, Lerigot has escaped to the planet Earth, where he crosses paths with the Power Rangers (Johnny Young Bosch, Nakia Burrise, Jason David Frank, Catherine Sutherland and newcomer Blake Foster), a bland though likable and resourceful group of do-gooders. You can pretty much take it from there.

* MPAA rating: PG, for nonstop fantasy action violence. Times guidelines: The film is suitable for most children except the very young.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

'Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie'

Hilary Shepard Turner: Divatox

Johnny Yong Bosch: Adam

Nakia Burrise: Tanya

Jason David Frank: Tommy

Catherine Sutherland: Kat

Blake Foster: Justin

A 20th Century Fox presentation of a Saban Entertainment/Toei Co. production. Directors David Winning, Shuki Levy. Producer Jonathan Tzachor. Executive producers Haim Saban, Levy. Screenplay by Levy & Shell Danielson. Cinematographer Ilan Rosenberg. Editors Henry Richardson, B.J. Sears. Special visual effects by Calico Entertainment. Costumes Danielle Baker. Music Levy. Production designer Yuda Ako. Art directors Steve Miller, David Lazan. Set designers Khurt Alex Geisse, Marcos Alvarez. Set decorator Julie Bolder. Running time: 1 hour, 39 minutes.

* In general release throughout Southern California.

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