Directed by Jonathan Brough, Mark Beesley
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Running Time: 161 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo English
Release Date: February 12, 2008
Review Date: February 8, 2008
It’s do or die for the Power Rangers and their enemies in this concluding volume of their Operation Overdrive adventure. Though we knew from the start that this last volume would deal with finding the pink emerald, the fifth and last jewel in the Corona Aurora, the mission ultimately involves a lot more including saving the world from total destruction at the hands of the Fearcats, helping Mack regain some sense of self after the devastating discovery he made in volume four, and reuniting Tyzonn with his lost love Vela (Beth Allen). Their adventures take them to some of their previous sites of warfare including Egypt but eventually lead to Greece for the final showdown.
The team is still made up of the same six rangers: Red Ranger Mack (James Maclurcan), Yellow Ranger Ronny (Caitlin Murphy), Black Ranger Will (Samuell Beuta), Pink Ranger Rose (Rhoda Montemayor), Blue Ranger Dax (Gareth Yuen), and Mercury Ranger Tyzonn (Dwayne Cameron). Together with billionaire philanthropist Andrew Hartford (Rod Lousich) who funds their adventures, his butler Spencer Spencer (David Weatherley), and in times of dire trouble the Sentinel Knight (Nic Sampson), the team again battles the evil twin demons Moltor and Flurious and the continued skullduggery by witch Miratrix (Ria Vandervis). In this final volume, the Fearcats become much more important villains to the story as they gain possession of the Octavian Chalice and three mythic artifacts which give them unbeatable power once the artifacts are inserted into the Chalice, and as they have no use for the other villains either, the episodes are a continual free-for-all with everyone warring with everyone else.
The increased budget for the show which seemed obvious in volume four continues with this last series of adventures. Special effects sequences and the number of very elaborate costumes for the villains have multiplied giving the show a much richer look than earlier volumes in the series. Yes, the miniatures and animation are still obvious, but the stunt work and explosions continue to impress, and the named actors all perform their acrobatic feats with impressive skill.
The storylines maintain their primary level of thematic simplicity, but the writers have included life lessons in the episodes about familial love, faith in one‘s abilities and in one‘s friends, and sacrifice. The resolution of the adventures for the team is satisfying indeed.
Here’s the rundown of episodes on volume five:
1 - Red Ranger Unplugged
2 - Home and Away, Part I
3 - Home and Away, Part II
4 - Way Back When (a recap episode with mostly footage from previous episodes)
5 - Two Fallen Foes
6 - Nothing to Lose
7 - Crown and Punishment
The show appears to have been filmed for 4:3 televisions though occasional scenes are squeezed so that all six rangers can fit into the frame. The episodes feature bold color, good sharpness, and more than adequate black levels. One sequence with Tyzonn and his lady love is filmed with richer color and greater contrast giving it a true storybook quality that’s most impressive and quite movie-like. The images throughout are clean and bright, perfect to hold the interest of the target audience. Each episode has been divided into 6 chapters.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound is consistent from the other editions. Every kick, grunt, and expletive is clear and precise though loud explosions and the general destruction that are a part of every episode could have more power and drive. The sound could really use a legitimate surround track, but if one is listening merely through TV speakers, he likely wouldn’t notice the difference.
Ranger Lessons Learned is a 4½-minute summation by each of the Power Rangers in which each discusses what he learned about himself and the world in carrying out his part of Operation Overdrive. It’s in 4:3.
Ranger Reserve Training Course Level 5 consists of games for younger viewers. The first is a trivia quiz based on knowledge gleaned from previous adventures. Once past that round, there is an arcade-type test of target practice that goes through four levels of increasing difficulty.
The DVD features a selection of trailers from other Disney-related films and DVDs including The Aristocats, Snow Buddies, Minute Men, Wall-E, 101 Dalmatians, and High School Musical 2, among others.
If you have small fry, especially male variety, looking for something to occupy their TV time, this fifth and last volume of Power Rangers will likely serve their needs more than adequately. These juvenile adventures will definitely provide some fun hours of adventure for the ten-and-under set.