This Netflix reunion special has more nostalgia than movie material.
I’ve never even watched the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” TV show from the 90s, but my friend, who is a big fan, asked me to review the made-for-Netflix reunion special “Once & Always.” It reunites the original cast members, including Walter Jones as Zack Tayler (Black Ranger), Steve Cardenas as Rocky (Red Ranger), Catherine Sutherland as Kat (Pink Ranger), David Yost as Billy Cranston (Blue Ranger), and Karan Ashley as Aisha Campbell (Yellow Ranger), and the voices of Richard Horvitz as Alpha 9, and Barbara Goodson as the evil Rob Rita.
The plot is run-of-the-mill as Minh Kwan, the daughter of the Yellow Ranger Trini Kwan, wants revenge on Rob Rita for killing her mom, and Zack trying to tell her the true meaning of being a Power Ranger. And even though I’m not in love with the franchise, I still think this reunion has something special for fans. It has a near similar spirit as “Fuller House” or “That 90s Show,” especially when the original stars are able to survive the 2020s.
This makes more sense as a reunion special than a movie, especially when it uses a small budget on special effects and costumes and monsters and so forth. And when a few of the Power Rangers are kidnapped by Robo Rita, they look like action figures. Anything’s better than how the humans and giants were depicted in Steven Spielberg’s take on “The BFG.”
You can call this nepotism or favoritism when my friend asked me to review this special, especially since I’m not a fan, but he does support my work and knew I gave “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” a good review. “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always” doesn’t work as a movie, but it does work as a campy fun Netflix special with some good messages about being a hero and returning actors, who love the suits and combat skills. And it even closes with a tribute to its fallen rangers Jason David Frank and Thuy Trang.