Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie is a 1997 American superhero film directed by David Winning and Shuki Levy. It was produced by Saban Entertainment and, like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, distributed by 20th Century Fox.
This film was released on March 28, 1997. In its opening weekend, it played on 2,113 screens, and pulled in $3,301,135, finishing in seventh place domestically. It ultimately grossed $8,363,899 theatrically in the U.S. and $9,615,840 worldwide.
Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie serves as a bridge between the Power Rangers Zeo and Power Rangers Turbo television seasons, with the new cast and characters from the film becoming cast members of the television series. As with its television season, the film used concepts and costumes from the Japanese Super Sentai Series Gekisou Sentai Carranger. Sets and costumes created for original characters in the film were later used in the television series, with the film's climactic antagonist Maligore being reused for the evil Dark Specter in the subsequent Power Rangers in Space season.
It was filmed in Hawaii, California, Florida and Tennessee.
Plot[edit | edit source]
On a distant planet, a powerful wizard named Lerigot is hunted by Divatox (Hilary Shepard Turner), a pirate and evil queen who seeks his golden key to traverse a dimensional barrier to join forces in an evil matrimony with an evil demon named Maligore. Evading Divatox's Piranhatrons, Lerigot transports himself to Earth to seek out his friend Alpha 5 and ask Zordon for help. He ends up landing in Africa and quickly becomes weakened by the planet's ultraviolet light. Seeking out regular animals for help to find Alpha, he eventually finds a pack of chimpanzees to take him with them.
Meanwhile, while practicing for a martial arts tournament to fund the Angel Grove Youth Shelter with Adam Park (Johnny Yong Bosch) and Tommy Oliver (Jason David Frank), Rocky DeSantos (Steve Cardenas) becomes impatient and makes a bad move, causing him to fall out of the ring and injure his back. Justin Stewart (Blake Foster), who is one of the children who attend the Youth Center is particularly upset by this and goes to visit Rocky in the hospital. He hides when Tommy, Adam, Katherine "Kat" Hillard (Catherine Sutherland) and Tanya Sloan (Nakia Burrise) come to visit, and inadvertently witnesses Zordon summon them to the Power Chamber, revealing their identities to him by mistake. At the same time, Bulk and Skull (Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy, respectively) become lost when making their way to an event and are suddenly accosted by Divatox's mutant nephew Elgar, but are rejected as she needs two spirits of purity and strength, which they lack. She then spots two perfect specimens scuba diving off the coast near where her ship is and she captures them.
Using tracking devices, Tommy and Kat teleport to Africa to find Lerigot. Kat is nearly attacked by a python which Tommy wrestles to the ground, sending Kat over the edge of a large waterfall which injures her leg. They find Lerigot who heals Kat's leg with a touch and they return to the Power Chamber. Shortly after, Divatox contacts Zordon and the Rangers using a telepathic transmission from Lerigot's wife Yara and their baby Batel. She threatens them harm if Lerigot doesn't turn himself over to her willingly, and as an added incentive, she offers her captured specimens; former Power Rangers Jason Lee Scott (Austin St. John) and Kimberly Hart (Amy Jo Johnson). When they go to meet, Elgar tricks them and takes Lerigot, leaving dummies in place of Kim and Jason. To give chase, the Rangers are given new Turbo powers and powerful car-like Turbozords. Justin joins them at the last minute to take Rocky's place as the new Blue Ranger and they board the Ghost Galleon, a ship undetectable by Divatox's scanners. However she detects their presence on the ship and sends Putripods after them. They manage to subdue the creatures and join their Power Keys to traverse the dimensional barrier.
Meanwhile, Jason, Kim, Bulk, and Skull open the bilge they are being held in and everyone but Jason escapes. Kim is caught by the Malichians, the guardians of Maligore shortly after and becomes Divatox's prisoner again. Meanwhile, the Rangers morph and track Divatox to Maligore's temple. Despite their efforts, Kim and Jason are sacrificed to Maligore and made evil forcing the Rangers to fight them as well as Divatox's minions. Lerigot and Yara are reunited and use their powers to cure Jason and Kimberly who help turn the tide of battle. Maligore awakens fully and Divatox sicks him on the Rangers. The Rangers use the Turbozords to form the Turbo Megazord and defeat Maligore, leaving Divatox to retreat, vowing her revenge on the Rangers for ruining her plans. Jason, Kim, Lerigot, his family, Bulk, and Skull are picked up by the Rangers, but the latter pair nearly topple the Turbo Megazord by accident and faint upon taking full notice of Lerigot and his family.
Later, Jason joins Tommy and Adam in Rocky's place and they win the competition, securing the Youth Center's funding. Later, back at the Power Chamber, the Rangers bid Lerigot and his family a fond farewell, the day having been saved once again.
Characters[edit | edit source]
- Main Characters (Turbo Rangers)
- Tommy Oliver: The Red Turbo Ranger, played by Jason David Frank.
- Adam Park: The Green Turbo Ranger, played by Johnny Yong Bosch.
- Katherine Hillard: The Pink Turbo Ranger, played by Catherine Sutherland. Briefly appears, partially morphed, as Zeo Ranger I - Pink.
- Tanya Sloan: The Yellow Turbo Ranger, played by Nakia Burrise.
- Justin Stewart: The Blue Turbo Ranger, played by Blake Foster.
- Supporting Characters/Former Rangers
- Jason Lee Scott: The original Red Ranger and the second Gold Zeo Ranger, played by Austin St. John.
- Kimberly Hart: The original Pink Ranger and Pink Ninja Ranger, played by Amy Jo Johnson.
- Rocky DeSantos: The second Red Ranger, Red Ninja Ranger, and Zeo Ranger III, played by Steve Cardenas.
- Zordon, played by Winston Richard, voiced by Robert L. Manahan.
- Alpha 5, played by Donene Kistler, voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz.
- Lerigot, played Jon Simanton
- Bulk and Skull, played by Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy
- Lt. Jerome Stone, played by Gregg Bullock
- Ernie, played by Richard Genelle
Villains[edit | edit source]
The movie features a cameo appearance by Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd, where Rita is called by Divatox in hopes of advice to use against the Rangers. The characters would eventually come face to face with each other in Power Rangers in Space's premiere episode for the first and only time.
Reception[edit | edit source]
The film has been given mostly negative reviews with a 18% Rotten rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Kevin Thomas wrote a positive review in the The Los Angeles Times saying the filmmakers 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 and that "Turbo" is a solid follow-up. Other reviews were a mixture of positive and negative.
Production[edit | edit source]
As opposed to the CGI Megazord used in the first Power Rangers film, this sequel utilizes the actual costume of the Turbo Megazord, appearing in American footage (the main series would rely on the Carranger footage). According to a 2013 post on Johnny Yong Bosch's Facebook page, the original script called for a lengthy underwater battle using the Zeo Ranger powers, wherein the Power Rangers emerge with tattered costumes. The unused plot would also explained how the Turbo powers were created. It was also originally scripted that Billy Cranston (the original Blue Ranger) had created the Turbo powers with Zordon and Alpha 5. While this plot element was ultimately dropped from the theatrical release, the concept of torn outfits would be used for the Turbo season finale. Also, whereas Hilary Shepard Turner appears as Divatox in the film, by the time filming began for the TV series, she had taken maternity leave, thus being replaced by Carol Hoyt. In the 26th episode "The Darkest Day" seven episodes after the four Veteran Rangers resign and transfer their powers to a new team (filmed after a hiatus of several months), Shepard resumed the role of Divatox, continuing through Power Rangers in Space.
Release[edit | edit source]
Box office[edit | edit source]
Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie opened theatrically on March 28, 1997 in 2,113 venues. It earned $3.3 million in its opening weekend, ranking number 7 in the domestic box office. At the end of its run, the film had grossed $8.4 million in North America and $1.3 million overseas for a worldwide total of $9.6 million.
Critical reception[edit | edit source]
On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes it has an approval rating of 15% approval rating based on 20 reviews, with an average rating of 3.8/10. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 35 out of 100, which indicates "generally unfavorable reviews", based on 9 reviews.
Joe Leydon of Variety gave a negative review of the film, criticizing the "high-camp cheesiness" while praising the acting of both Hilary Shepard Turner and Amy Jo Johnson. Lawrence Van Gelder of The New York Times criticized the film's storyline and dialogue while he praised the visual effects and production values.
Conversely, Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times gave a positive review, saying the filmmakers 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" and that "Turbo is a solid follow-up." He also praised Turner's acting and the visual effects.
Soundtrack[edit | edit source]
The album serves a dual purpose, as it not only used much of the music heard in the movie, but also contained several tracks from Power Rangers: Zeo.
Track listing[edit | edit source]
- Fulflej - Shift Into Turbo
- Super Power - Power Rangers Turbo, Go! (Main Theme)
- The Mighty Raw - Hope For The World
- Ellen ten Damme - Turbo Time
- Super Power - Invincible
- The Mighty Raw - Unite!
- Super Power - Let's Rock 'N Roll
- OO-spies - Freewheelin'
- Super Power - Big Bang
- Zeo & The Mighty Raw - Power Rangers Zeo/Go Go Power Rangers (Main Theme)
- Super Power - Go Gold Ranger
- Super Power - Enemies Beware
- Super Power - Here Comes The Power Again
- Super Power - Calling For A Hero
Awards and nominations[edit | edit source]
|1998||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor||Blake Foster||Nominated|
Home media[edit | edit source]
The film was released on July 8, 1997 on VHS and LaserDisc. The film (as well as 1995's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie) was then released on a two-sided DVD disc on March 13, 2001, and then re-released (just this film) on a single-sided disc in 2003. This film was re-released with different packaging in 2011. The film was then re-released in March 2017 in a bundled set with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (this time as two single-sided DVD discs) to coincide with the film Power Rangers.
In 2019, it was announced that Shout! Factory had acquired the rights to re-release the movie and confirmed that Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie would be released for the first time on Blu-ray, where it would be released standalone on July 30, 2019.