From time to time I get bitten by the critiquing bug, and this time it bit hard as I watched Power Rangers Samurai as I got ready for work… Just because you are a childrens show does not mean you should ignore every aspect of quality production. Writers, directors, actors should be ashamed of themselves.
The characters in Power Rangers Samurai, are flat at best, invalids at worst. Najee De-Tiege portrayal of The Blue Ranger is not only wooden, but also unrealistic. Lines like “I have no time for snacks while training” and “I have accepted the samurai life” are delivered without feeling or true commitment to the role. De-Tiege’s performance is as appealing as a prune-juice diet… It’s pure diarrhoea. It makes me sick to see a young actor throw his career away on a poor performance.
CG was appauling. The worst I’ve seen in ten years. The robots, otherwise known as zoids have no joints. They run stiff legged and for a some time I was sure I was having an acid flashback. Why a developer would choose to use pyrotechnics over CG special effects i beyond me. But, true to the Power Rangers saga, poorly choreographed action sequences are combined with random sparks and explosions to create a truly appalling atmosphere.
The dialogue in Power Rangers Samurai was cliche… In fact, it may actually be considered “Retro”. How a writer can produce this script and still sleep at night is beyond me. They need lessons in basic story telling. The plot was predictable and the humour sparse and hammy. It has gotten to the point where the Power Rangers Franchise has given up on building suspense and simply showing stuff. Poo poo, power rangers, you have lost your way.
Costume design is where Samurai really comes into its own. The product of a meth affected concept artist who has watched far too much tentacle porn; the character design was… Interesting. The battle I watched was between a half headed squid monster who summoned a bunch of bondage slaves with chains to rope down the power rangers robot. The costumes where detailed, but destroyed my suspension of disbelief. They stick out, and are quite clearly men in suits and not monsters. Very let down.
It should be noted that the power rangers have been given an oriental twist, and now have to write calligraphy to summer their robots (I think). I think this is to compete with the anime market which invaded sometime during 1998 and has well and truly set up shop in the childrens market. That said, I think they’ve taken it a little too literally. Just because kids like a bunch of big eyed fruitcakes fighting each other with tazos, or monsters or… whatever… doesn’t mean they want to see anything that’s remotely Japanese.
The Wrap up
In closing. I feel raped. A kind of sinking shame that I sat through 25 minutes of it. I want to tell someone but I fear being judged. In the twenty years that Power Rangers has been going, with their latest instalment Samurai, they have truly lost their way. On a scale of Cat to Walrus. Walrus being OK, Cat being pretty bad… I rate Power rangers Samurai; Marmot.
…. I am aware this is a children’s show… I’m mucking around.
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