Power Rangers Super Megaforce: The Complete Season hits stores on August 16.
Before we get to the review, here is Lionsgate’s press release with details on what the DVD set contains.
Relive every action-packed adventure when Power Rangers Megaforce: The Complete Season and Power Rangers Super Megaforce: The Complete Season arrive on DVD (plus Digital HD) on August 16 from Lionsgate. Five teenagers with attitude use their unique skills to battle evil and ultimately save the world in these top-rated seasons. With an ever-growing fan base, Power Rangers Megaforce: The Complete Season and Power Rangers Super Megaforce: The Complete Season are 5-disc DVD sets that will be available for the suggested retail price of $14.98 each.
In order to stop ruthless Prince Vekar and his massive alien Armada, the Rangers have only one hope: to unlock the special keys — and harness the amazing powers of Legendary Rangers of the past!
Year of Production: 2014
Title Copyright: TM & © 2014 SCG Power Rangers LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Type: TV on DVD
Genre: Action/Adventure, Children’s/Series, Fantasy, TV Series
Closed Captioned: English
Feature Run Time: 460 minutes each
DVD Format: 16×9 Widescreen (1.78:1)
DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital; French and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio
On to the review…
The Episodes: Super Megaforce is an improvement on its debut Megaforce season, as it’s much more fun and unpredictable. But the trade-off is that it’s frustratingly inconsistent, with very high highs and low lows. The season starts off strong with a wild, slam-bang premiere, and two stellar guest appearances in “Samurai Surprise” and “Spirit of the Tiger.” After a promising Sixth Ranger debut, though, the season quickly spins off the rails, offering no real plot or character development like the previous season, only now with lazy editing errors and rampant use of Sentai powers that never appeared in Power Rangers, while neglecting actual popular Power Rangers seasons.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the season is its lack of truly honoring the Power Rangers legacy in ways its Japanese footage did with Super Sentai. Other than the aforementioned guests and one late-in-the-game attempt to utilize stock footage, there are no real attempts to integrate any guests or even references to past seasons until the finale. Sure, we have the Ranger Keys allowing the Super Mega Rangers to turn into Rangers past — but even then, only occasional episodes feature full-team transformations. Often, the teams chosen are totally random, rather than tying into an episode’s theme or plot, and even episodes that try to be season-specific like “A Lion’s Alliance” or “In the Driver’s Seat” only reference those seasons in the barest, most superficial ways. It never feels like Super Megaforce exists in the same universe as the rest of Power Rangers, always disconnected from the franchise it’s supposed to be celebrating.
That said, the season picks up in the “Vrak is Back” two-parter, and the final run packs in the most tense, high-stakes episodes of both seasons. Still, it never shakes its issues with giving characters actual stories and development, despite having some of the best visuals and special effects. And again, the cast is fabulous, all actors growing above and infusing charisma into the flat writing. Cameron Jebo in particular is a wonderful addition as the alien Orion, his only issue being an unfair lack of screentime.
Instead of “The Wrath” and “Legendary Battle,” this set only contains the combined version of the finale on the final disc, “The Legendary Battle: Extended Edition.” That’s a good thing, though — the extended edition of Super Megaforce’s finale is miles above the aired version, with standout scenes (the Legendary assault against Mavro!) and cameos (Astronema!) added in. The finale doesn’t live up to the hype Megaforce promised from the first second of the first episode, but it’s impossible to watch the Legendary Rangers’ slow walk and unmasking without a feeling of sheer glee.
The Packaging: The cover art uses the most prevalent Super Megaforce promotional art — and for good reason. It’s a uniquely explorer-like layout rather than a typical team shot, and setting it against a gorgeous sky evokes a grander, more hopeful feeling than the previous set’s explosion-heavy imagery. That feeling of epic triumph is fitting for this big anniversary celebration season, and while most agree that the season didn’t land that feeling, the cover art certainly evokes it. The only misstep is neither the front nor back covers utilize the season’s most enticing element — showcasing Ranger powers of the last 20 years. The closest we get is the decent final disc image (though even that has some editing mistakes, like showing Orion twice.)
Like the previous Megaforce slimpack packaging, the discs themselves are the exact same as the individual collection releases, listing each disc under the the collection names (“Earth Fights Back,” “Sky Strike,” etc.) While collectors who love style and flow may not like this, it does showcase some gorgeous disc art and lets each disc menu be dynamic. A downside is that in copies like mine, the discs were packaged out of order, which can be confusing without numbered discs.
The Extras: Alongside the “The Legendary Battle: Extended Edition” is a featurette entitled “Power Rangers: A Legacy,” which features the actors who returned in “Legendary Battle” reminiscing about their time on the show. Set along clips of classic Power Rangers seasons, actors Allison McInnis, Sean Cw Johnson, Reggie Rolle, Jason Faunt, Jason David Frank, Christina Masterson and Azim Rizk share how much Power Rangers has changed and enriched their lives. There are wonderful anecdotes about interactions with fans, the old Fox Kids PSAs, Twitter’s impact, and how Reggie Rolle married Lost Galaxy‘s primary villain. Even though it only runs an all-too-brief 10 minutes, this is easily the best feature on either Megaforce set, exploring why kids love this show and how it’s acquired such a cult status with adults, honoring the extensive Power Rangers legacy in an arguably better way than the whole season.
Is It Worth It? For better or worse, Super Megaforce is an important part of Power Rangers history, celebrating the last two decades of the franchise and marking an important milestone. Even with its problems, there’s lots of fun to be had with Super Megaforce, and in marathon format it’s easier to overlook some of the frustrations and embrace the nostalgia element. As long as you’re able to go in with lowered expectations for plot, it’s an immensely entertaining season to watch, especially if you’ve stuck through the best and worst of 20 years of Power Rangers anyway.
Final Thoughts: Don’t forget that Power Rangers Dino Super Charge returns August 20 if you want a palette cleanser!
Power Rangers Super Megaforce: The Complete Season hits stores August 16, but you can pre-order it on Amazon now — and support KSiteTV!