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Film / Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie

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All spoilers for Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and Power Rangers Zeo are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

Shift into Turbo!

Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie is a 1997 film set in the Power Rangers franchise that takes place after Power Rangers Zeo in addition to serving as the Pilot Movie for the Power Rangers Turbo series (which premiered on April 19, 1997). The film is directed by David Winning and Shuki Levy, with the screenplay by Levy and Shell Danielson. It was released on March 28, 1997.

Some time after the Machine Empire's defeat, a powerful wizard named Lerigot (Jon Simanton, with voice dubbing by Lex Lang) arrives on Earth seeking their help stopping the plans of the space pirate Divatox (Hilary Shepard Turner), who intends to release (and marry) the demon Maligore (Mike Deak).

Zordon (Winston Richard, with voice dubbing by Robert Manahan) tells Tommy Oliver (Jason David Frank), Adam Park (Johnny Yong Bosch), Katherine "Kat" Hillard (Catherine Sutherland) and Tanya Sloan (Nakia Burrese) that their current Zeo powers and Zords are not powerful enough to face this new threat, and gives them new Turbo powers and Zords. With Rocky DeSantos (Steve Cardenas) injured during a training accident, they are joined by a new Blue Ranger, twelve-year-old Justin Stewart (Blake Foster) who stumbled upon their secret. They give chase, confronting Divatox, Maligore and also having to rescue former Rangers held hostage by Divatox.

The film also stars Amy Jo Johnson as Kimberly Hart, Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy as Farkus "Bulk" Bulkmeier and Eugene "Skull" Skullovitch, and Austin St. John as Jason Lee Scott.

Turbo was also the final Power Rangers entry to feature Richard Genelle as Ernie before his death in 2008.

Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie provides examples of:

  • Agony of the Feet: While the Rangers are trying to enter the Nemesis Triangle with the Turbo Keys, a stray barrel runs over Justin's foot, causing him to drop the key.
  • Arrow Cam: Used at the beginning, when a horse-riding Piranhatron is firing a crossbow at Lerigot and the camera follows its trail. Part of this scene is also used in the trailer.
  • As You Know: Lt. Stone needn’t remind Bulk and Skull in their Lucia t getting rehired as cops.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Divatox and Maligore — Divatox as the one who sets everything in motion, and Maligore as both her ultimate goal and the final enemy that the Rangers face.
  • The Bus Came Back: Jason and Kimberly makes surprise guest stars. Jason a little less so, since he was last seen in Zeo despite having lost his powers, while Kimberly had previously left the show a year and a half prior.
  • Breast Plate: Divatox has a very flattering one.
  • The Cameo: Rita and Zedd briefly cameo when Divatox calls the former for advice on how to get ride of the Power Rangers.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Rocky hurts his back while practicing for a martial arts tournament forcing him to pick Justin as his replacement on the team.
  • Covered in Gunge: A downplayed example occurs during the Turbo Rangers' battle with the Putra Pods on the Ghost Galleon. After Adam throws a Pod off the ship, he is dismayed that his hands have been covered in the monster's fluids due to the former repeatedly beating it on the head.
  • Deadly Sparring: A variation. Tommy, Adam, and Rocky are practicing for a martial arts tournament. Despite being warned by the coach and his teammates that he is working himself too hard, Rocky ignores their advice and attempts to perform a complicated move that results in him hurting his back. This takes Rocky out of commission for the rest of the movie, forcing him to pick Justin as his replacement on the team.
  • Disney Villain Death: During the climactic battle, Maligore is struck by the Turbo Megazord Saber, starts sparking, and then falls backward off a cliff, where he explodes upon hitting the ground below.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • The Piranhatrons here looked VERY different from what they look like in the series. Plus they could talk. The Subcraft's bridge looked slightly different to how it looked in the series. Elgar had a deeper voice with more of an early Goldar personality and was thrown into the lava as a sacrifice before the show began. He got better.
    • Divatox used some turtle-esque monsters dubbed "Putra Pods" to attack the Rangers onboard the Ghost Galleon; they only appeared once in the series and in a quick cameo next season.
    • The Turbo suits do not contain the Carranger insignia on the shoulders.
    • The Megazord formation is far slower and much more detailed (and more accurate to the toy), the cockpits for the individual Zords and Megazord are completely different, and the Megazord doesn't do its "Spinout" finisher. (Some fans have theorized that there were two separate sets of Turbo Zords (the ones used here having to be left behind, possibly because of the whole "it's in another dimension" thing and the fact that the Ghost Galleon had been blown up), while the different formation and lack of Spinout could be explained as not having room for either, given how they were on a fairly small island.)
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Possessed Kim and Jason, who both speak in deeper, huskier voices.
  • Expy: Lerigot could be considered an equivalent to Carranger's Dappu, insofar as he's a small alien creature allied with the heroes.
  • Forgot About His Powers:
    • Lerigot could have gotten himself out of literally all of his various perilous situations with his magic wand. But for some reason, he conveniently and bewilderingly forgets about it all throughout the film.
    • Kat. Her series Backstory established her as a former aspiring champion diver, with Kimberly helping her overcome her fears of diving accidents. Here, however, she falls off a very high cliff above a pool of water, and instead of assuming the proper diving form, Kat tries to morph and fails horribly. Tommy, as usual, swoops down to save the day with a perfect dive. Invoked to justify a Damsel in Distress moment and showcase Lerigot's healing powers.
      • There are a few other justifications, Tommy intentionally dove, Kat was suffering heat stroke (she just stopped to get a drink after all, was resting and commenting on the heat), was escaping a python and then fell. Then her Zeonizer strap comes loose while she is falling, since they didn't know they were getting the Turbo powers she was at a real risk of losing half of her Transformation Trinket. It's justifiable she would grab that, and finish morphing since it was right in front of her face or grab the morpher, turn around and do a three point dive which would take longer than saying four words.
      • Another big one: She probably had no idea just how deep the water was. Diving into shallow water is incredibly dangerous, possibly causing severe head and neck trauma, or even paralysis. She might have decided it would be safer to protect herself with her powers (and helmet, let's remember) than to plummet headfirst into potentially shallow or rocky water. Really, her big mistake was not curling her body up, as she was almost fully morphed when she hit the water.
  • Ghost Ship: The Ghost Galleon, which is covered in cobwebs when the Rangers first board, and even has a few skeletons on the deck.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Lt. Stone hates to repeat himself. He HATES to repeat himself.
  • "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight: The Turbo Rangers (specifically, Tommy, Adam, and Kat) versus the brainwashed Jason and Kimberly, trying to bring them back to their senses. It doesn't work though; Lerigot has to use his magic to snap them out of it.
  • Incoming Ham:
    • Divatox steps onto her submarine's bridge and declares, "IDIOOOOOOOOTS!"
    • Alpha-5 is introduced with his characteristic "Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi!" running into the Command Center at a Dutch Angle closeup.
  • Living Lava: Maligore is a hulking demonic entity that rises up from, and seems to be formed out of, lava.
  • Male Gaze: The camera focuses on both Kat and Kim's asses and Divatox's cleavage just a bit too much throughout The Movie. It's averted, however, after Tommy saves Kat from drowning — there's a rather noticeable blurring of Catherine Sutherland's chest, to hide her wet t-shirt clinging to her body.
  • The Movie: A full-length film that serves as a transition between Power Rangers Zeo and Power Rangers Turbo, introducing the team's new powers, zords and enemies.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Tommy wearing all white whilst training for and taking part in a martial arts competition here, whilst Rocky and Adam both have at least an item of clothing in their Ranger color.
    • Quick-eyed viewers will note that Tommy's belt has red bars at the ends for his Zeo colors.
  • No Name Given: Again courtesy of Zordon (as in the previous movie), it is said "the Zords" would be no match for Maligore, but the Zeo Zords, Red Battlezord, Super Zeo Zords, and Warrior Wheel aren't mentioned specifically.
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: The joysticks and buttons directly in front of Tommy in the Turbo Megazord cockpit are the analog joystick set from the original PlayStation, spray-painted black.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Kat when she is confronted by the snake in the jungle and later when she is about to fall off the cliff.
    • Adam when he sees Divatox's torpedos through his binoculars and realizes that they're are about to hit the Ghost Galleon.
  • Opening Scroll: Like the first movie, Turbo opens with one of these. Read by Zordon, the scroll gives a brief introduction to both Lerigot and Divatox, as well as setting up the premise of the film.
  • Playing with Fire: Maligore has the ability to unleash streams of fire from his clawed hands and he is so heat resistant that energy blasts from the Rangers' Turbo Weapons have no effect on him.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: After fighting the Putra Pods on the Ghost Galleon, Tanya quips "This show ain't The Love Boat." This prompts Justin to ask, "What's The Love Boat?".
  • Precision F-Strike: Only relatively speaking, the franchise is known for extra clean dialogue, so anything out of place is really notable.
    • Divatox saying "Hell's bells."
    • Like the MMPR movie, Justin gets to say "We need to get our butts in those cars."
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Tommy yells "Later, flame face!" shortly before the Turbo Megazord destroys Maligore for good.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Jason and Kimberly.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Maligore is freed from a volcano on the island of Muiranthias that is sealed in another dimension.
  • Ship Tease: Between Jason and Kimberly. Originally, the film was going to reveal that they had officially become a couple; but, that idea was edited out of the final draft for unknown reasons — while also leaving the clues in there. And so, all the fans got was a ship tease, leaving their closeness and relationship ambiguous and up to interpretation (it was neither denied nor confirmed).
  • Soft Reboot: Serves as one in how almost nothing regarding the story of Zeo continues over. We get a brief glimpse of Kat trying to transform into her Zeo ranger suit, but the focus of the movie is on them being given the Turbo powers and having their first battle with them.
  • So Last Season: Not really explained why, but Zordon tells the Rangers outright they need the new Turbo powers in order to face Maligore. While this can be because the Gold Ranger leaving at the end of Zeo means the team is down a considerable amount of firepower, two plot points suggest it's due to where the team needs to go:
    • The keys from the Turbo Morphers are modeled after Lerigot's magic wand, and are needed to cross into the dimension where the island of Muiranthias is located.
    • In order to follow Divatox without being spotted, the Rangers use a magic boat called the Ghost Galleon. In order to fit in said boat, the Turbo Zords can shrink, something the Zeo generation of Zords can't do.
  • Transformation Sequence: Naturally played straight, but lampshaded once in the movie when Justin is out of position during the initial poses of his first morph, and the others look at him with irritation and shake their heads as he adjusts himself to match.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Subverted, Kat tried to do an impromptu Zeo-morph after sliding off a cliff and into a river. She doesn't quite make it all the way in time and her morph is interrupted when she hits the water. This was actually one of the first times in the franchise where we see someone do a morphing sequence with detailed special effects outside of the Stock Footage of the Transformation Sequence (previously there might be a flash of color to hide the transition, this showed the suit forming overtop her from head to feet).
  • Would Hurt a Child: When Jason turns evil, he has no qualms with kicking the crap out of Justin even though the latter is only a kid Ranger.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Power Rangers Turbo


A Ranger's Life For Me

In this parody of "A Pirate's Life for Me", Critic explains one of the biggest problems with "Turbo: a Power Ranger's Movie".

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