We all know what Power Rangers is by now, right? It seems to have been around since the dawn of time, after all. High school dudes and chicks in snazzy lycra and shiny oversized motorcycle helmets knocking seven shades of you know what out of all manner of outlandish intergalactic meanies in the name of children's entertainment and massive merch sales. And yes, it's just as daft and excellent as it sounds!
Dino Charge is the Rangers' 22nd adventure, premiering on TV in 2016 and now arriving on DVD in a set of several individual volumes. Unleashed is the first disc in the series, with the rest of the episodes being released throughout the rest of this year. The plot, for what it's worth, centres around a space-faring bounty hunter called Sledge and his search for the Energems, ten crystals which had been given to a group of dinosaurs 65 million years ago by the Keeper, who is a dead ringer for ET crossed with the Dungeon Master from the 1980s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon. In the present day, saucy bespectacled scientist Kendall Morgan encounters the Keeper during an archaeological expedition, and together they set up a base underneath a dinosaur museum from where they bring a new bunch of Rangers together and set out to find the Energems before Sledge can take over the universe...
Some might say that Power Rangers episodes are badly written, badly acted, filled with ropey CGI and the worst kinds of corny dialogue, and that the Rangers themselves are so relentlessly positive that you quickly find yourself wanting to stab every single one of them. Some might also say that the Rangers are so good looking that you could almost believe they were constructed in a factory somewhere, put together from the leftover bits of plastic of their action figure counterparts.
But that's if you're looking at things through grown ups eyes. Let's remember that this is a kids TV show, and in that respect Power Rangers definitely follows a winning formula. Monsters that are just silly enough to not be too terrifying, loads of jokes (terrible ones, but jokes nonetheless), memorable (if mildly irritating) soundbites and catchphrases, tons of colourful flashing lights and explosions, and masses of insane over the top action. Throwing dinosaurs into the mix adds yet another exciting hook to get the kids' imaginations running wild and, regardless of how old you are, the gigantic dinos vs monsters kaiju-style battles at the end of each episode are undeniably spectacular.
It's hard to fault Dino Charge because it knows exactly what it is - easy to watch nonsense to keep the youngsters entertained for 20 minutes - and it doesn't try to do anything to convince the viewer that is might have any ideas to the contrary. Fantastic fun for kids of all ages!
POWER RANGERS DINO CHARGE: UNLEASHED (VOLUME 1) / CERT: U / STARRING: BRENNAN MEJIA, CAMILLE HYDE, YOSHUA SUDARSO, MICHAEL TABER, JAMES DAVIES / RELEASE DATE: MAY 29TH 2017