‘ISLAND OF ILLUSION’ (MMPR)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This is a two-part ‘Power Rangers’ story featuring our six heroes in a dangerous situation where they have to face their deepest fears. I enjoyed watching this two-parter. It focuses first on Zack’s self-doubt before it then focuses on the other Rangers until they overcome their fears in defeating Rita.
In the first episode, Zach is practising for his upcoming dance contest at the Angel Grove Youth Center. Bulk and Skull are also entering the contest and start seeding self-doubt into Zach. Soon, Rita Repulsa calls for two monsters to fight for her including the mutant Mutitus and the spirit-like Lokar.
The Rangers soon get to fight the two monsters via their use of their Zords. They use the Dino Megazord and the Dragonzord to fight Mutitus and Lokar off. But very soon, the Rangers get sent to the Island of Illusion where they confront their worst fears and soon fade away via their self-doubt.
Beforehand, the Rangers were fighting Goldar and Scorpina before Mutitus and Lokar arrive. I’m guessing that Scorpina is going to be around with Rita’s gang for quite some time. Tommy also has two kids from his karate class to look after, before Rita sent this unearthly storm to scare everyone.
On the island itself, the Rangers have lost their communicators and Power Coins. This prevents them from making contact with Zordon and finding a way to escape. They also face foes they fought in previous ‘Power Ranger’ episodes such as Pudgy Pig, Eye Guy, Snizzard, Pineoctopus and Shellshock.
But these monsters turn out to be illusions as the islands plays tricks on the six Rangers. The first episode ends on a cliff-hanger where Zach sees a snake that terrifies him before he begins to fade away. I’m sure kids got worried-sick when they saw this and wondered what would happen to Zach.
In the second episode, the Rangers get help from a little man on the Island of Illusion. This is Kevin Thompson as Quagmire. Quagmire tends to speak in verse a lot when the Rangers meet him. He initially thought the Rangers were friends of Rita’s before they tell him they’re not and he helps out.
Quagmire gives the Rangers words of encouragement to help them overcome their friends. And that’s about it. I mean yes, the Rangers do have the strength of will to overcome their fears by the help of Quagmire’s words. But it does seem easy when Quagmire appears at the Rangers’ command.
Also the Rangers keep facing fears based on previous episodes dedicated to them. First of all, Zack overcomes his fears by remembering his fight with Knasty Knight in ‘Happy Birthday Zack’. Kimberly overcomes her fears by remembering her fight against the evil Terror Toad in ‘Power Ranger Punks’.
Tommy overcomes his fears by remembering his fight with some Putties in ‘Life’s a Masquerade’. Trini overcomes her fears by remembering her beating her fear of heights in ‘High Five’. Billy overcomes his fears by remembering his fight with the evil Madame Woe in ‘Peace, Love and Woe’.
Finally, Jason overcomes his fears by remembering his battle with King Sphinx in ‘A Pressing Engagement’. This enables the Rangers to get their communicators and Power Coins back and escaping the Island of Illusion, which so angers Rita, to fight against Mutitus and Lokar in their Zords.
The final Megazord fight has all the Power Rangers combine their Zords to become the Mega-Dragonzord, which makes it first appearance in the ‘Power Rangers’ series. They soon call forth Titanus to form the Ultrazord before they defeat finally both evil Mutitus and evil Lokar in the story.
The story ends with Bulk and Skull as well as Zack in the dance contest. Naturally Zack wins whilst Bulk and Skull get a low score. It also turns out Quagmire is the disc jockey for the dance contest. What a twist! Oh! I forgot to mention Bulk and Skull appeared as nice people in Kimberly’s illusions!
‘Island of Illusion’ is a pretty enjoyable two-part story that doesn’t add a new chapter or stage of development in the ‘Power Rangers’ series. But I can see why this became a two-parter as there’s a lot going on and it allows the Rangers time to develop as characters when beating their worst fears.
‘Island of Illusion’ (MMPR) rating – 7/10
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