Stars: Karan Ashley, Johnny Yong Bosch, Steve Cardenas, Jason David Frank, Amy Jo Johnson, David Yost, Paul Freeman, Gabrielle Fitzpatrick, Nicholas Bell. Written by Arne Olsen. Directed by Bryan Spicer. Rated PG for cartoonish violence.

Just when you thought that the "Power Rangers" juggernaut was finally losing steam, along comes "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie" to restore its momentum. The film, which isn't much more than a souped-up version of the hit TV series, features the same rock-em-sock-em action sequences that kids the world over have come to adore. But it does take advantage of the new medium in ways that "Power Rangers" fans should appreciate.

In their first big screen installment, the Power Rangers lose their powers and are forced to journey to a distant planet in order to save their esteemed leader, Zordon (Nicholas Bell). They are joined by a female warrior named Dulcea (Gabrielle Fitzpatrick). In addition to regaining their powers, they pick up a new set of Zords, which are robot machines they can climb inside and control for disposing of tougher enemies.

Following in the tradition of the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", "MMPR:TM" makes every attempt to stay true to its Saturday-morning roots. The film-makers have managed to capture the formula that made the series so popular while breathing cinematic life into it to make it more robust. On the surface it may seem like the same old "Power Rangers", but it contains all new combat footage, a rock-and-roll soundtrack and some state-of-the-art special effects. The latter are particularly impressive when one takes into account the low-budget gimmickry of the TV series.

Fortunately, "MMPR:TM" doesn't aspire to much. It just wants to be familiar to fans of the television series while taking advantage of the hefty budget of a feature film. In that it succeeds admirably.

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