For twenty-nine years, the Power Rangers have graced television (or streaming services) across the world as ordinary teenagers/young-adults with attitude have taken up arms to fight evil forces. And now – quite possibly for the last time – the Power Rangers once again harness unimaginable powers to face their greatest and oldest foe in Power Rangers Cosmic Fury, premiering worldwide on September 29th exclusively on Netflix. We were provided with a screener copy of the 30th season of Power Rangers to review and share with Power Rangers fans. This is our non-spoiler review. On September 29th, we will share a full spoiler-filled review with more detailed and concrete thoughts. There are specific story beats and moments that have been requested to be left off any reviews until the series premieres, and we are complying with that request in this review.
Power Rangers Cosmic Fury takes place immediately following the events of the finale in the second season of Power Rangers Dino Fury. Zayto and the others have chased Lord Zedd across the galaxy to the planet Zordnia. Almost immediately, the Power Rangers Dino Fury find themselves in an unfavorable situation that shakes the very makeup of their team to the core. What follows is a heart-warming story of family, friendship, and focusing on hope. Here are the basic bits.
What I Liked (Non-Spoiler):
The overall pacing and story are fantastic. Without having to build relationships with characters we already know, the show is able to instead simply put the characters and their previously known attributes/characteristics in to the new story. Anything that might be necessary to know from Dino Fury, or previous Power Rangers series, is given in very brief exposition or “throw-away lines”. Fans who loved the cast during Power Rangers Dino Fury will be thrilled as each character receives plenty of growth this season. If you’re a fan of Power Rangers lore, you better get your wiki ready to fact-check. There are so many callbacks from so many different Power Rangers seasons that it became hard to keep track of them all. But the most important ones stem from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – specifically the third season. There are returning characters and, for the most part, they are handled well and their scenes are executed in ways that will make fans smile. The music is top-notch, arguably some of the best music we’ve had in a series since the days of Mighty Morphin and Zeo. One thing that Power Rangers Cosmic Fury did well is that nothing is introduced without having some sort of payoff later. As an example – a character arrives on scene riding a bicycle. Stuff happens and we don’t see the bicycle again (it isn’t called out as being gone or still around). Until the next episode, when it’s brought back out (without being called out) in a pivotal scene. A Ranger makes a side comment about their new morphers which, again, plays an important role a couple of episodes later. But whereas in previous seasons, that “throw away line” would have been an entire focus of an episode, here it’s treated just as a side comment that another character overhears and then uses to their advantage a couple episodes later. It’s a “show don’t tell” type of writing and it’s not something we’re used to seeing in Power Rangers – and I love it. There’s also a few new costumes that appear and they are simply amazing. A lot of the overall cinematography is fantastic, with overhead shots and continuous scenes during battles. It really gives the “epic” feeling that you’ve always wanted in big Power Rangers battles. The infusion of the Super Sentai Megazord footage also felt seamless, not jarring, and the cockpits designed for Power Rangers Cosmic Fury were on-point. Even better than their Sentai counterpart.
What I Didn’t Like (Non-Spoiler):
Unfortunately, the Power Rangers Cosmic Fury suits did not grow on me. I am still not a fan of their design and seeing them in action did not change that fact. Especially when you take in to account some other brand new suits that were created exclusively for Power Rangers Cosmic Fury (that have yet to be seen by the public). Whether that’s corporate meddling or not, these new, unannounced suits just look and feel amazing when compared to the Cosmic Fury suits, and I struggle to understand the drastic design differences. When it comes to combat, the show does not feature any actual “sparks” during fights – anything there is CGI, along with most of the explosions. I have been vocal about the lack of “sparks” and explosions in Power Rangers since Beast Morphers but there is no change here in Cosmic Fury. In a few scenes, it looks like there was intended “sparks” to be added by visual effects, but they weren’t – a character hits a bad guy, pauses for a second, then continues through their attack. These are in the background though, but because of who the character was, I was focused on their fighting and of course it felt off to me. The biggest letdown for me – part of the ending. There’s a large buildup of the story and the stakes of everything as Power Rangers Cosmic Fury gets through its 10 episodes, but the ending doesn’t reflect the payoff to that large buildup. That doesn’t take away from some of the endings for each character, which did get me misty-eyed.
Power Rangers Cosmic Fury succeeds in both a fulfilling ending for the current team while also being a love-letter to the last decade or so of Power Rangers with some Mighty Morphin sprinkled in. It is not without flaw, but none of the flaws hold it back from telling an entertaining, compelling story. Fans who loved its predecessor series, Power Rangers Dino Fury, will easily consider this one of the greatest Power Rangers series of all time – and they may be right.
Power Rangers Cosmic Fury premieres exclusively on Netflix on September 29th, 2023.