Welcome to FOOT FIST FRIDAYS! A weekly dose of fight action where the Action-Flix.com experts share their thoughts on some of the greatest scenes of fisticuffs in action cinema history! […]
Welcome to FOOT FIST FRIDAYS! A weekly dose of fight action where the Action-Flix.com experts share their thoughts on some of the greatest scenes of fisticuffs in action cinema history!
This week, Action-Flix Contributor The Cinema Drunkie Dives into the classic Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Mini-Series Green With Evil which introduced martial arts legend Jason David Frank as Tommy. It’s Power Rangers leader Jason played by Austin St. John versus Frank’s Tommy Oliver in a winner take all grudge match of epic proportions!
So, as a kid growing up and loving all things martial arts related, you can bet your rent money that my favorite show was Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Absolutely, 100% never missed an episode. I loved it so much I even watched its rip-offs religiously, like Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills (Don’t judge me. It was the 90’s, and I was only 10.) But Power Rangers w as always the top of the line of these shows, especially during the Green with Evil saga.
Oh yes, I’m going there.
For the 90s kids who know, this 5 episode story arc within the series was everything. But for the ones who don’t, let me break it down for you real quick: Rita Repulsa, whose evil deeds are constantly thwarted by the Power Rangers day in and day out, devises a plan to stop the teenage heroes once and for all by pitting them against a new ranger of her own creation. A Green Ranger.
She chooses the form of their destruction in Tommy Oliver, Angel Grove’s newest student, as well as karate expert. She makes this choice by secretly spying on a martial arts tournament where Oliver has an incredibly competitive back and forth match with the leader of the Power Rangers, Jason Lee Scott.
And it’s this match that is the focus of our discussion. Not just an awesome martial arts fight, but the first appearance of Tommy Oliver, and the introduction of a legend.
Now, like I mentioned before, this miniseries was absolutely epic. It was all everybody talked about at school. What a time to be alive. The episodes hit videocassette not too soon after, and I had to have them. But the episodes were released individually, and at around $19.99 per VHS, there was no way in hell my parents were getting me all of them at once. So they gave me a solution: they’ll get me one now, and if I’m good in school, they’ll get me more.
“Ok, I’m only allowed to choose one, so let’s make it count.” I decided what the hell, and started at the very beginning: the first chapter. Man, when I tell you I brought that tape home and watched it again and again and again, I am deadly serious. I even had friends ask to come over so they could watch the tape as well. So many great moments from that episode are now permanently burned into my memory banks, especially the very first scene: the fight between Jason & Tommy.
We open on a martial arts tournament. Many incredible martial arts are performing their amazing feats of fancy. Jason, reading himself for his upcoming match, glances at his opponent. And there is Tommy, in all his jumping spin kicking glory. Never has someone made such an impression from just a single shot. After some questions on who he is among the rest of the gang, and some thirst comments from Kimberly, the match begins.
And boy are they evenly matched. Back flips, spin kicks, the works. And all at a furious pace. Both came to win, and they do whatever it takes to beat each other in the time allotted (only around a minute long). The choreography in this scene is exemplary, thanks to the work of action movie staples John Barrett (American Kickboxer 1), and martial arts action maestro Isaac Florentine.
It seems everything just came together perfectly for this scene, thanks to the contributions of the performers (icons Austin St. John and Jason David Frank) and the aforementioned choreographers. Just the perfect way to introduce such a legendary character into pop culture. But enough talk, let’s sit back, and watch this awesome scene!
About The Aurthor: With his mind utterly intoxicated off of a steady stream of movies, comics and cartoons, a young boy from Brooklyn, New York grew up to become the man known as… THE CINEMA DRUNKIE!!! https://thecinemadrunkie.wordpress.com/