MOVIE REVIEW: Power Rangers

The Mighty Morphing Power Rangers return to the big screen with a more edgy look than before and less cartoon style acting.  Back in the time of the Dinosaurs the Power Rangers were betrayed by one of their own, Rita, in search of the powerful crystal that keeps life going on Earth.  In order to protect the earth the final living Ranger Zordon issues a command to Alpha 5 to bring a meteor down that will destroy all life on earth in the hope that life will return one day.  We cut to the present day Angel Grove and a group of teenagers who come from different backgrounds must join forces to protect the crystal from Rita, who has risen from the ocean.

I remember back in the 90’s watching the Power Rangers of TV, it was over the top nonsense, but there was a lot to enjoy.  I was a fan of the early Godzilla movies and there were one or two similarities between the two.  Also I had a very young nephew at the time who adored the show and we’d watch it together.  A few years ago I learned that the show was still going on, which was a huge shock to me, and then there was that short movie.  The short movie was more adult in tone and felt as though the series had grown up with fans.  When I heard that we were getting a theatrical film I held hope that it would be at least fun to watch.  All that kept going through my head while watching this was, The Breakfast Club, Chronicle, and the original series.

I have to admit that my bare hopes were answered.  At the very least this outing is fun to watch.  It’s better acted than the TV show and of course the budget is bigger too.  It’s the depth of character development that makes the film slightly more interesting for me this time around.  It’s not just the hip happening good-looking kids any more, they are the outcasts from the school, with deep personal issues that are more than the paper-thin characters that we got during the 90’s.  We have the Jock who loses his shot at the big time due to a prank that went wrong, a kid who lost his Dad and has trouble fitting in due to his autism, the former Cheerleader who betrayed her fellow team-mate and lost her spot on the team, the young Asian boy who is trying to keep his Mother alive, and the girl who is misunderstood by her family as she is a lesbian.  The diversity is great, and fits in perfectly.  The acting is better than the TV show, but if we’re honest with ourselves, it would be hard to be worse.

The problem is that the fans are going to be disappointed with the amount of time it takes to get the team together and the action started, non fans will be fine with this, as it brings us into the world we don’t know too well.  A lot of the action it has to be said, apart from the final battle, happens with the camera turning away at the last moment so they can get the certificate that they want.

While I don’t know if this is going to set the box office on fire, I can’t tell you it’s an abomination.  I would happily watch it again with some of the many fans of the series that I know.  I wonder though if they had bothered to continue in the adult tone of the short film would I feel differently.  It’s darker than the TV show but going darker could have made it something special.  Fans might be happy to have the team back with a big budget behind them and if there are enough people who love the show going to the cinema over the coming week we’ll see more.  The ground work is done and that’s the hard part, now you have to take this and add more cowbell all the way up to eleven.

Director: Dean Israelite
Writers: John Gatins, Matt Sazama, and more …
Stars: Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler  and more …

See full cast & crew

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