TATM: Talkin’ About The Movies #257: Power Rangers

POWER RANGERS

****

Power Rangers (2017 Official Theatrical Poster).png

Synopsis:

High school outcasts stumble upon an old alien ship, where they acquire superpowers and are dubbed the Power Rangers. Learning that an old enemy of the previous generation has returned to exact vengeance, the group must harness their powers and use them to work together and save the world.

Review:

When they first announced this a couple of years back, my initial thoughts were simply…..”okay”….yeah, I really was not moved a lot by that news that Lionsgate was rebooting this mostly because I wasn’t that big of a Power Rangers fan anymore. As I’ve said in the past, I only stuck around with the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers before I bowed out after that run ended, it’s just like Pokémon, I left that part of my life after the original first few seasons but I never let it go that I was once a fan of both franchises.

With Power Rangers, there’s no denying that the show has not held up as well as it did when I was five years old when the show was at its’ peak nor have the movies hold up well. So, when that first trailer came out for this new reboot, I thought it looked nice but I was not going to go into a frenzy over it. But as new trailers and word of mouth started coming out, it looked a lot better and better as the release came along.

So, now that I have seen the movie, I will begin my review by saying this. If somebody was to tell me that I would enjoy Power Rangers more than Beauty & The Beast at the start of this month, I would’ve said they were crazy.

Well, guess what, they were on to something because not only was Power Rangers really good BUT I did enjoy it more than I did Beauty & The Beast.

I’m not even kidding, this movie was surprisingly awesome in so many different ways.

First off, the cast did a really good job working off each other. Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, & Ludi Lin do such a good job of working off each other and creating great chemistry, you can tell that these five were not cast just to be cast, they all worked off each other really well and led to a lot of the fun moments this movie has.

Bryan Cranston is really good as Zordon, he does such a good job or creating a new but similar personality for the character of Zordon and unlike Godzilla, he’s not just in the movie for about 20 minutes, he has a consistent amount of time in this. Even Bill Hader was not as annoying as a lot of people would think as Alpha 5, although that design of his looked pretty bad.

And then you have Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa and my god, what a surprisingly fun villainous role she has in this. I loved how they made her look so silly and yet so menacing at the same time and I also liked the backstory about how Zordon & Rita used to be Power Rangers in the past, it’s one of the most interesting aspects about this movie.

That leads into another thing I really liked about the movie, they make changes here that actually do make sense and create a new mythos to the legacy of the Power Rangers and are some creatively fun elements that are thrown in. I mean, the fact that the Rangers have these interesting backstories and great character development to them is a vast improvement over what was in the original series.

You could tell that this was written by fans of the franchise who wanted to tell a more deeper story with these characters. I mean, right from the beginning, it felt like they were taking a more darker approach right out of that short film made a couple of years ago with James Van Der Beek & Katee Sackhoff.

The movie surprisingly also moves pretty fast for a 2 hour and 4 minute movie, it went by pretty quickly and they did a good job of keeping the pacing up.

The action sequences look impressive enough, definitely getting a big upgrade, they look really good, they don’t look like cluttered Transformers action sequences where you can’t tell what’s going on. Although, not all the CG looks that impressive, Goldar in particular looks terrible, he looks like a golden version of Meltman from Action League Now.

That does lead into some of the bigger flaws with the movie.

For one thing, the story itself is nothing you haven’t seen done before. It’s Batman Begins again, it’s Star Trek again, it’s X-Men: First Class again, it’s the paint by the numbers origin story you usually see in films like this where you have five people who have nothing in common at first that come together by the end to become a heroic superteam. You get all the clichés, you get all the plot points, it’s a very cliché riddled script but they at least don’t split the team up for the big misunderstanding or liar revealed cliché, that I will give them credit for.

Another thing that never was explained is how the Rangers are able to morph into their armor. They show in one scene how Billy was able to do it by breaking up a fight between Jason and Zack but they never really explain how they are able to change into the armor. They don’t have the morphers from the show but they still don’t explain how they can change here in this movie.

Also, while the film does a good job explaining the backstories of the main characters, I thought Kimberly’s secret and reason for why she was in detention was pretty stupid. She shares a provocative picture of a fellow cheerleader with her boyfriend and essentially shames her and yet she’s in detention? And not only that, that’s your biggest problem in life? I mean, for god’s sake, Jason crashed a car and throws his life away from becoming a star quarterback, Billy is autistic, Zack has to take care of his sickly mother, and Trini has trouble fitting in because she’s been to three schools in three years and issues are made worst by her family’s relative normality, as her parents are essentially incapable of acknowledging or accepting her sexuality, which by the way, yeah, this is the first movie to have a gay superhero as well as an autistic superhero, so good job, Power Rangers. But Kimberly’s biggest problem is, oh, I took pictures of a cheerleader with my boyfriend and shames her. You don’t have a problem, out of all the people in this group, Kimberly is the sanest one and yet, she thinks she’s got just as big of problems as the others do, dude, you’ve got it made, Kimberly really does not have that big of a problem in this movie at all.

But maybe the biggest flaw is, as most people have said, is that the third act is essentially a long ad for Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. I counted, there was at least 14 different times throughout the movie where Krispy Kreme was brought up and 12 of them were in the final act because that was where the Zeo crystal was so all throughout the final act, you keep hearing Rita going “FIND THE KRISPY KREME” and all I can think to myself is, “wow, how much money did Krispy Kreme throw at Lionsgate to put their name in there.” I mean, it’s not Man Of Steel or Grown Ups 2 levels of bad product placement especially because in this movie, it does lead to an over the top and yet still funny scene where Rita is inside the shop eating a Krispy Kreme doughnut while Destiny’s Child’s Survivor is playing in the background so I will give them credit for that.

Overall, I was really surprised by how much I loved Power Rangers. It’s no masterpiece but it’s still a really fun movie that not only pays homage to the original series but also creates a lot of new things to admire about, the cast is really good, the development of the characters is nicely done, the action is really good, the visuals are impressive enough, there is a lot about this that I really enjoyed. If you were fans of the original Power Rangers series, then you will definitely get a lot of enjoyment out of this one.

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Posted in TATM: Talkin' About The Movies

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