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Power Rangers Review

The Power Rangers franchise returns to the big screen with a stylish movie and loads of character development.

The Power Rangers are finally back on the big screen, and instead of being a camp, kiddie focused feature, this newest incarnation is like The Breakfast Club meets The Avengers, mixing a teen drama in a superhero origin story. Jason (Dacre Montgomery), the school's star football player meets Billy (RJ Cyler) and Kimberly (Naomi Scott) in Saturday detention. Billy is a technical genius, while Kimberly is a cheerleader on the outs with her squad. The ragtag group soon are joined by Zack (Ludi Lin), a reckless classmate who rarely attends school, and Trini (Becky G), the "new girl" and outsider in their their hometown of Angel Grove. The first two acts of the movie centers around the teens getting to know each other as they’re chosen to become Power Rangers in order to protect the world from the villainous Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks).

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During the group's journey to become true Power Rangers, we learn more about this band of misfits and the complications they face in their lives. The movie successfully establishes the team as flawed and makes them more relatable, compared to the uninspiring versions in the original series. The same could even be said for the Power Rangers' mentor, Zordon (Bryan Cranston), who the team find trapped inside an ancient spaceship. In part due to his slightly different backstory, Zordon comes across as a little harsh to the teens due to Rita's threat to the world and a surprisingly selfish motive on his part.

While the film is less campy than the original series, it's not a completely dreary movie. The chemistry between the actors is palpable, and there are plenty of moments of levity as they interact with each other and learn how to adjust to their new Power Rangers abilities. The inclusion of the quirky robot Alpha 5 (voiced by Bill Hader) further provides comedic relief as he helps train the Rangers.

Surprisingly, there's really only a few action scenes in the film, and there's also a lack of meaningful exploration of the character of Rita Repulsa. Having less action than expected in a big blockbuster movie and not fully fleshing out a villain are risky moves, but it does offer a strong payoff in the end here. A big-action movie like this needs an over-the-top villain like Rita, but it's the characters' bonds that carry the story in the film. Rita's motives are never fully explained--other than a villain's typical lust for ultimate power. Rita's character feels closer to the original TV incarnation instead of having a deeper take similar to the teens, Zordon, and Alpha 5. Elizabeth Banks delivers a fine performance with what she has to work with, though this Rita simply isn't a compelling villain.

The fight-scene visuals are heavy with CG elements--and a big departure from the original series’ low-budget scenes. The CG scenes sometimes contain too much CG, giving an unbalanced feel when compared to those taking place in the teens' home and school. The effects to shine when the team morphs into their Power Rangers armor. Seeing the in-costume Rangers fighting Rita's Putty Patrollers does an excellent job of balancing the old-school cheesy vibe with modern movie visuals. The days of spandex clad and rubber creatures are over. The Rangers' hand-to-hand combat can also be displayed with more flare and on a grander scale compared to the past incarnations.

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Despite convincing performances during the character bonding moments from the Power Rangers actors, the lack of big-action scenes are a letdown. Diehard fans will want to see the Rangers' Zords or the Megazord vehicles fighting giant monsters but that action is mostly contained in the climactic battle. The franchise is known for its over the top action, and there just isn't enough here.

Minimal gigantic Megazord action aside, Power Rangers may be just another big-budget Hollywood reboot, but unlike some such as 2001's Planet of the Apes or 2010's Clash of the Titans, it’s got plenty of charm. It's an appealing blend that captures the source material's essence while simultaneously making sure it stands on its own--and with characters you'll want to see return in a potential sequel.

If you want to know what happens next, click here.

42 Comments

Avatar image for titanbreaker
Posted By Titanbreaker

Do we get the essential "AH! After ten thousand year's I'm free. It's time to conquer Earth!" at the start of this movie?

Avatar image for ravenvice01
Edited By RavenVice01

@titanbreaker: unfortunately not but there are other nostalgic moments that are in the movie. It's definitely worth a watch and a great revamp of the series. Stay to the end of the movie for a teaser

Avatar image for the_stegman
Edited By the_stegman

I loved the movie. It still felt like Power Rangers, but updated some of the cheesier stuff.

And they made the most boring ranger, Billy, the most interesting.

4/5

Moderator
Avatar image for righteous300
Edited By righteous300

I really liked it. Everyone in the theater started freaking out at the after credits scene

Avatar image for ravenvice01
Posted By RavenVice01
Avatar image for the_stegman
Posted By the_stegman
Moderator
Avatar image for nightfang3
Posted By NightFang3

@the_stegman: I thought all the Rangers were boring, except Tommy.

Avatar image for scott_summers52
Posted By scott_summers52

Transformers, TMNT, and now Power Rangers. At least this one isn't directed by Michael Bay.

Avatar image for gmanfromheck
Posted By gmanfromheck
Avatar image for farkam
Posted By Farkam

I really liked it. Everyone in the theater started freaking out at the after credits scene

What was it?

Avatar image for righteous300
Posted By righteous300
Avatar image for human_rocket
Edited By HumanRocket

During the group's journey to become true Avengers, we learn more about this band of misfits and the complications they face in their lives.

The drama scenes sometimes contain too much drama.

Avatar image for ravenvice01
Posted By RavenVice01

@righteous300: I was expecting Lord zedd to make a cameo appearance as well. That would have gotten the audience psyched

Avatar image for kgb725
Posted By kgb725

@ravenvice01: Tommy is like the most popular character of all time in power rangers

Avatar image for dark_stranger
Edited By Dark_Stranger

Movie wasn't bad. Was fun to watch, and overall a good film.

Though not without issues. Of course.

But still a good film, and a good Power Rangers movie.

Avatar image for ravenvice01
Posted By RavenVice01

@kgb725: Rita was the green ranger and now Tommy will be. I was disappointed with Goldar.

Avatar image for mooty_pass
Edited By Mooty_Pass

The Movie wasn't bad in fact it was pretty good(IMO). There were a few small things that rubbed me the wrong way, but it felt like the Original Power Rangers: Cheesy, Random, Full of Energy.

Avatar image for nightfang3
Posted By NightFang3

@ravenvice01: The way Rita was beaten implies he'll show up in the sequel along with Tommy.

Avatar image for uncanny_xfactor
Posted By Uncanny_XFactor

@gmanfromheck: Assuming my family and I were considering this as our first Power Rangers exposure, how would you rate it as such?

Avatar image for zebediah_shale
Posted By Zebediah_Shale

I loved it

Avatar image for zebediah_shale
Posted By Zebediah_Shale

I loved it

Avatar image for kgb725
Posted By kgb725

@uncanny_xfactor: It's a great introduction to the series. It's more character focused and let's you get to know the characters

Avatar image for stormshadow_x
Posted By StormShadow_X

I loved the movie. It still felt like Power Rangers, but updated some of the cheesier stuff.

And they made the most boring ranger, Billy, the most interesting.

4/5

Avatar image for druzzie
Posted By Druzzie

Elizabeth bank should not have been rita. I think another woman would have been better for it.

Avatar image for alexgeorgevich
Edited By AlexGeorgevich

I want this on VHS tape. I don't care what year is it...

Avatar image for lordrequiem
Posted By LordRequiem

I really enjoyed it. And the lack of actual ranger action led to some character development.

Avatar image for redbird3rdboywonder
Posted By redbird3rdboywonder

Loved the movie

Avatar image for manmadeofketchup
Posted By ManMadeOfKetchup

Didn't like it, hope the rumor isn't true that they're going to try to make Tommy a girl though. If it ain't broke, don't fix it

Avatar image for king_majestros
Edited By King_Majestros

The movie was horrible. Trash.

I mentioned this in another thread, that the movie was laden with SJW bullshit, from its character depictions to its lame, racially-motivated jokes. Examples: Billy responding with, "No you're not," to Zack saying he's "black," referring to the color glowing around him -- which was stupid, considering each of them could clearly see the color glowing in the water -- as well as Alpha 5 stating, "Different color coins. Different kids. Different color kids."

Not to mention the changes in appearance: Zack was Asian instead of Black, Billy was Black instead of White, Trini was White instead of Asian. It's supposed to be the reboot of the original series, yet it was altered to meet SJW standards, due to them crying about how Zack, the Black Ranger, was Black, and Trini, the Yellow Ranger, was Asian.

I could go on about Rita Repulsa, Goldar, the Zords, and the Ranger Suits. Eugh, I don't want to. I've given the movie a 1 out of 5, and not even for the effort, but for Amy Jo Johnson and Jason David Frank's 7-8 second cameo at the end.

Avatar image for lunarstorm
Edited By Lunarstorm

Power Rangers has the same flamboyant flare as dragon ball but this movie was at least better than the Goku live action movie with bad hair styles.

Just wish they made it little more serious and adult for my own taste in quality. Not sure what their demographic is. But for kids it might sell well. I remember this show when it first came out and it was okay but when you grow up it loses its traction it did for me at least.

Avatar image for lunacyde
Posted By Lunacyde

The Rangers were great...the movie not so much.

Moderator
Avatar image for lunacyde
Posted By Lunacyde

The movie was horrible. Trash.

I mentioned this in another thread, that the movie was laden with SJW bullshit, from its character depictions to its lame, racially-motivated jokes. Examples: Billy responding with, "No you're not," to Zack saying he's "black," referring to the color glowing around him -- which was stupid, considering each of them could clearly see the color glowing in the water -- as well as Alpha 5 stating, "Different color coins. Different kids. Different color kids."

Not to mention the changes in appearance: Zack was Asian instead of Black, Billy was Black instead of White, Trini was White instead of Asian. It's supposed to be the reboot of the original series, yet it was altered to meet SJW standards, due to them crying about how Zack, the Black Ranger, was Black, and Trini, the Yellow Ranger, was Asian.

I could go on about Rita Repulsa, Goldar, the Zords, and the Ranger Suits. Eugh, I don't want to. I've given the movie a 1 out of 5, and not even for the effort, but for Amy Jo Johnson and Jason David Frank's 7-8 second cameo at the end.

Get over it. They changed some of the cast, the relations built between the Rangers ended up being the best part of the film. You're right about the rest though. It's pretty lame.

Moderator
Avatar image for doc4943
Posted By doc4943

Should have had a Tony Stark cameo explaining how he made their suits and Red Ranger should have had super speed like he's going to in the Justice League movie.

Seriously a little work on costumes would not go amiss.

Avatar image for yemememe
Posted By yemememe

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