It was between going to see Life or Power Rangers and while I knew I should be going to see the space thriller, the latter film was more appealing on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I didn’t go into the showing expecting to be blown away. I didn’t expect to be watching an action film to rival the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I mainly went to see one of my childhood Saturday morning cartoons brought back to life on the big screen in the modern day. I was thrown the bait of nostalgia and I bit fast. And so, I was reeled in to a likeable and rewatchable viewing.
Do I really need to tell anyone what Power Rangers is about? I don’t think I do, but I’ll do it anyway: 5 teenagers (Jason: Darce Montgomery, Kimberly: Naomi Scott, Billy: RJ Cyler, Trini: Becky G and Zack: Ludi Lin) stumble across a spaceship that has laid dormant under their town of Angel Grove for 65 million years and are given super powers in order to stop the evil alien Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) from getting Earth’s life crystal and destroying the planet. That’s about the it in terms of central plot. But with a few modernisations, a couple of homages to the original series and some decent action and graphics Power Rangers is an enjoyable watch.
Like I said, there was nothing new or different about the film in terms of narrative and action. It followed pretty standard action films aimed at a younger audience; the team are granted super powers but most harness the power of friendship to really be strong. It was a little trite, but not unexpected. And while I could have done with a few less cheesy and motivational speeches, it wasn’t too cringy.
Being the sucker for nostalgia that I am, I liked seeing the origin story again. I especially liked seeing it being brought up to date. The cast were good and none of the performances were horrendous, however the standouts for me were definitely RJ Cyler as Billy Cranston (the Blue Ranger) and Bank’s performance as Rita Repulsa. While Cyler brought most of the comedy, he was also the most likeable and realistic. Whereas Banks plays a good villain. I liked what they did with Rita’s progression; the scene where she’s eating fish in the alleyway reminded me of Suicide Squad’s Enchantress at the start of the film, quite creepy and ferral. I liked it a lot.
It was also nice seeing such a diverse cast. Power Rangers has always been pretty diverse but having a cast made up of multiple races, an LGBTQ character(s) and also one that’s on the autism spectrum shows a real effort to strive for more diversity. BUT, it did feel like there was a definite focus on 3 out of the 5 Rangers; in the sequels I hope they explore more of Zack and Trini’s backgrounds.
Obviously, it wouldn’t be Power Rangers without some over the top action sequences and the 2017 film didn’t disappoint. We even got a cheesy training montage that had the Rangers trying to morph into their suits which for me, was great. However, I was a little disheartened at the lack of explosions behind the Rangers when they finally did morph. Despite that, the final fight sequence was… okay. It saw the Rangers do very little hand to hand comabt and saved most of the action for the Mega Zord fight against Rita’s Goldar. I should confess that the Mega Zord fights were always my least favourite part of the series so I didn’t care much for the final sequence but it was visually impressive and funny in spots.
Overall, it was a decent reboot that brought the series up to date. It wasn’t perfect by any means and was trite and cheesy in more places than one, but I enjoyed it. The mid-credit sequence promises more from the sequel (which, let’s be honest will definitely happen) but I hope the darken the tone slightly. I know it’s a kids film, but I could see the Power Rangers world working in a similar way to the MCU in terms of tone.
That’s pretty much it from me, what did you think of Power Rangers?