Power Rangers (2017) Review

Everything that we loved from our childhood is getting translated to the big screen in a big way. But if you grew up watching teenagers fight in colorful suits, then turn on the nostalgia part of your brain and let the excitement come to rise in the reboot of “Power Rangers”. It’s Morphin Time!

Five ordinary teens must become something extraordinary when they learned that their town of Angel Grove will be on the verge of being destroyed by an alien threat. It’s up to them to become the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as they are chosen to be the only ones who can save the planet and come together to become who they are.

For me, I never watched any of the “Power Rangers” shows when growing up. They looked super cheesy and dumb as it wasn’t my type of entertainment. And now it’s time to fully reboot this franchise and make this an origin story that’s a bit darker. But I wasn’t excited about this in any way. When I heard about this, it sounded stupid, it’s a waste of time, and to me, the trailers were terrible. This is also coming off of two other full-length movies that of 1995’s “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” and 1997’s “Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie”. My expectations were low with this and it’s one of those times where I’m wrong because “Power Rangers” turned out to be surprisingly entertaining.

Becky G, Ludi Lin, Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, and RJ Cyler in Power Rangers (2017)What I really enjoyed about this was the cast, mainly the rangers themselves. The acting wasn’t bad, to be honest. If they don’t work with what they’re given, the movie would be terrible. You got your Darce Montgomery (Red Ranger), Naomi Scott (Pink Ranger), RJ Cyler (Blue Ranger), Becky G (Yellow Ranger) and Ludi Lin (Black Ranger), and they all had chemistry. Cyler as the Blue Ranger was my favorite after walking out of this as he was someone who was awesome. Almost the majority of the film is character driven, which is refreshing. All the characters had a connection with each other and gain a purpose of teamwork. Well developed and fleshed out, which was unexpected as this is a well-rounded and diverse cast.

The story was interesting enough. It didn’t go as dark or gritty as expected, but it’s something that made me kept watching. It had a “Chronicle”/”The Breakfast Club” kind of vibe and it handled it well enough. Is it pretty standard for what’s going to happen if you watched the show? Sure it is. But it’s fun and mindless. An origin story that does a good job.

Bryan Cranston as Zordon, mentor of the Power Rangers, wasn’t that bad. Even though he’s a floating head, it was a good casting choice for him. It’s Cranston. He can’t do anything wrong. Also, Bill Hader as the voice of Alpha 5 was hilarious. In the show, that robot was pretty annoying and campy with its catchphrase “Ay Yi Yi Yi”. But Hader’s humor thrown in this made it likable. Some might not tolerate but it was a solid comic relief.

The action sequences, while not so many, were serviceable. Nothing was highly at stake, but it was kind of exciting. Unlike the other predecessors, there are no constant backhand flips, whooshes (because every time someone moves their arms, it makes that sound), or dumb one-liners when they defeat someone. I give credit to director Dean Israelite. His last film “Project Almanac” was very underwhelming, but this was a huge step forward for him.

Issues: Elizabeth Banks’ performance as Rita Repulsa wasn’t good at all because like the version in the TV series, she’s cheesy and over-the-top in every scene she’s in as it messes with the tone. Never bought the news she would be playing here in the first place and I was right. The editing choices felt ambitious with transitions that are odd. And some of the CGI during the final battle was weak.

Once they wear the suits and starting fighting inside and out their Zords, it was fun. Though I wish they had them on in the middle and I knew everything was leading up to the third act. But I got a bit more investing as it draws to the conclusion. It’s cliché, but what can you expect?

And I’ll say this, this does make me wanna stop at Krispy Kreme. Product placement at its best, folks.

I’ll say this again, this was a surprise for me. Just thought this was going to be an unnecessary movie to make with this source material. But it turned out to be fairly decent. It didn’t remind me of “Transformers” or “G.I. Joe”. However, there was a “Transformers” joke in here. Also, this doesn’t make me appreciate “Power Rangers” more and this isn’t a movie for everyone, but I wanted to hate this, and I didn’t.

Elizabeth Banks in Power Rangers (2017)
In the end, “Power Rangers” had more enjoyable things about this. Hardcore fans will absolutely love this, but if you’re not, it won’t change your mind about it. The lead actors were good, the story was formulaic but entertaining and it’s a solid setup to a new franchise with a sequel, hopefully, that I wouldn’t hesitate to see in the future. This isn’t some masterpiece of any kind, though it’s worth the watch.

Power Rangers” surprisingly worked as a fun and action-packed reboot with all the nostalgia and characters to care about.

Grade: B-

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