If you’re a “Power Rangers” fan, you should definitely go go to the theater for this live action adaptation. Even if you’re not, though, it’s still a flick worth checking out.
Taking its cues from the original season of the 90s smash hit, the picture follows five teenagers living in the city of Angel Grove who all come from various backgrounds. In this adaptation, the five are eventually brought together at a mining range where they discover a collection of coins and a spaceship.
The spaceship belongs to Zordon (Bryan Cranston) and as expected, he informs the five that they’re Power Rangers and have to defend the Earth. More specifically, they have to fight back against the evil of the sorceress Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks).
There’s a lot featured in this flick that should be familiar to most audiences. Not only are the tropes of Power Rangers on display, but the film also uses the formula featured in most super hero origin films that Marvel has particularly perfected in recent years.
This ultimately works to the movie’s benefit, as the film is able to incorporate the aspects of the five bonding as they would in the original series while also having the right pacing thanks to the super hero origin three act structure. It comes together rather nicely for the most part, except for a few issues here and there.
For example, the transition from the second act to the third does get over dramatic and it’s quite clunky. Plus while, the pacing for the rest of the flick is pretty good, there is quite a bit of predictability here.
In a movie like this with five protagonists, though, the character development is just as important as the story and plot structure. Fortunately, that aspect is done rather well.
As the five get to know each other, the audience gets to know the characters, allowing viewers to invest in the climactic battle at the end. Plus, seeing the rangers learn to work together as a team, become friends and especially watching Jason (Dacre Montgomery), learn to lead is satisfying.
Credit can go to all five leads here, too. Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin and Becky G. (Red, Pink, Blue, Black and Yellow Rangers) all do pretty nice work here. It’s not on the level of some other super hero performances from recent years, for example they’re not on par with the acting in “Guardians of the Galaxy” or “The Avengers,” but it was still enjoyable.
Elizabeth Banks was also solid in playing a modernized Rita Repulsa, being both vicious while also chewing the scenery in some scenes and having fun with the role like the actresses in the original series had done. Unfortunately, from a character perspective, this flick dropped the ball on Zordon. While Cranston’s voice was fine, Zordon came across as too aggressive here, getting to the point of being unlikable.
It’s understandable that changes need to be made in an adaptation, and there are plenty featured in this movie with most of them working. However, Zordon is supposed to be the wise mentor who has patience with his students. Yet here, Zordon is featured as being impatient and it was somewhat disappointing.
Another issue that comes up during the picture was the usage of music. There was far too many scenes where the picture put in pop music and it didn’t always fit very well.
Obviously, most audiences, Ranger and non-Ranger fans alike, will be most excited for the action here. Thankfully, the movie delivers. While it does take some time for the Ranger suits and zords to show up, it’s a ton of fun when they do. Watching the Rangers fight the henchmen, use their zords individually and then combine for the MegaZord will put a smile on the face of any Ranger fan and should satisfy general audiences, too.
“Power Rangers” has its fair share of flaws and doesn’t reach the levels of other recent super hero movies. Yet it’s still a lot of fun, with both the action and team building being enjoyable. Any “Power Rangers” fan should catch it on the big screen and those who aren’t could get enjoyment from a matinee. 3.5 out of 5.