review by Bobby Blakey
For over 20 years the Power Rangers have been fighting the intergalactic threat of strange monsters with no signs of slowing down. While there have been many iterations of the series none are as popular as the original series The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. When Lionsgate announced that they were rebooting the series with an all-new film fans were both excited and concerned, but the trailers showcase something that looks like it could be a lot of fun. Now the latest take on the franchise Power Rangers is here, but does it pack the fun punch of the original series or will it not be quite morphin time afterall?
Power Rangers follows five ordinary high school kids who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove – and the world – is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover that they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so they will have to overcome their real-life issues and band together as the Power Rangers before it is too late. The film stars Naomi Scott, Becky G., Ludi Lin, RJ Syler, Dacre Montgomery, Elizabeth Banks, Bill Hader and Bryan Cranston who all do a great job making a film that could have easily gone off the rails into something that works quite well. Going in with the darker tone of the trailers I had high hopes but was a bit concerned that it might lose the magic of what made this series so great, but it is balanced quite nicely. This is a full on origin story with a cool opening that sets up where the Rangers kind of come from and then dives head first into introducing us to their lives.
With this new cast and mix up of the races, they have created a great diverse cast giving everyone someone to relate to while they all deal with issues that are current concerns for the youth of today. Giving the characters time to develop and bond makes for a better connection for this kind of group since they are such different people. Sure there are some elements that could have been fleshed out a bit better, but none of it was really all that necessary. They keep everything at just enough info for you to understand and care about the characters without force feeding you a bunch of stuff you just don’t need. These elements open doors that can be explored in future films should this prove a success. Banks brings an over the top and sometimes creepy Rita to life that is completely different than the original series but works in its own right, letting her cut lose and have a lot of fun on screen.
If you are watching a Power Ranger movie then obviously you want to see the Power Rangers and Zords in action and the film does not disappoint. It takes quite a while before we get to see any real Ranger action, but it is an origin tale so you can let that go thanks to it working well enough. When we finally see them in full on Ranger mode you can’t help but squee in excitement within if you are a fan. I wasn’t fully sold on the looks of the Zords or the Megazord, but it does grow on you enough by the end to work if you let it. My biggest concern was with the look of Alpha 5, but I have to say I actually liked the character as is a lot in the film. The effects work well and the action is fun ride, but I have to say it does sort of take on a different direction at this point and loses some of the new grittiness. There are no doubt people that will be excited for this, but I was loving where it was going so much I was a bit bummed, but that only lasted a couple of minutes before I was right back in on the fun. If I had to complain about anything it comes more as a fan with the connection of Rita to the Rangers this time around, which is easy to let go and I hated the direction they went with Goldar, but again you can let it go.
I had a great time with this film and it lived up to my hopes for doing the franchise justice complete with plenty of nods to the original series all while creating something completely new. Like with many films these days stay until after the credits for a fun scene and get out there support this fun franchise and let’s make it open that will continue to bring the fun to the big screen as I would love to see where they take it.