Power Rangers Review: Fun and Nostalgic
Directed By:Dean Israelite
Staring: Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Becky G.
Writers: John Gatins (screenplay), Matt Sazama (story by)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 124 Minutes
Synopsis: A group of high-school kids, who are infused with unique superpowers, harness their abilities in order to save the world.
The Rangers are Back
I know their have been many incarnations of the Power Rangers but, for people my age the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers from the mid 90’s was our show. This film takes you back to your childhood and pay homage to so all the great and corny aspects of that show. This film is an origin story for the Rangers with a 2017 update that fixes some of the problematic nature of the original series while also infusing some character traits and some real life issues that teenagers face today. Essentially 5 troubled teens connect through detention and exploring a mine where they find these mysterious coins that lead them to gain powers and find an underground spaceship. After entering the spaceship the Rangers find out about Rita Repulsa’s plan to steal the life crystal from Earth to destroy all life. This is a fun, exciting, nostalgic film that is a bit more dark and grounded than the tv show but, brevity and action are also big parts of the film.
One of the big things you notice about this film is that the characters have flaws and stories that make you care about them outside of the armor. Jason (Dacre Montgomery) is a star football player who makes a terrible decision and hurts his knee and steels a mascot costing him scholarships and the school its season. Billy (RJ Cyler) is an autistic black kid who lost his father who wants to keep searching for things and is looking for new friends. Kimberly (Naomi Scott) is the popular mean girl who sent a nude picture of her friend to guys around campus just to be mean. Zach (Ludi Lin) is an Asian America low income kid who lives in a trailer park with his sick mother who is striving for attention and adventure. Lastly their is Trini (Becky G.) who is a queer Latina who has been to 3 schools and 3 years who has issues with her family accepting her sexuality. These stories weren’t belabored however they brought some gravitas to the rangers outside of being Power Rangers. The casting in this film was perfect and each actor/actress played their role perfectly and for a film with mostly no-name actors, they really established themselves as good actors and set themselves up for a real franchise.
If there is one thing that was not good about this film is that it takes a while before they get in the suits. This is an origin story and you don’t really see the “Power Rangers” until about 100 mins into the film. They also don’t really explain what their powers are and they have a bunch of tropes in relation to teamwork and worthiness. However, these are minor issues that don’t take away from the film at all. The CGI and the suits looked amazing, the Zords looked badass and the Megazord makes the 90’s tv show look like a toy. These Zords and suits looked futuristic and something of alien technology. The colors were bright and vibrant and the limited set pieces put more emphasis on the storyline.