I grew up watching the ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’ television series. I was a huge fan, even having my own Power Rangers costume. Heck, I even had a birthday cake with all six ‘Power Rangers’ figures around the top of the cake. ‘Power Rangers’ was a big thing for me back when I was little, along with ‘Pokemon’ and ‘Digimon’. So naturally when Lionsgate announced they were making a big budget ‘Power Rangers’ movie, I was super hyped up for it, even going as far as placing it atop my list of most anticipated movies of this year. So with that said, there’s only one thing left to do: “It’s Morphin Time”.
‘Power Rangers’ follows five teenagers with attitude as they all have something that is troubling them in their lives. However, after discovering the power coins, they soon realize that they have gained superhuman abilities like punching a bathroom sink and jumping extremely high off the side of a cliff.
The 2017 reboot of ‘Power Rangers’ explores the lives of five misfit teenagers: Jason, Kimberley, Billy, Trini and Zack. The film highlights that each teenager has a secret, something that is troubling them – and while that works on the film’s more quieter scenes of the characters talking around a campfire and getting to know about each other, it does remain questionable as to what extent their secret is affecting their lives. An example is Trini, whose story makes you empathise with her character yet I would have liked if we got to explore it more in depth since it’s only fleshed out in a few minutes screen time. Some characterisation works better than others though most of it is contained in small scenes. Despite this, these elements are the film’s strongest suit.
The movie opens with a scene featuring Jason and his father, which I found was one of the best scenes in the film, as it felt like a natural response to see his father concerned at his reckless behaviour. To be honest, I wish we had got more of these moments which would have had more of an impact on one of the film’s more stronger scenes later in the film between the two characters. The theme of family and finding oneself never feels intrusive but on the same token, the film never goes the extra mile to fully develop its relationships. The actors who play these five teenagers do the best they can do with what their given, with praise towards Dacre Montgomery (Jason) and Becky G (Trini), but it could have been more.
The visual effects are good if not amazing and deliver what I have always dreamed a big budget ‘Power Rangers’ movie would look like. However at times the action sequences are poorly executed, as in the climactic showdown, resulting in an ending that proves a little disappointing. However, the fight itself delivers what die-hard Ranger fans have always been wanting. It’s a shame it feels too little too late after so much of the movie builds up to it with little to no big action moments. Some of the narrative choices, saving big reveals for the end in particular, reminded me of 2014’s ‘Godzilla’ and how we didn’t see much of the titular monster until the end. Like ‘Godzilla’, the marketing made me believe one thing and the film delivered something different than what was I was expecting. However, I will say that Zordon’s and the Putties’ designs look great, and are a nice reimagining of these characters.
The story of ‘Power Rangers’ is familiar, following more or less the structure of the first episode of ‘Might Morphin Power Rangers’. However, narratively it feels unbalanced. In one scene the tone comes across as very cheesy while in the next it aims for dark and gritty, resulting in a film that feels uneven in structure. And the humour is sparse for a ‘Power Rangers’ film, and so there is little enjoyment to be had in that respect. And don’t get me started on the glaring product placement that actually becomes integral to the actual plot thread of this movie.
‘Power Rangers’ is an unbalanced, uneven film and while there are entertaining moments, it’s not very consistent for an enjoyable two hours at the multiplex. If you are a fan you might enjoy it to some degree or maybe even have a great time with it, likewise if you aren’t a fan at all, but for me ‘Power Rangers’ was disappointing and forgettable.