Power Rangers (2017)

Posted in Reviews by - April 02, 2017
Power Rangers (2017)

Effective if slightly laboured reboot of the popular 90s kids show, which brings the lycra-wearing teenage alien fighters into a modern American high-school setting. As an origin story, the film takes its time in establishing a fully rounded set of characters which look set to take the franchise forward. The film pays lip service to issues involving cyber-bullying, autism and sexuality in a non-patronising, albeit fleeting way. But the fact these issues are even addressed at all feels quite brave for a Power Rangers movie. It starts like The Breakfast Club at a weekend detention class in which disgraced former football star Jason Scott (Dacre Montgomery) gets to assert his natural leadership qualities, despite brewing family tensions at home. He has Red Ranger written all over him, befriending the school’s tech whizz Billy (RJ Cyler) and helping him to uncover some magic crystals in a quarry with the help of some other teenage delinquents from Angel Grove High. Each member of the group is a misunderstood social outcast in one way or another, either deserving of a second chance or a confidence boost. The film then enters Chronicle territory when their multicoloured gemstones start giving them special powers, before the film then takes an unbridled leap into the series’ more silly and familiar tropes. They discover an underground spaceship piloted by the wise-ass robot Alpha 5 (voiced by Bill Hader) and the disembodied floating head of Zordon (Bryan Cranston). To their incredulity, they are told they are Power Rangers, and that they had better come to terms with it, as an ancient alien tyrant called Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks, having a great time) has returned to destroy the planet. The final act of destruction jumps into Transformers territory and feels somewhat removed from the rest of the film’s more personal struggle. But there’s a charming dynamic among the young cast which helps to unify the film’s disparate elements of teen movie, sci-fi nonsense, superhero action flick and Japanese-inspired creature feature.

AKA: Saban’s Power Rangers.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

Leave Your Comment