Power Rangers (2017)

  • Time: 124 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
  • Director: Dean Israelite
  • Cast: Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler

Storyline:

High school outcasts stumble upon an old alien ship, where they acquire superpowers and are dubbed the Power Rangers. Learning that an old enemy of the previous generation has returned to exact vegenance, the group must harness their powers and use them to work together and save the world.

One review

  • Sometimes all a superhero film needs is a good villain to prevent it from sinking into a muck of genericness. In the case of Power Rangers, the latest reboot of the kitschy sci-fi children’s series that debuted in 1993 and which continues to run to this day, there’s alien supervillainess Rita Repulsa, who is gleefully played to the hilt by Elizabeth Banks.

    Rita is temporarily done away with in the film’s Cenozoic Era-set prologue, prevented from fulfilling her power-hungry quest by Zordon (Bryan Cranston), who sacrifices himself and his team of Power Rangers in order to save the planet. Cut to 65 million years later in the California town of Angel Grove where disgraced high school football hero Jason Scott (Dacre Montgomery) is being chastised by his father for throwing away his future before attending detention where, amongst the stereotypically motley crew of breakfast clubbers, he meets Kimberly Hart (Naomi Scott), recently banished from the clique of popular girls, and Billy Cranston (RJ Cyler), a nervous geek who admits to being on the Autism spectrum.

    After Jason defends Billy from a bully, Billy asks for his help continuing a project started by his father that has something to do with unearthing an energy source from the town’s gold mine. There the two teens improbably encounter Kimberly as well as Zack (Ludi Lin), a badass who’s also a mama’s boy, and sexually alternative rebel Trini (Becky G). The quintet find the power coins buried by Zordon, are soon possessed by superpowers, and discover a buried spaceship where they encounter robot assistant Alpha 5 (voiced by Bill Hader) and Zordon’s consciousness, who informs the teens of their destinies as the next team of Power Rangers. The disparate group must learn to work together as one in order to defeat the newly resurrected Rita before she gets to the powerful, planet-destroying Zeo Crystal, which is hidden in a Krispy Kreme franchise of all places.

    Predictably, the film often plays like a teenybopper version of The Avengers or the bland stepchild of X-Men: First Class with very little of either franchise’s surety of tone or performers’ high level of charisma. To be fair, most of the Power Rangers’ cast acquit themselves quite nicely – Lin, Cyler and Scott are especially engaging – but Montgomery as the team’s de facto leader is so woefully under-emotive as to be a mannequin. It’s no exaggeration to say the most shocking thing in the entire movie is the moment he declares he has been angry for such a long time as there was scant evidence of this in either his face or carriage.

    Of course, very little of its target audience is interested in the cast’s acting skills or lack thereof. They’re here to see the Power Rangers throw down with Rita and director Dean Israelite delivers. The climactic battle is the best thing about the movie, finally embracing its fun and cartoonish origins and even deploying the series’ ridiculously rousing theme song (“Go Go, Power Rangers!”).

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