POWER RANGERS Movie Review
Long gone are the colored spandex uniforms and the goofy antics of Bulk and Skull from Saban’s early nineties’ phenomenon that was adapted for a young American audience by taking Japanese elements and stock footage from Toei’s Super Sentai franchise, that’s not to say that the campy spirit of the original show doesn’t exist in Director Dean Israelite’s film, it just comes in sporadic bursts. Power Rangers has quite a bit going against it from it’s uneven tone, bloated running time and some of the worst product placement since Mac and Me, yet some how this movie manages to over come it’s own obstacles and ends up being a moderately entertaining and sometimes touching movie.
The screenplay credited to John Gatins obviously has many different elements from everyone to original script writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz to early draft writer Max Landis, but what ultimately saves this movie in the end is the John Hughes like approach to the Angel Grove High misfits that become the titular heroes, at least in the final act they do. I never felt much of a connection with the kids in the original show growing up and perhaps that’s because the audience tuned in to watch the Megazord stomp out awesome monsters every week and satisfied that craving very well. Since uninspired CGI monsters like the embarrassing incarnation of Goldar were inevitable and nothing else to fill that void, the producers wisely chose to shift focus on Jason Scott (Dacre Montgomery), Trini (Becky G.), Zach (Ludi Lin), Kimberly (Naomi Scott) and the phenomenal RJ Walker who portrays Billy Cranston and is wisely the main focus of this film aside from a corporate donut chain that was an advertising partner in this escapade. Speaking of Cranston, Bryan Cranston does a serviceable job as Zordon, who I knew was the inspiration behind Billy’s last name but didn’t realize he was the voice of Twin Man and Snizzard in the original show. I also really enjoyed “Elizabeth Banks’ portrayal of Rita Repulsa, who goes delightfully dark and campy with it, but it still goes completely at odds with the coming of age story that takes center stage.
An underwhelming climax featuring the out of place original theme song, a couple of cameos, bland versions of the stone golem Putties and saving the Zeo Crystal conveniently buried under a forced product plot device, I still managed to walk away from this movie saying to myself that I wouldn’t mind sitting through a sequel which really says something when it comes to all these problems. I don’t know if handing the sequel to the same writers or director would be beneficial for this franchise to grow for the better, but I think there was enough decent ground work laid for someone with a creative vision to take the good stuff and run with it. This might not seem like a glowing recommendation and it certainly wasn’t intended as one, however if you go into this movie as a fan of the old show and have reasonable expectations I believe you might walk away with a pleasant experience and a small dash of hope that there’s still possibilities for this to be an exciting property in the right hands and without too many cooks in the kitchen. Perhaps that might be asking too much, but I enjoyed myself enough none the less.