Movie Review: Power Rangers
Go Go Power Casting!
Being based around one of the most dramatic television shows since Batman (1966), and one of the worst movies of the 90’s (besides maybe Batman & Robin), Power Rangers (2017) had quite a ways to go to make this movie different from its predecessors. These particular Power Rangers mightily morphed into a myriad of mellowed (and moderately more morose) musketeers. This slightly darker tint to the story brought out a stronger backbone of reality to the fantasy/sci-fi tale and not only made it better than the original, but also an appealing story in its own right. Backed by a powerhouse cast of relatively unknown young actors, Power Rangers (2017) punch/kicks its way into the audience’s hearts and memories.
While still following the spirit of the original story, Power Rangers follows a group of Breakfast Club-esque teens. They’re all troubled with their own personal problems (as teens often are), causing them to act out as delinquents. Through random chance they find themselves all in the local quarry when they discover some glowing alien rocks. Contact with these bestowed superhuman strength, durability, and agility. After more discovery, the teens find a ship belonging to Zordon, a fallen Power Ranger. Zordon’s consciousness, still programmed into the ship’s computer, warns them of Rita Repulsa, another former Ranger who is determined to destroy all life on earth in order to increase her own powers. The teens realize that they have to master their newfound powers and abilities in order to stop her and preserve life as they know it.
Story is a major component of any movie, and while this one is corny as hell, there’s a few reasons it doesn’t negatively affect this movie as much as it would most.The first, and most impressive of those reasons, is the balance in the film’s story. A lot of times with action/adventure movies, especially special effects driven ones (such as Transformers, War of the Worlds (2005), Suicide Squad, etc.) when the action stops, so does the audience’s interest. Where this movie’s story really succeeds is in making the main characters as interesting just as themselves as they are when they’re the Rangers. This can be attributed to two factors.
The first of which is that the characters are troubled teens with problems that today’s troubled teens actually have. Without going too much into it, the characters felt more real than any others in Hollywood movies today. They didn’t feel like they were written by writers who left their teens so long ago they have no idea how to relate anymore (as is often the case). They were so real, one has a hard time believing that they weren’t mostly based off of real people.
The second factor contributing to the characters’ charisma is the acting. It’s always nice to watch a movie with a young, new actor and not be reminded how inexperienced they are. It was like discovering Chloë Grace Moretz five times in one movie. They not only worked well individually to express their modern teenage angst, but their group chemistry was so enthralling that at the end they’ll have you scratching for a sequel.
No matter how corny a story, it’s hard to define any movie executed this well as “bad”. The movie is far from perfect, but the blend of well-written jokes, well-played angsty teens, and occasional silliness are impossible not to enjoy. So, if you want to relive your childhood, get excited about the most diverse group of superheroes to date, and/or just enjoy a good movie, hop into your Zord and go see Power Rangers.