WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS!
DISCLAIMER: This post is solely my opinion. Power Rangers is property of Lionsgate & Saban Brands.
The 21st century has finally progressed to the point where on top of 80’s nostalgia movie studios are slowly moving into the 90’s nostalgia as well and fans wait in both fear and anticipation as to what Hollywood might do with their favorites from their childhoods. This past Friday the 2017 reboot of Power Rangers hit theatres nationwide for fans young and old to enjoy. But does it make you shout “Go Go Power Rangers!” or is it as repulsive as Rita herself?
Lets get the few negatives out of the way first. One problem this movie suffers from is that the first half does suffer from some Michael Bayesque toilet humor, and on top of that the films version of Goldar being a generic giant monster instead of the loyal alien warrior we all know and love is a bit disappointing. But overall while these aspects are a bit aggravating they by no means ruin the film as a whole.
Truth be told the Power Rangers movie has a lot going for it. Despite being more serious in tone then the original television series it still manages to have fun with itself and at its core still has the same Power Rangers feel to it. It also helps that all of the actors give solid performances for the most part and manage to make the new versions of these characters stand out on there own and not just copy and paste imitations of the originals. The most notable changes, and ones arguably for the better is that the subtle, even if unintentional racism of the old series is gone and there is an added level of diversity which helps the cast feel more natural and human. In this incarnation Billy, the blue ranger is a young African American boy who is extremely smart but also has his fair share of quarks due to being on the autism spectrum. And honestly I cannot say how glad I am to finally have an autistic superhero in a mainstream film. In today’s world when we are constantly debating about proper representation in media the autistic community is one that often gets overlooked in favor of others. The fact that autistic youths now have someone that tells them there quarks and disabilities won’t prevent them from doing great things is a much needed and inspiring one. And as someone who is technically on the spectrum, even if just barely, I for one am glad that Saban & Lionsgate added this extra level of depth to the character. On top of that we also see representation for LBGTQ youths with Trini, the yellow ranger who openly comes out to the group. Like with Billy, Trini’s role in positive representation and showing that an individuals sexual orientation is irrelevant to the act of being a hero is an inspiring one.
But diversity points aside, how does the film actually hold up story wise? Honestly it is pretty solid here as well. I will admit there are moments the film stumbles in places as the dialogue tries to balance the more serious story with the overall ridiculousness of Power Power Rangers, and there are some things that if you think about just don’t make sense at all such as how can there be Mammoth and Sabretooth Tiger zords when set animals didn’t exist when the original ranger ship crash-landed on Earth during the time of the dinosaurs and made the zords, but hey, if that didn’t ruin the original why let it ruin this. Overall the general narrative is solid as it gives us well done introduction to these incarnations of Zordon, Alpha, Rita and the rangers. There are also some genuinely heart-tugging and heart-warming moments between the characters as well as some genuinely funny moments from Alpha, the Rangers and even Rita. Overall while a bit rough around the edges at times, the story succeeds in what it sets out to do and properly establishes the Power Rangers movie universe while being able to keep the audience entertained along the way.
The only real jarring flaw with the film is the CG effects are extremely hit and miss, sometimes things will look well detailed, other times they look more like a direct to video movie. This back and forth can be aggravating ,especially when characters like Goldar, the putties and the rangers alternate from blending in well with their surroundings to looking much less defined. Still though this doesn’t happen as often as I may be making it out to and while it may take away from the immersion at times it is by no means a deal breaker. Though if possible I hope they do fix this on the Blu-Ray release.
Overall for me Power Rangers is the little superhero movie that could. A none DC/Marvel film that has managed to get fairly positive reviews from critics and fans for the most part and provides a worthwhile two hours of entertainment for viewers of all ages. I hope the film is successful because I for one would be fine if Saban & Lionsgate are able to succeed in their plans for this franchise to be anywhere from six to eight installments long!