I would love to know how many Saturday mornings I devoted to watching the ‘Power Rangers’ television series as a youngster. The Power Rangers made up so much of my culture as a kid, I had the toys, the games, hell even the place mats! Unlike most I kind of dug the news of a this movie reboot and thought this would be a great chance to bring these characters back to the big screen. However by the time the credits rolled would I be chanting ‘Go Go Power Rangers’ or ‘No No Power Rangers’?
The film begins with a sequence where we meet the soon to be red ranger & leader of the Power Rangers. This scene does not set the film up well. It’s hardly an action scene but there is a brief car chase. Unfortunately it’s practically unwatchable due to it being laden with shaky cam. Already the rangers had an uphill battle to get me back on side. This battle would prove to be a difficult one as for the most part ‘Power Rangers’ is quite boring. A lot of this had to do with the time it took the characters to ‘morph’. Viewers don’t get to see any of the action they want to until the finale. We’ve seen the posters and watched the trailers so we know what the suits look like, we want to see them in action. There is no point in teasing this for the entire movie when it’s already been revealed in the marketing. When the finale eventually comes round thankfully it saves the film from being a complete disaster. However, it’s not without its problems too. We’re briefly introduced to the ‘Zords’ at about the halfway point in the film. They do very little until this finale. It’s a shame that we don’t really get to see each of them in their full glory, they feel more like a plot device than actual elements of the film. As well as this both the Black & Yellow Rangers get dealt a poor hand being almost completely side tracked in this final showdown. There’s not much excuse for this especially when you see how well Marvel can juggle the ridiculous amounts of characters they have.
Since I’m now on the subject I may address the characters we have here. Despite the welcomed diversity amongst the main characters their writing is sub par. There is little character development for the group. When attempts at this are made the film gets considerably better but it’s too little too late and there’s never enough. The cast are largely average. It’s RJ Cyler, star of ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’ who stands out. He steals every scene he’s in and is mostly responsible for making the film watchable. There are some more well known names amongst the supporting cast. Bill Hader makes for a fun Alpha 5 but his dialogue could have been a bit better. Bryan Cranston is as good as Zordon as he can be considering he’s just a face in a wall. It’s Elizabeth Banks who has the most do to as villainous Rita Replusa. She gives the role enthusiasm & vigor but something just didn’t feel quite right about it. I think she needed to be even more over the top for it to work.
Unfortunately this reboot has added little to almost nothing to the ‘Power Rangers’ canon. The film isn’t nearly as fun as it should be thanks to the laborious narrative which can’t deliver what audiences will want to see. The finale makes up for this somewhat but with problems of its own it can’t make the film recommendable. The film feels unfinished, like a first draft story boarded version. There’s great potential here but not enough care has been taken in morphing this from page to screen.
Rating – 4/10
Question: Who is your favourite Power Ranger?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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