Power Rangers (2017, Dean Israelite) Review
Starring: Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler
Power Rangers is painfully basic. Following a quick prologue, the film introduces the audience to five misunderstood teens who, after an unexpected explosion in a cliff, discover mysterious alien coins that somehow give them enhanced abilities. They soon find out that they are the chosen rangers to fight a war that was started 65 million years ago by Zordon, who is now confined to a holographic image on the wall of a spaceship. Zordon trains these rangers to help imminently stop a growing army led by Rita Repulsa, a fallen ranger in the past.
Not having grown up with the original series, it’s hard to find my middle ground with the film, so I can’t really compare the two mediums. As a stand alone though, this film is mediocre. Average. The only thing that separates this film from other superhero films is the strong charisma and bond between the characters. It’s fun seeing the camaraderie form among the group when once they wouldn’t even look each other in the eye. The blue ranger in particular is my favorite, giving a strong aura that boosts my personal range of experience in the film.
Other than that, I felt the rest to be a mess. The plot is predictably cheesy, feeling silly at times. The escalation of being a regular teen to a morphed power ranger felt really quick as well as the transition from training to the final fight. The action scenes were okay, but nothing outstanding. The film crumbles in the third act, delivering the promise of superhero action to basically a CGI fest where costumes, monsters, and robots are over designed to the point where it feels incredibly staged and fake. The screenplay wasn’t the best either. Some of the acting salvaged the cringeworthy dialogue, but it felt too unrealistic.
My main problem with the film is the villain, Rita Repulsa. It’s not that Elizabeth Banks did a bad job, I actually thought that she did pretty decent for the role given to her. The thing is, the villain has no personality whatsoever. She is just a bad guy doing bad things for the sake of ruling over the world. Again, I haven’t seen the original franchise, but the way she was presented in this film was so over-the-top that it’s hard not to laugh at times. The filmmakers seemed to go with the horror vibe once her character was introduced, but it didn’t seem to work out, her character even comparable with Delevigne’s Enchantress from Suicide Squad. It would’ve been better if she was given a bit of historical background, but she was a huge letdown. She didn’t feel like a threat at all.
Power Rangers feels terribly silly to the point of cringing, from the screenplay to the antagonist. It occasionally delivers a genuinely nice moment once the characters bond, their friendship being the strongest aspect of the film, but once it got to the suits and the infamous “It’s morphin time!”, everything just crumbles. This had a lot of potential. The actors did their best, but it wasn’t enough to redeem the film.
Watched March 2017