Friday, April 7, 2017

"Power Rangers" Review by Tim Hellman

'POWER RANGERS': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

The third installment in the superhero film series, based on the popular kids' TV show (from the 1990s). This one is a reboot that features new cast members, playing the main characters of the original TV series, with a modern origin story. It was directed by Dean Israelite (who also helmed the 2015 teen sci-fi flick 'PROJECT ALMANAC'), and it was produced by the series creator Haim Saban. John Gatins, Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Michele Mulroney and Kieran Mulroney served as writers on the film; which also features a mostly inexperienced young new cast (including Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G and Ludy Lin). The supporting cast also features Elizabeth Banks (as the evil villain), the voice of Bill Hader, and Bryan Cranston (who also voiced characters on the original TV show). The film has been a hit at the Box Office, but it's also only received mixed reviews from critics. I think it's a big improvement over the source material, but it's still nothing too special.

The story begins on prehistoric Earth, when the Power Rangers (Earth's protectors) are betrayed by the Green Ranger, also known as Rita Repulsa (Banks). The Red Ranger, named Zordon (Cranston), hides the Rangers' powers coins (which are their power source). He then has his robot assistant, named Alpha 5 (Hader), cause a meteor strike; which wipes out Zordon, Rita and all of the dinosaurs (although Rita survives the blast, and so does Zordon's consciousness). In modern day, five misfit teenagers discover the power coins. They're then tasked with defending the planet, from Rita, by becoming a new team of Power Rangers, under the guidance of Zordon's consciousness.

The movie is the most interesting when it's developing it's five teenage lead characters; and it definitely gets a lot of points for being the first major superhero film to feature LGBTQ and autistic superheroes. The story, and cheesy action scenes, are definitely a lot less interesting, and inspiring, than the teenage drama though. Those scenes are still pretty cheesy as well; although they're a lot better done than they were in the ultra-corny kids' TV show. I'd say it's a good movie for kids, at the very least, and it shouldn't bore adults too much either.

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