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Power Rangers aims to reboot the franchise many of us grew to know and love. Much like its predecessor, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, the 2017 instalment is incredibly goofy, fun and laden with cheesy nostalgia.
However, unlike the first film, Power Rangers sees the new team taking on Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) who, in this reboot, once formed part of the old Ranger team as the Green Ranger. Her lust for power leads her to betray her former team to summon a powerful entity made of gold dubbed, uh, Goldar (yeah, I kid you not).
Directed by Dean Israelite, the new flick introduces audiences to the new team of Rangers by showing off the rebellious nature of the team leader and Red Ranger, Jason Scott (Dacre Montgomery). We’re introduced to the other Rangers in a Breakfast Club sort of way.
Although they are basically technologically-aware candies, the Rangers aren’t simply bright colours. The Blue Ranger (RJ Cyler) for instance is autistic. The other Rangers also face challenges throughout the film.
The Pink Ranger (Naomi Scott) is a young woman facing the guilt of her own misdeeds. The new Black Ranger, Zack Taylor (Ludi Lin) is a young daredevil. And finally, the Yellow Ranger, Trini Kwan (Becky G) a young woman who’s struggling for family acceptance.
Once the team have come together by a twist of fate, we finally meet the “head man” of it all, Zordon, played by none other than Bryan Cranston. It’s a touching tribute to someone who has had a history with the franchise.
Once the team find out about their new powers, they’re tasked with defeating Rita, but their lack of a familiar bond with each other stops them from morphing. This is a bit of a problem, as Rita with a single touch of her staff can suck the life force out of anyone.
Not only do the suits protect the Rangers from harm, it also allows them to access their giant Zords — massive robots that have taken the form of various prehistoric creatures.
So being able to have a bond is one of the team’s first challenges, which leads to a really touching and innocent moment where the team decide to strengthen their bond. They achieve this by sharing their fears, sorrows, what makes them happy and what makes them tick. It’s at this moment that the film begins to anchor you in emotion, which they capitalise on further.
Power Rangers is loaded with as much nostalgia as it is cheesy, pre-millenium quips
By no means is the plot something new or incredibly exciting, it’s how it’s traversed that makes Power Rangers a better movie than I expected. But, this doesn’t mean that the movie was entirely fantastic.
Just ask these questions for starters.
How did the Rangers know how to fight? They only had a few weeks to train before facing Rita. How do they know to control their Zords? The writers crammed so much in a vague cliche-ridden montage that the mechanics of being Power Rangers is ignored.
The acting from some of the cast was also pretty strange too. Not bad, just strange. The Black Ranger’s performance felt especially try-hard, which is odd considering his solid performance as Marco Polo.
The way some actors portrayed emotion in moments of levity was uncomfortable to watch. Spoiler: When Bryan’s life is in danger, the emotional severity of the scene is portrayed well through the acting and ambience. There were also moments that were pleasantly joyful and others that were laden by extreme nostalgia. The final act especially, was pure Power Rangers pandemonium, and it was awesome.
Verdict: Overall this film is very hit and miss, the moments that keep you will really excite you. However, the moments that lose you completely take you out of the film and those moments are pretty evident.