I honestly wasn’t sure how I would feel about this one, but I have to admit, the all new “Power Rangers” movie is surprisingly good! Is it the best movie of the year? No, not by a long shot, but I never expected to be emotionally invested in the remake of a cheesy 90’s TV show that I haven’t watched since I was a kid.
Back in the day, “The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” had a very specific niche, and while the new one is definitely geared towards a younger audience, it also appeals to adults in the same way Marvel and Pixar movies do. It’s kind of like the difference between the new “Star Trek” movies and the original series from the 60’s.
That’s not to say that the new Power Rangers film is without it’s fair amount of cheese, because seriously, I hope you’re not lactose intolerant. Despite the over the top fan service at times, the movie really delivers a (relatively) grounded take on the uh.. “mythos”.
The movie is directed by Dean Israelite, the director of “Project Almanac” – one of the better found footage movies in recent years. It’s very clear that this guy gets what it’s like to be a teenager and is able to show that without coming across as preachy or annoying.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about it was the actors. It was a huge risk that the studio took in casting a five completely unknown teenage actors in the starring roles of a big budget action movie, but each and every one of them clearly gave it their all and it shows. Regardless of anything else in the movie, everything was riding on their performances and I personally think they knocked it out of the park.
Dacre Montgomery (Jason), Naomi Scott (Kimberly), RJ Cyler (Billy), Becky G (Trini) and Ludi Lin (Zack) are all outstanding. Bryan Cranston’s Zordon is great, Elizabeth Banks makes a creepy but weird Rita, and Bill Hader is fine as Alpha-5, I guess.
The best description I can give is that it’s “The Breakfast Club” meets “Batman Begins”, but slightly less dark. There were a couple of slow moments, but the movie does a great job of establishing who each of these characters are and all of their personal baggage that they need to overcome to work together and save the world. They don’t even suit up till the third act, but it’s engaging enough that it doesn’t really matter.
“Power Rangers” definitely has some cool action scenes and special effects, but at it’s core, it’s a movie with heart. It’s got a message that was just as relevant in the 90’s as it is now. After all, team work, overcoming your differences, and never giving up hope don’t really go out of style.
As Jeremy Jahns called it, “Power Rangers is a good time, no alcohol required.”
Erik Slader is a blogger, author, digital artist, part-time nerd, and full-time history buff. Creator of “Epik Fails of History” (@EpikFails.com) and writer for SuperheroBeach.com, MovementMagazine.com and ComicZombie.net – check out his digital design portfolio at ErikSlader.com