In the mid-nineties a group of teenagers became The Power Rangers, fighting to protect Earth from evil. The show premiered in America and quickly became a beloved TV show for many. Fast forward twenty-ish years and Saban and Lionsgate has created a reboot of the phenomenon, The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.
Is it the long-awaited reboot of every fan of the original TV show? Yes! Do we have complaints? Of course, but overall it’s a fun movie to watch with subpar acting, CGI fails, mixed with good humor and some dark scenes and back story that we can appreciate.
The movie begins with Jason, a football jockey who gets into trouble and falls off the high pedestal he was once on. He meets Billy, an intelligent but awkward teen who gets bullied. Jason steps in to help, befriends Billy and accompanies him to a mine. Jason sees Kimberly, and intense and intriguing girl, Jason watches from afar and exchanged words with her. Billy blows up a part of a mountain in hopes to feel closer to his deceased father and discovers something within the mountain.
Unbeknownst to all three of them, there are two more teens in the area, Zack and Trini. After finding these strange but luring color crystals, each one discovers new powers within themselves.
As the story goes on, they discover a spaceship that houses Alpha, a robot and helper of Zordon, an ancient being that swore to protect life and the former Red Ranger leader. He is awaken and announces to the group that they are the newly chosen Power Rangers, summoned to protect life from anyone who threatens it.
They are informed about Rita Repula, a fallen ancient Power Ranger, who betrayed the ancient Power Rangers and who defeated them some time ago. It is now up to the new Power Rangers to do what Zordon couldn’t- defend the Zeo crystal and defeat Rita, Goldar, and her band of Putties.
There are some major differences in this reboot. The Power Rangers have actual superhuman powers. Rita Repulsa is a fallen ranger, a major difference from the nineties witch sorceress we loved to hate. We discover early on that Zordon was the previous Red Ranger and leader of the Power Rangers who failed. And quite notably, each teen in their own way respectively is a screw up. The list goes on.
Even with some major differences, we can absolutely appreciate this reboot of Saban’s Power Rangers. Not only is this the first LGBTQ and autistic portrayals of superheroes on a major feature film, we also have a new story line of superpower Power Rangers! With a 21st century twist, the Power Rangers must defeat a more sinister Rita Repula. Rita gets her hands dirty with some hand-to-hand combat which was exciting to watch! Rita does some killing, which is an attribute respective to the film. Though some might consider this too gruesome or out-of-character for the original, it fits into the storyline of the new film.
Some of the acting is subpar at best, with cheesy moments that we scoffed at but, let’s be honest here- so did the original show. That being said, the humor and punch lines overpowered the failing of some of the actors of the film. With a decent plot that had substance, having to protect the Zoe crystal from Rita, protect Earth and life, and the Power Rangers needing to discover how to morph into their powers as a team, overall the story gets by with a new appealing and entertaining narrative we can enjoy.
We cannot ignore some of setbacks in the film. We would be okay with a CGI Goldar and Putties if they were created with more detail. At best, they can be described as abstract monsters that almost seemed to be an afterthought of the creators of this reboot. The Zords could have also been worked on to define detail. And though we so enjoyed the Megazord assembling, details lacked. More could have been done. The new Power Ranger suits were acceptable. They definitely looked badass and we can appreciate appearance.
I missed the martial art fighting of the film’s predecessor. Yes the action is there and yes we liked it but it’s absolutely missing more hand combat. The Power Rangers still learn from each other, form bonds that will never be broken, and we can still learn valuable lessons from their journey.
And for the fans of the original, Amy Jo Johnson and Jason David Frank, our beloved Pink and Green/White Rangers make a cameo that had the kid in all of us jumping for joy (in our seats).
Last but surely not least a mid credit scene (no spoilers here so I won’t go into detail) foreshadows a possible character from the original series that may come in a future sequel!
Though Power Rangers had its faults, it is still an enjoyable reboot film with major changes that is refreshing and befitting for the new and old generations to enjoy. It is fun to watch and is a first film in a hopeful film series that might follow.
3 out of 4 Hats