Review : Power Rangers (2017)

Power Rangers is a bowlful of explosive nostalgia which every 90s kid is going to eat up.

After finding luminescent coins, five teenagers with attitude (Jason, Kim, Billy, Zack, and Trini) learn that they are the earth’s greatest hope against an old, evil threat.

And the story is simple enough. It’s easy to follow through all the destructive chaos that happens and the odd shaky camera. Within the first ten minutes, the audience knows that there’s going to be a lot of carnage and cheeky humour that will go straight over the kids’ heads. Although I include children here, this film is more aimed at the nostalgic adult. However, even with a simple story arc, the 2-hour film is over stuffed.

This has become a reoccurring theme across many remakes and nostalgia trips. Because of this, there are poor transitions and moments that are never readdressed. There is one moment in particular that is filled with both, and the forgotten plot device here could have easily lead to a broken team.

The team in question, however, work remarkably well together. A lot of time is put toward the development of each character, but none more so than Billy. Even with Jason as the Red leader, Billy steals the show with his odd quirks and lovable nature. His character nearly sets everything into motion and adapts best into the role of Ranger. Because Billy was so well rounded, the other characters’ arcs, although good, felt overshadowed. Each have their own insecurity or heavy secret but not all of these are investigated thoroughly enough. Most secrets are approached in small spurts of touching moments, while some are a bit too messy to understand. Sure, there is enough present for the audience to get the gist of each character’s secrets, but more investigation into each would have been very worthwhile.

However, it’s easy to quickly warm to the team and their eagerness to test their superpowers in life-threatening, dare-devilish antics. Trini and Kim have one of the best ‘training’ scenes within the film, too, but there was a fair bit lacking regarding hand to hand combat.

From watching Bulk and Skull on VHS to some of the recent Power Rangers Samurai, some of the best moments from Power Rangers’ TV series is the sparring. It’s corny and over the top, but the actors work it. Because, and let’s be honest, their physical abilities always outshone their acting. Unfortunately, the Rangers’ capabilities in combat outside of their uniforms was very limited. Even when the characters did finally morph into their suits, not much time was given to their fights.

The suits did take a long time to finally appear, but when they did they were incredible. The skin-tight space-lycra with the galaxy inspired armour were beautiful upgrades. The only thing that outshone this were the Zords and Megazord.

Oh boy, that Megazord.

Although the cast performs their roles admirable, Elizabeth Banks performance of Rita has left me unsatisfied. Listen closely and you’ll hear the original shriek-like voice from the TV series, and I admire Banks for doing this. But there are moments were she just sounds British. In the film’s early moments, I often found myself comparing her to Enchantress from Suicide Squad, but as a poor reimagining. She definitely had her terrifying moments and one heck of a scene with Trini, but Rita was too often overplayed.

All of this cumulates to one of the biggest nostalgia moments across all movie remakes. And I know I’ve used that word, ‘nostalgia’, a little too much in this article, but it truly is a fun trip down memory lane.

And it’s the fond memories that this movie creates that makes it such a fun experience. Yes, the plot is over stuffed and Rita is, in some stages, too much. But to see some teenagers with attitude fight evil with giant zords… a girl couldn’t be happier.

If you are like me and enjoy your childhood shows being remade for an older audience, I encourage you to watch this fan film, too:

Just a fair warning: this ain’t no children’s reboot.

Power Rangers is showing in cinemas now

Review by Brittany Howarth

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