Film, Movie Reviews

Power Rangers (2017)

Film Review

Published with Starskify

(Contains potential spoilers)

An unlikely group of high school students find themselves pulled together by the discovery of five mysterious coloured stones that they soon realise contains a great power that has been cast upon them from the previous generation of super warriors. Forced to overcome their personal issues, the teenagers must harness their new strengths and work together in order to save the world from a remerged, alien treat and become the next age of Power Rangers.

It’s fair to believe that not everyone is totally familiar with the Power Rangers: you either love them or couldn’t really care less. The newest adaptation comes across as a lesser known franchise addition, following in the shadow of Transformers with a grittier and more serious attitude than what is evident in the television series.

So Bad, it’s Almost Good

After only watching brief clips of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 90’s television saga, it’s immediately clear that the reason behind their somewhat terrible plots and strange antics is to solely have a good time and entertain. The reboot attempts to imitate this silly approach by incorporating hasty one liners that come across with fluctuating success.

power-rangers-2017
source: Lionsgate

This adaptation is a truly a baffling fabrication of woeful filmmaking with shameful dialogue and disappointing action sequences. While still taking these points into account, I’ll give the film some credit and admit that its so bad, it’s almost good. There’s no plausibility to believe that it’s a good film in any way, in fact it is firmly sitting in the ‘bad movie’ category of cinema. There are glimpses of charm and visually pleasing elements that manage to make the feature bearable, as long as you can somehow look past the weight of apparent flaws.

Teenage Angst

The film takes a long time to properly get started, as we are greeted with masses of character development and next-to-no scenes involving the renowned, colourful suits until the concluding sequences. It is almost entertaining during these times, but as it is an action adventure film, it does seem to lack a key element: actual action. The kids themselves are typical character traits: featuring a Zac Efron lookalike jock-type, the outsider and the pretty, rebellious girl. The obvious uncommon addition is the establishment of a LGBTQI representation along with an individual with mental health conditions. Thankfully, the producers and writers didn’t make this a issue for the plot, and successfully weaved it into the character’s backstories.

In the film’s defence, the acting isn’t awful. Once the characters are established, the group does maintain a nice connection that grows into a convincing level of teamwork. Granted the final scenes are completely ridiculous, with the rangers flawlessly operating seemingly, high-tech machinery without any prior training or preparation (yet they DO need a lengthy combat training montage).

The Golden Antagonist

Credit can be given to Elizabeth Banks for her portrayal of the green archenemy Rita Repulsa. She’s creepy and her dialogue is at least carried out in a more agreeable form comparing to the teenage heroes. Despite her motives never properly being fleshed out – we’re not really sure why she wants to destroy the Earth – but her character still has a lot more fun than the other characters, even when she’s slapped into the orbit.

power-rangers-2017
source: Lionsgate

Despite her strong depiction, it seemed out of place with the rest of the movie. From the start, there are suggestions towards humour, (the in-your-face cow udder jokes in the opening scene proves this instantly) yet the tone is still shifting towards more a serious and grittier style. Put simply, the film is a mess. There’s an obvious imbalance between Bank’s nostalgic characterisation and the serious students that just want to uncover their true potential.

GO GO Power Rangers

Granted, many 90’s kids that witnessed the Power Rangers first hand back in the day may find plenty to love about this adventure: incorporating a style that is brilliantly reflective of what once claimed popularity. For those that are not acquainted with the previous exploration of the heroes, it is just a painfully ridiculous Krispy Kreme advert that  doesn’t ever get its feet off the ground.

There are already hints towards many more installments in this cinematic franchise; an idea that could potentially bring joy or utter dismay. There is some potential there though, and it keeps committed fans satisfied.. I mean my housemate Aimee loved it.. so there’s that..


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