Power Rangers, 2017.
Directed by Dean Israelite.
Starring Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Becky G, Matt Shively, John Stewart, Cody Kearsley, David Denman, Robert Moloney, Anjali Jay, Sarah Grey, Morgan Taylor Campbell, Wesley MacInnes, Elizabeth Banks, Bill Hader, and Bryan Cranston.
A group of high-school kids, who are infused with unique superpowers, harness their abilities in order to save the world.
Between having met the original Blue Ranger and owning various original toys that I display at home, there’s no doubt I’m a big fan of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. That love could leave me in a very tricky position regarding this new film.
It’s all a state of mind however. I’ve long-held a strong opinion on remakes or reboots, whatever you want to call them. If you don’t like it, don’t support it. No one’s going to take away your old copy of a film because a new one has been made. You never know, you might just end up with another film to enjoy.
Let’s cut to the chase; I really enjoyed this film. Taking the original idea, updating it, and in some ways improving it, Power Rangers is a solid beginning for a new franchise that has a lot of space to grow. It might be far more edgy than its 90’s predecessor ever was – these truly are teenagers with attitude – but it also does a far better job of representing…well everybody actually. This isn’t a film that puts the Asian girl in the yellow suit.
Rather than throw a bunch of goody two-shoes together, this time around we’ve got a group of more troubled teenagers who have to work hard to find good in themselves. Things don’t come easily to them. Controlling a giant mechanical dinosaur might be hard but it’s nothing compared to their personal lives and the issues they all deal with. Everything is earned, even if it’s obvious which characters the film really wants to concentrate on.
So I like the Rangers (particularly a fantastic RJ Cyler as the new Blue Ranger). They may not be the most fleshed out group beyond their troubles but most importantly I believe in them as a team. What about the bad guy? Elizabeth Bank’s Rita is exactly what she needed to be; grandiose and crazy whilst being legitimately threatening. If you think you’ve figured her out you won’t be far off. This isn’t a deep film and it’s all there to see. But that’s not a bad thing.
Power Rangers covers a lot of bases. From cyber-bullying to autism to just being an idiot, it takes a far more realistic set of teenagers, makes them heroes outside of their suits and brings an old franchise bang up to date.
Go Go indeed.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★