Review: Power Rangers
Those teenagers with attitude hit the big screen with a darker reimagining of the original 90’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, and it doesn’t fail to disappoint. It’s morphin’ time!
The film takes the original series and gives it a more grounded and realistic feel as five social outcasts from the town of Angel Grove, California discover five ancient coins from the distant past and transforms them into superheroes. This is when their destinies really begin.
Chosen by intergalactic being Zordon (Bryan Cranston) and his trusty assistant Alpha 5 (Bill Hader): Trini (Becky G), Zack (Ludi Lin), Kimberly (Naomi Scott), Billy (RJ Cyler) and Jason (Dacre Montgomery) must step up and put aside their issues to defend the world from the forces of renegade ranger Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks), her army of Putty Patrollers and her minion Goldar.
The new versions of the original characters sometimes play to the typical high school cliques so you have Jason the jock, Billy the geek, Kimberly the cheerleader, Zack the rebel and Trini the loner. It definitely gives it a more human appeal to the story as they’re just ordinary kids who stumble upon something much bigger than themselves.
Zordon is portrayed as a darker, more bitter version of himself. Where the TV version was wise and kind, the new incarnation is more militaristic and doesn’t suffer the Ranger’s antics gladly. The events of the past have made Zordon a far more battle hardened person and Bryan Cranston does a good job of showing the rage and sadness inside.
Elizabeth Banks was truly terrifying as the alien Rita Repulsa. The character was given a new origin as former Power Ranger turned evil who now seeks to destroy all life on Earth. The now menacing Rita shows a departure from the original, a once comedic space witch to a homicidal monster and true enemy of the Power Rangers.
I did like the new versions of the Zords which are the Ranger’s fighting vehicles. The Mastadon, Pterodactyl, Triceratops, Sabre-tooth Tiger and Tyrannosaurus make the Zords and when all five are merged they become the all powerful Megazord. This new and improved version is more humanoid and cybernetic than before and possesses immense power. We need Dino Zord power now!
The Ranger’s suits have been modified from simple multicoloured spandex to what looks like organic alien armour that literally grows onto their bodies. The graphics used to animate this were so impressive and looked almost symbiotic as the armour bonded to them.
Rita’s minions Goldar and the Putty Patrol gain new makeovers which are unusual but effective. In the originals series, Goldar was an ape warrior who wore golden armour but this new beast is made entirely of gold, whilst the Putties go from simple clay henchmen to stone monsters made of concrete.
The relationship between the Rangers starts off as frosty, but as they open up to each other you see a more vulnerable side to them and something the audience can relate to. Brilliant examples include Billy’s autism, Zack as a young carer and Trini coming out as gay.
The only downside to this movie is the amount of product placement, but if you can look past that you’ll see an amazing superhero movie. Two original Rangers from the 90s make cameos in the film, too.
With a franchise already planned we could potentially see the Ninja, Zeo, Turbo and Space Rangers hit the big screens in the future – but only time will tell.
Overall impressive graphics, fantastic new origins and compelling characters, and a Megazord vs giant monster fight make for a decent entry into the Power Ranger family.
Go, go Power Rangers, go, go Power Rangers, you mighty morphin’ Power Rangers… Or my personal favourite, Shift into Turbo!