Saban's Power Rangers Movie Review

Hello Hero Club, this is Darkon633 and I am back with another review. Today, we will be looking at the Power Rangers film by Lionsgate. For those who are unaware the Power Rangers film is a re-imagining of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. While it may have familiar aspects to the original series, it also features a drastically different take on the property. Anyways with that out of the way it’s time to move on to the review.

*Keep in mind this review contains spoilers for the film so read at one’s own discretion*

Synopsis:

During the Cenozoic Era, a group of heroes called the Power Rangers strived to defend the Zeo Crystal. However, one of their own betrayed them, the Green Ranger, Rita Repulsa. In her lust for power, Zordon, the original Red Ranger made on final attempt to stop her. With the assistance of Alpha 5 the two summon a meteor strike, which ends the age of dinosaurs, knocks Rita into the ocean, and kills Zordon. However, Alpha 5 manages to preserve Zordon’s mind within the Power Grid, and they await the day for a new team of Rangers to appear.

Fast forward to the present day, where five students at Angel Grove High School forge an unlikely friendship. They all see themselves as outcasts, and delinquents due to circumstances and choices made. Then one night, the group discovers what seems to be an alien vessel and the Power Coins. The following morning, they wake up to discover they each gained superhuman abilities, and choose to seek out the answers. Meanwhile, Rita has been revived and seeks to resurrect her strongest minion, Goldar. To revive Goldar, Rita goes in search of large quantities of gold.

The five teens return to the location of spaceship, and enter it. There they meet Alpha 5, and Zordon, who explains they have been chosen to be Power Rangers. In addition, he informs them that Rita has returned and within 11 days she will manage to restore her powers. Thus, she will allow her to find the Zeo Crystal, and continue her conquest of the universe. Although the teens are skeptical at first, they agree to becoming Rangers and begin their training.

Days pass and the team manages to become skilled fighters, but are unable to morph. Zordon displeased sends the team home, but Jason stays learning Zordon has ulterior motives for them. He hopes that once these new Rangers obtain the ability morph it will help him restore his physical form. Feeling betrayed, Jason leaves to join the others who seek to camp out and bond hoping it will help their growth. Rita contacts the Rangers, and lures them out for a confrontation. After a brief battle with Rita, she comes out victorious and learns of the Zeo Crystal’s location.

 

However, through this defeat the Rangers discover the key to unlocking the Morphin Grid, finally becoming the Power Rangers! The Rangers rush back to Angel Grove, as Rita has it over run by her foot-soldiers, the Putties and Goldar. The two sides meet in battle, with the Rangers using the Zords to take back the city. Yet, Rita and Goldar will not back down! The Rangers combine the Zords into the Megazord to vanquish Goldar, and send Rita off into space. Soon afterwards, the Rangers are regarded as local heroes.

My Thoughts

Positives

For a film using a source material like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, I expected the result to be mediocre and a “cash grab.” Upon seeing the film, it made me think otherwise; it has a lot more going for it than just a typical movie featuring giant robots and heroes in spandex. First off, many of the jokes help the flow of the film, balancing out the darker aspects. Most of the “darker” scenes revolve around Rita, as she kills off innocent people. It shows she is real threat unlike her original incarnation. The second thing, is that the movie’s run-time effectively assists to insure each Ranger receives character development. This is something that many seasons in the franchise can barely even do. Furthermore, the Rangers are even written to be like actual teenagers than the original outstanding members of the community. In addition, the Rangers themselves are encountering basic struggles with real-life.

Out of our five Rangers, I am only going to talk about three because to me they had more depth to their growth. Billy is now autistic which can help to explain his intellect, but also why he is bullied; there are those jerks out there who just love to pick on the disabled. The quirks that people may find odd with the condition made things surreal, separating him from the original Billy. I personally found RJ Cyler’s portrayal of the condition to be good. Then as for Jason (Dacre Montgomery), he is a serious leader, but not always on point like the original. He makes mistakes, but in doing so it teaches him to be a real leader. Finally, there is Trini (Becky G), who I will say is a more dynamic character than Thuy Trang’s Trini. Becky’s Trini is contemplative due to the fact she does not have a solid relationship with her family. This all stems from the family being “too normal”, and constantly moving. However, we learn it is also due to her not being able to discuss with them about her sexual orientation. In addition, she even yearns to have friends and seeks to stop being a loner. Heck all these issues that Trini struggles with are traits to define what being a teenager is!

Another amazing thing about this film is the subtle, but nevertheless great Easter Eggs featured in the film. The best-known Easter Egg heading into the film were cameo appearances by Amy Jo Johnson and Jason David Frank. However other Easter Eggs comes in the form of name drops and locations. For example, Jason’s father mentions that he is in the “Cross section of Mariner Bay and Reefside.” Long-time fans should recognize these names, as they are the cities in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue and Dino Thunder. The other Easter Eggs are Alpha’s catchphrase “Ai-yai-yai” and Zordon’s “Rules of the Rangers”, but those should be expected. The final Easter Eggs is with the Zeo Crystals, however explaining it would be spoiling the film.

Now, the best part of the film is during the Zord fight itself. First the Rangers still are not the team they need to be even after morphing! It requires the Rangers to form the Megazord to make them realize how a team must act. Then again, that is often a method of learning to be a team in the franchise… Anyways, another cool thing is that the final battle mostly involves the Zords fighting individually. In the original show the Rangers mostly relied on the Tyrannosaurus or the Megazord, whereas here everyone makes an impact.

Negatives

The film unfortunately suffers from some various problems, the first issue is with the Zeo Crystal itself. While the film does explain their importance, it is unknown just how powerful they truly are. Hopefully future sequels will further explain the depth of the Zeo Crystal’s power. The second issue revolves around opening sequence, and as to why/how Rita became evil. The film just cuts to the betrayal, and how Zordon came to stop her. It just leaves the viewer to believe Rita was stereotypical corrupted by power. It is also frustrating that Zordon’s past is barely touched on, making it hard to relate to him. The only theory I have his backstory as the Red Ranger, ties to the future sequels. Now with the present-day team, Zack is most likely the least developed Ranger. Zack is just a good son, but is carefree dude that causes conflicts to occur within the team. He goes from being a bro to being an incredible ass. Then Billy has some issues, but it is mostly the jokes that do it for me.

The true final battle with Goldar and the Megazord, is too short. It is a simply an end goal which I know makes sense, but it still does not change the fact it is short! It is also problematic since the entire film sort of revolves around him. The only good thing about the short battle is that seems to be the norm with theatrical Power Rangers films. Another weird issue is how the film handles the product placement. While there are a few action figures in the film it is harmless, the major issue is with Krispy Kreme. It feels forced since Lionsgate only recently teamed up with the company shortly before the release. This is somewhat understandable since it is a way to market the product; however, it could have been handled much better than how it was featured in the film. One thing could be that official deal with Krispy Krème, could not be announced near the film’s release.

Conclusion:

While I cannot say, the movie is the best movie I have seen, but it is still enjoyable. The movie is a good spin on the original series, and the immediate sequel will be interesting to see. I will admit that the long period where Lionsgate did not promote it benefited to overall outcome. Hopefully the quality seen in this installment will continue or increase in its future sequels. Fans of the franchise will have a blast viewing the film and even newcomers will enjoy what is presented… May the power live on!

Final Verdict: 8/10

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