Anthony's Film Review
Power Rangers (2017)
The Power Rangers are back, in a nice 21st-century remake...
The movie Power Rangers is based on the TV series of the same name. Of course, you might be asking, "Which one?" There have been so many Power Rangers shows over the years, as if there has to be a new show with a new name every year. But given that this movie is a reboot, it's natural to focus on the very first one in 1993, titled Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. It's also the one that got a lot of people's attention when it hit the airwaves. I remember watching that show's first season and enjoying the action sequences while noticing that each episode is based on a recurring plot formula. Then I moved on from the show for many many years. I never imagined looking back until this new movie drew me back to memories of 1993.
The original show centered on five teens chosen to be superheroes: Jason the Red Ranger, Kimberly the Pink Ranger, Billy the Blue Ranger, Trini the Yellow Ranger, and Zack the Black Ranger. Each Ranger commands a creature-like robot called a Zord, all of which can combine into one Megazord. The Rangers are led by a man named Zordon and assisted by a robot named Alpha 5. The arch villain is Rita Repulsa, whose villainous allies include Goldar and an army of rock-like Putties. Believe it or not, this overview of the 1993 show also applies to this 2017 movie. The fact that the movie would maintain core characters like this should please old fans as much as the new fans discovering this franchise for the first time.
Of course, some changes have been made, which is good given that we like fresh new material just as much. For instance, there is a brief backstory explaining that Zordon and his original Rangers team previously fought Rita here on Earth a long, long time ago, but the battle ended with the death of those Rangers and with Zordon and Rita essentially going into hibernation. Also, unlike the 1993 show, the five teens are not friends at first. Rather, they are mostly strangers who happen to be in the same place, the spot where they discover mysterious colored stones and, eventually, the powers they hold. And even as they learn about their opportunity to be the new Rangers, they first have to undergo intense combat training, all before becoming able to morph into their Ranger identities, which, by the way, requires one specific thing they all must learn. Basically, the ability to morph is essentially their last step in training, not like the 1993 show where the teens learn how to morph from day one.
As you may expect, a movie like this is expected to be the start of a new movie series, and so the plot can certainly be described as introductory. Even so, it is fun to watch the action scenes, especially the climactic battle that easily reminds you of the action in the live-action Transformers movies. And there is also a little human drama that you really don't see in the 1993 show that was meant to be an action show for kids. Believe it or not, such drama reminded me of the old high school movie The Breakfast Club. Definitely not the first thing that comes to mind in association with Power Rangers, but it works here.
The last thing I'll say is that I enjoyed seeing the cast of this movie. The five principal stars are cool to watch: Dacre Montgomery as Jason, Naomi Scott as Kimberly, RJ Cyler as Billy, Becky G. as Trini, and Ludi Lin as Zack. Let's also not forget Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa, Bryan Cranston as Zordon, and Bill Hader as the voice of Alpha 5. So when the next Power Rangers movie comes out (I'll be surprised if there won't be one), I can look forward to seeing this likable cast return. Go, go, Power Rangers! It's morphin time!
For more information about Power Rangers, visit the Internet Movie Database.