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The 'Power Rangers' movie is easily one of the movies that everyone should avoid seeing this weekend.
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‘Power Rangers’ Review: Why You Should Avoid This Tedious Reboot

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Dean Israelite’s ‘Power Rangers’ movie is a tediously paced, heavy-handed attempt at rebooting a franchise cinematically.

Summary

The film starts off centering around Billy (RJ Cyler), who is longing to finish a project his late father started concerning an energy source at the base of a mountain in Angel Grove (his hometown). He makes friends with Jason (Darce Montgomery), who he meets in Saturday detention and they agree to meet up later that night. The deal was Jason would drive him to the site of the mountain in exchange for Jason getting some help with his pesky house arrest bracelet he now has to wear. They eventually make it to the location only to learn that some of the same teens who have detention on Saturday morning apparently like hanging out at a random mountain on Friday evening. We have Kimberly (Naomi Scott) a cheerleader who has been ostracized, Trini (Becky G) a confused young girl, and Zack (Ludi Lin) the bad boy, all seem to be up some shenanigans. Things quickly take a turn when they hear an explosion and realize that it was Billy who causes it (apparently he brought some dynamite with him). Amongst the rubble, the team discovers some power coins, and some new found super powers. Little do they know that they set in motion events that will lead to them coming face to face with the projection of an alien named Zordon (Bryan Cranston), a robot named Alpha 5 (Bill Hader), and a gold-driven villain named Rita (Elizabeth Banks) who only wants to destroy the world.

Power Rangers

What Worked

It was neat hearing the old Power Rangers Theme when the Zords are dashing off in a formation to confront Goldar. Dean Israelite did a good job with fan service and paying homage to the original material.

Elizabeth Banks made a fairly decent villain in the film. She certainly made use of every inch of her costume to help accentuate how evil she was on screen. Those long gold fingernails looked equal parts painful and like something you would see at the mall.

What Didn’t Work

Screenwriter John Gatins’s attempts to make this film relatable to children in 2017 and fails miserably. Instead of creating fully developed characters, he seemed hellbent on filling certain demographics. Each one of the Rangers is defined by either their nationality, gender, interests or in some cases their sexual orientation. Little is done to allow us to know who these kids truly are. If you are going to truly reboot this show for a cinematic audience then we need a clearer understanding of why these kids are taking on these roles as Rangers. When Christopher Nolan directed Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne wasn’t just a brooding white billionaire playboy. We knew why he became Batman. Why is Billy so driven to follow in his Dad’s footsteps? What drives Kimberly to go from a Cheerleader to trusting this group of friends she barely knows? At least some of these questions must be addressed so the audience becomes more invested in the characters as they become these heroes.

One would have thought they would have attempted to temper down the cheesy fight sequences.Why wasn’t a more concentrated effort at updating the fight sequence made? The only noticeable thing was the use of slow motion at different points during the battles in Angel Grove. So we are going to allow fights which are poorly staged but we better make sure that we bust out some of our slow motion special effects. Doesn’t make a ton of sense.

Overall

Super fans of the Power Ranger franchise will indeed be overjoyed at this latest version of the franchise. Anyone else will find it tedious, cheesy, and lacking in any discernable entertainment value. At this point, Lionsgate has plans for six more Power Ranger films, and that kind of confidence in the franchise is alarming. Then again, it shouldn’t come as a shock as last summer Sony announced that they had planned a sequel to Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters (we all know how that turned out). Power Rangers will likely follow the same path as Feig’s latest film. It’s a shame because with a tighter storyline, better effects, and a stronger cast this could have been something more than what it ended up being.

Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
I'm a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and have been doing reviews for many years. My views on film are often heard in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, and satellite radio. My wife often tolerates my obsession for all things film related and two sons are at an age now where 'Trolls' is way cooler than dad. Follow me on twitter @mrsingleton.

14 COMMENTS

  1. I don`t know about you all but I loved the power ranger movie it had action drama suspense and it was a whole lot better then any of the power rangers television series and I hope there will be other power rangers movies just like it And I think it would be a great idea if Jason David Frank return and Amy Jo Johnson all so return and they can play Tommy’s parents in the next power rangers movie and I hope Rita not dead because I would like for her character to return for another power ranger movie and if Rita dose return from being dead then I hope we will get to see lord zedd..

  2. Here’s why I don’t agree your first thing mentioned that didn’t work was the writer tried to make it relatable and failed.

    As someone with autism and as someone who cried with joy When a ranger on the spectrum was announced I strongly beg to differ, there was a relatable moment for us with autism.

    I respect your opinion I just don’t agree with it, I even took people that never liked power rangers and they came out suprised.

    • As someone who has a son who is on the autism spectrum as well, it just felt that it was forced. They have used the diversity of the team as a selling point (to sell tickets) not to make any sort of statement. I understand your reaction and I respect your take. Thank you for reading.

  3. The movie was certainly a fun experience for many of the hardcore fans of this series. I am certainly happy that you enjoyed the film as well. However, I hardly feel that one campfire scene is enough to justify any sort of development occurring in these characters. The casting was clearly an attempt to have all their “bases” covered by having at least one ranger relatable to a portion of the population. While I can’t help but wish for a better overall film… I’m glad you liked it. Thank you for reading.

    • Having the cast cover the bases IS THE POINT! Have you not seen the original shows? Actually, no answer needed, I know you haven’t. Please stop reviewing this movie.

      • Devon – I’m glad you enjoyed the movie and it certainly did well at the box-office. To answer your question
        1) Yes, I have seen the show.
        2) If you are covering the bases are you actually creating relatable characters? Just because the Red Ranger is white doesn’t mean I should feel a connection to them. I just didn’t feel a connection with any of these characters and someone who is more of the average movie fan than a superfan of the Power Rangers .. that needs to occur.
        3) This is simply my take on the film, we have people who write for this page who saw the movie and see it in a different manner. My viewpoint on the film tends to fall in line with a majority of critics across the country.

        Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    • You do know that’s what Power Rangers was always about. “There will always be a ranger you can relate too.”

      • There is a difference between being relatable and being used to sell tickets. Thank you for reading.

  4. Dude, as a professional where do yo get off…

    **SPOILERS**
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    I was able to see this movie last night and despite not being within the movie industry, I know a few things about story and screen writing. I have my degree in creative writing and have been both a blogger for a site just like this, and a published writer, and I can say with full confidence that this article is full of garbage spewed at this movie.

    Firstly, and foremost the emotional stories and backgrounds of these characters are CLEARLY defined through actions and dialogue. Despite these actors being young and relatively fresh faces, the unspoken was precise and shaped. Some lines were delivered poorly (Most notably by Zack, in my opinion) but the connection between the characters and their emotional journeys are good.

    Secondly, you lost all credibility when you singled out the screen writer. I’m not sure how much you know about how the movie industry works, but the screen writer has little to nothing to do with the final product after it has been passed through all of the execs, director, and set to film. Despite this, the film was, in a technical sense, layed out really well.

    The first act had its 13-14 beats, with the first plot point the kids finding the command center. Every piece of dialogue or action moved the story forward and nothing halted the movie to a screeching halt.

    It isn’t until halfway through the second act, at the campfire, where all of the characters open up to each other with important pieces of key back story that help the viewer relate to them through real life and current topics. At no point does gender, race, or sexuality drive these characters to their ultimate goal, and all of the characters are outside of any normal stereotype aside from Jason. Jason also feeds off of his projected image of his own father on Zordon, which plays out wonderfully in their argument later on in the film. Billy is driven to follow in his own father’s footsteps because, as he says himself “He feels bad that he doesn’t miss his father as much”, a reason why he spends his time at the mountain trying to regain what he once had there. Kimberly is a person who hit rock bottom and needs other people to help her back on her feet. Zack hides behind fear and creates an almost second personality for himself that is impervious to fear or consequences.

    By contrast, Nolan’s Batman in Begins is LITEALLY a brooding white billionaire playboy.

    The “cheesy fight sequences” were shot with all of the action coherent and avoided that crappy shaky cam that something like Transformers would use.

    This movie was a fun experience. Was it Citizen Kane? No. Was it the best super hero movie ever made? No. Was it tedious to watch? Absolutely not. The plot drove well and everything in the movie meant something, with little to no slag of the pace.

    The last line of your review is 100% irrelevant because this story DID have a coherent story, great action, and great effects (they look better in the movie than on the trailers, and also look way better than Transformers). The cast could be slightly stronger but all of their key points were accurately portrayed (there were people sniffling at times in my showing).

    Don’t listen to this guy and go see the movie. It was fun and worth the price.

  5. Exactly Paul. There is alot to like about this film and some of the comments he made are alot of crap, for one the film starts off focusing on Jason not Billy.

    • So .. everyone doesn’t end up at the site of the mountain blast based on the actions of Billy? Jason’s prank just set up how he met Billy in the beginning of the film. Thank you for your comment.

  6. Dewey, just because you did’nt like it, makes it a movie to avoid. People, ignore this fool. It’s a great movie.

    • Paul- I have always stated that in the end, it’s up to the public to decide what they want to spend their money on. I think I was pretty clear that If you were a superfan of the series then you would enjoy it. My point that for the average movie fan (like myself) this movie doesn’t offer much thus should be avoided. ‘Power Rangers’ should do fairly well this weekend at the box-office because of all the hype from the superfans of the series. Once the hysteria dies down, I would expect the film to take a tumble similar to what the ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot did last year.

      • No shit dude… its Power Rangers. I don’t expect my father or anyone over the age of ~35 to give two shits about this film. First off, it is not an attempt to reboot. The Power Rangers are alive and strong still. “Anyone else will find it tedious, cheesy, and lacking in any discernable entertainment value.” Duh… it is five teenagers fighting dirt monsters while driving dinosaur themed robots. I can’t tell if you’re trolling or just an idiot claiming to be a “journalist”

        Also, something to mention, I feel like you can’t even comprehend basic children movies. The movie starts off with Jason… literally, the first scene is Jason. Next to answer your Billy question, it is because his dad passed and he wants to carry on what he and his dad used to do. His dad mapped out that mine and Billy was just doing his thing. Kimberly, said she lived over the mountain and would go for a swim to clear her mind. She was in detention for showing a nude picture to people and punching a boy. Zac is, well… stalking Trini while clearing his head from the potential loss of his mother. And lastly, Trini, is a new student to 3 different high schools in three years. She feels she doesn’t fit in, and she walks the mountain to get away from her home that she hates and doesn’t feel like she fits. Billy doing Billy things causes the group to collapse onto each other.

        I’m not going to continue, I feel what I’ve written already will fall on deaf ears. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Go away.

Comments are closed.