Possible spoilers ahead!
Outcast Angel Grove high school students Jason (Dacre Montgomery), Kimberly (Naomi Scott), Billy (RJ Cyler), Zack (Ludi Lin) and Trini (Becky G), see their lives changed forever after they stumble upon five mysterious coins. The next day, the teens find themselves with incredible physical strength and abilities, inspiring the group to investigate the place where they discovered the coins.
The teens learn from android Alpha 5 (Bill Hader), that millions of years ago, these “Power Coins” belonged to a team of heroes known as the Power Rangers. These heroes were led by an alien named Zordon (Bryan Cranston), and they were tasked with protecting Earth’s Zeo Crystal from the evil sorceress Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks).
With the coins activated, Rita shows up in the present-day and resumes her search for the Zeo crystal. Now it’s up to this new group of Power Rangers to come together as a team in order to save their home from annihilation.
Although I liked the concept of the show, I was never a huge fan of “the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” when it launched it the early 1990’s. The show was too cheesy for my taste, but the toys were cool, and like every young teenager of the day, I atoo had a crush on the Pink Ranger.
This year’s big budget “Power Rangers” dropped all the cheesy stuff I hated from the 90’s show, and instead blended teen angst drama with modern-day super-heroics. Long time fans probably didn’t care for some if not all of these changes, but I gotta say I found this movie highly entertaining.
I”m no Power Rangers expert, but I thought this film did a solid job in creating a fresh mythology; one that builds on what has come before. While the execution isn’t perfect (some elements could use more development), I felt there were definitely more positives than negatives here.
For instance, this movie gave back stories to all the Power Rangers. I’m not sure the original tv show ever did that. Here, Jason (Dacre Montgomery) and Kimberly (Naomi Scott) are ex-popular kids, who’ve hit a bad patch in school and at home. The brilliant and funny Billy (RJ Cyler), is on the Autism spectrum.” Meanwhile, Zack (Ludi Lin) is anti-authoritative and is taking care of his sick mother at home. And Trini (Becky G), is a loner who’s been to three schools in three years.
Each Ranger gets a story arc in the film, and I appreciated that. Also, the young actors have strong chemistry together, making their growing bond even more believable. The scene-stealer in the group is RJ Cyler, and he’s easily one of the best things this movie has going for it.
I do wish the filmmakers had done more Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa. She looks great, and Banks is a terrific actress, but the character is very campy compared to the rest of the cast. But to be fair, Banks does get a couple of cool scenes, like the one where she confronts Trini (Becky G) in her bedroom.
One more thing I didn’t care for was the Krispy Kreme cross promotion. I love me some Krispy Kreme, but the joke was beaten to death in this movie. Two mentions of the place would have more than enough.
“Power Rangers” is an attempt to give the long running franchise a modern makeover without completely abandoning its roots. The film still contains its fair share of nods to the Mighty Morphin TV series, and even features some special appearances cameos.
But i think the filmmakers succeeded in creating something new. This si the first time I’ve ever really cared for the Power Rangers, and this film builds a firm foundation for the futyre, thanks in large part to a charismatic cast.
“Power Rangers” final score: B