I was really excited when I first saw the trailer for the Power Rangers movie reboot. It looked cool and modern and seemed like it would make for a fun time for 90s kids who grew up with the series. Unfortunately, I missed it on its regular run and had to settle until it was out on video. By its end, all my excitement was extinguished and to say that I was underwhelmed would have been an understatement.
Synopsis: After the original Power Rangers team led by Zordon (Bryan Cranston) perished to protect the Zeo Crystal that prevents the Earth from destruction, the threat of Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) resurfaces and a new group of Power Rangers is formed after 65 million years. However, the crystals choose a group of teenagers who are also dealing with their own issues, rendering them incapable of morphing into superheroes. With time running out, the Red Ranger Jason (Dacre Montgomery) must rally his team — ex-cheerleader Kimberly (Naomi Scott), autistic genius Billy (RJ Cyler), emo girl Trini (Becky G) and happy go lucky Zack (Ludi Lin) to fight against the threat to protect their homes and families from being destroyed despite their handicap.
In terms of styling, I’m all for the updates that the film made with the 90s franchise. The costumes looked sleek and cool but Goldar needed a bit of polish (pun intended) in terms of detail. I liked the graphics in the film although it wasn’t the best that I’ve seen. The cast seemed like a likable bunch too. Unfortunately, they never stood a chance to become extraordinary characters. And this was because the movie tried too hard to be a superhero movie.
Don’t get me wrong. It should have striven to be a memorable superhero movie but director Dean Israelite went about it in the wrong way. His attempts to create “moments” for his young cast all failed because it felt so cliche. Nothing in this movie seemed original.
It was obvious that it was trying to replicate the style employed by The Transformers franchise to reboot this series but it failed in dragging the flimsy story along in an entertaining and interesting way. The film concentrated in serving up fast-paced action scenes without developing the relationships of the characters along with it so they needed extra time to analyze all the things that were wrong about the Power Rangers’ young lives. This dragged on for a major part of the movie. As if it wasn’t enough, after coming clean about their secret fears, Jason and Kimberly had to have another sequence devoted to comforting each other. There was also another scene to underscore just how much of an outsider Trini felt. All this while they were still unable to morph.
One word. Overkill.
The dialogue didn’t help either. It seemed to be trying to convince the audience to believe that these bunch of teens really had what it takes to save the world. The slow-motion entrances complete with formation (the movie must have done this three or four times) only made it more cringe-worthy. It was so cheesy I wanted to hide under my blanket each time because of embarrassment.
(Spoiler alert): And why can’t Zordon or Alpha 5 have given the kids a heads up that their Zords could morph into one giant the robot? It was ridiculous, to say the least that the kids’ training involved getting beat up to a pulp as they fought without armors but they were not equipped with the basic knowledge on how they could use their Zords to win. Zordon and Alpha 5 seemed like they were setting the team up to fail. Just saying.
All in all, sorry to say but Power Rangers 2017 was a veritable cheesefest. It wasn’t a bad movie per se but it seemed like it squandered the opportunity to reinvent itself and expand on the gains of their strong fanbase. Unfortunately, the only gain it managed was to deliver a film that tried so hard but was obviously a slow-paced so-so run off the mill superhero movie. For a film whose slogan is “Its Morphin Time”, this one took its sweet time to deliver on the morphing part. Not cool.
PS. Shoutout to the original Pink and Green/White Rangers’ cameos after the battle scene.