Let’s be honest: Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers is much better in memory than actually watching it now. It just hasn’t aged well despite some strong story arcs. Don’t get me wrong, I loved watching it as a kid! I remember my dad would rent for me a CD copy of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie and I never got tired of watching it, which just proves how impressionable a 7 year old could be. Obviously, the Power Rangers have remained popular through the years, thanks to its sentimental value, introducing new batches of the rangers we know and love (Dino Thunder and Wild Force were among my favorites).
So when the trend for reviving shows/movies of the past started, it was inevitable that a reboot of the Power Rangers would soon come in the works. While the trend has had its average or disappointing reboots, Power Rangers isn’t one of them…but it isn’t an excellent reboot either.
The movie is an origin story; it’s a modern take on how the teenagers with attitude became the Power Rangers. While its final third act is an action plot beaten to the death, it isn’t the focus of the film. It’s not so much about saving the world; it’s about how they get to save the world and why they do it. The movie isn’t afraid to discuss some serious issues and problems that teenagers face today and does well to represent the much-needed diversity of the cast.
Power Rangers, despite its aim to become an action-packed Breakfast Club, misses but doesn’t exactly disappoint. The movie broke new grounds but remained burdened by the unnecessary tropes of its source material. The Power Rangers franchise has always been known for being over-the-top, but I couldn’t understand whether or not the film wanted to embrace the absurdity of its source material or at least find a balance for its cheesiness and realism. There were times that the dialogue was so ridiculous that I could’ve sworn I was watching the show again. It could be excused that the writers of the film only wanted to be ironic; but when it’s presented in a serious tone, the line conflicts with the mood and it ruins the moment.
Another issue I have with it is its editing. The editing was all over the place; there were moments that were supposed to threaten and even scare you with Rita Repulsa’s presence, but that just wasn’t the case. The pacing is very slow in the film, and some people may find it too long. I thought the pacing was necessary to understand the characters, but even by the third act, you still don’t completely know or care for all of them.
The acting was well done, even with the dialogue given to them. Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa did a great job, and so did Bryan Cranston as Zordon. Billy (RJ Cyler) stands out as the most developed character among the Rangers, while Jason (Dacre Montgomery), Kimberly (Naomi Scott), and Zack (Ludi Lin) stand next from most to least development as characters. Only Trini’s (Becky G) motives and actions weren’t clear to me and while she does get to have some characterization, she still remained to me a hollow character.
Its soundtrack, orchestrated by Brian Tyler, is inspiring and as bluntly as I could call it, awesome. The movie is filled to the brim with songs that sound like an essential guide to a teenager’s playlist.
Finally, the movie does its fanservice best. It respects its source material and audience, giving enough moments for a fan to really geek out on.
Overall, Power Rangers has morphed into the BEST Power Rangers movie out there, but it’s not the best action movie. Fueled with enough charm and nostalgia, it survives and gives an entertaining flick to watch. Don’t think too much when you’re watching it, and you might even enjoy it a little bit more. It’s not a movie for the savant, but it isn’t mindlessly full of explosions either. Here’s hoping Power Rangers is only gonna get better from here on out.
P.S. Watch out for a mid-credits scene!
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