Power Rangers: Teen Drama Meets Campy Superhero Action in Watchable Power Rangers Revisit
Dacre MontgomeryNaomi Scott...
Action & Adventure
In 1 Cinema
Campy, cartoonish and exceptionally cheesy is probably the best way to describe the pop-culture phenomenon known as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – a popular 90’s live-action television series about a group of teenage misfits who transform into a uniformed band of superheroes ready to save the planet from various villains. Its 2017 big-screen reboot, directed by Project Almanac’s Dean Israelite, is just as guilty. But, in a good way.
Power Rangers is once again set in the Californian city of Angel Grove, where the lives of a group of young outcasts, including high-school quarterback Jason (Montgomery), hostility-driven Zack (Lin), former-cheerleader Kimberly (Scott), sexually-confused Trini (Becky G) and tech-nerd Billy (Cyler) are transformed forever when, after venturing out late one night, they stumble upon an active gold mine and a mysterious collection of coloured stones.
Soon after their discovery, the teenagers find themselves empowered by incredible physical strength and other special abilities they never knew possible. Intrigued by their findings, they return to the gold mine to investigate further and learn that the stones – a.k.a Power Coins – actually belonged to a group of superheroes known as the Power Rangers, led by an alien named Zordon (Cranston), who are tasked with a mission of protecting Earth’s Zeo Crystal; a powerful mineral found deep beneath the surface of every planet. Bemused – and amused – by their discovery, the teenagers don’t really get much time to grasp what is happening when a powerful and seemingly dangerous sorceress named Rita Repulsa (Banks) returns from the dead to claim the Zeo Crystal, leaving it up to this newly-formed group of superheroes to come together and save the day.
Fans of the original TV-show and the subsequent movies that followed – see Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie and Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie – will have plenty to feast on in this latest reboot. Combining teen drama with the cartoonish superhero antics of the original, Power Rangers manages to hit plenty of high notes, offering a sufficient amount of energy and 90’s nostalgia for audiences who grew up watching it. However, problems arise in the elaborate world-building that takes place, especially in the characterisation of its superheroes, including their back-stories and personal troubles, with the screenplay struggling to find a way to bring it all together and weave it smoothly into the storyline.
The drastic tonal shift between the genuine teen-angst and the overly cartoonish but relatively entertaining display of superhero action – which for some reason doesn’t come rolling in until almost the end of the picture – is what keeps the film from reaching its goals and the young and mostly inexperienced cast, in addition to boasting an effective amount of chemistry, is relatively solid.
Overall, Power Rangers won’t do much for those who didn’t grow up watching the original TV show. But, it will speak to those who did and even though there are faults, it still somehow manages to get the job done.