I never watched the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers when it was on TV (or any other time, for that matter). It was aimed at a crowd much younger than me—specifically my youngest brother’s demographic. He loved the show, and watched it religiously. So, when the Power Rangers movie was announced, I knew he’d want to see it. The trailer seemed interesting, so I saw it, too.
In the days of the dinosaurs, the Power Rangers are defeated by one of their own betraying them. In the modern day, five delinquents find five colored power coins that make them incredibly strong. They find out they are the Power Rangers, and they must master their suits (by being able to summon them at will) within just a few days or Rita Repulsa (the traitorous Ranger from the days of the dinosaurs) will summon Goldar to destroy the Earth.
That’s a lot to take in for someone completely unfamiliar with the Power Rangers franchise (short of knowing there are five members of the team). This is one of the weak points of the film. While there is enough for a complete newb like me to enjoy Power Rangers, I still felt like I was drowning in information overload. This affected the pacing of the film to a degree, making it feel like events were happening too fast.
This film is definitely aimed at teens. Much of the dialog and actions of the characters were so stereotypical of teenagers it felt insipid and obnoxious. Sure, teens are like that quite often, but the dialog felt like it was written by teens trying to make things sound dramatic. It wasn’t all bad, though, and there was enough of the good to save the film from being horrible.
The parents in Power Rangers—at least those who were shown—were mostly cardboard cutouts. The only ones that felt real were Jason’s father, Sam (played earnestly by David Denman), and Zack’s unnamed mom (Fiona Fu). The only actor I really recognized in the film (no, I haven’t seen Breaking Bad, so I didn’t recognize Brian Cranston right away) was Becky G (the Yellow Ranger). I recognized her voice because I love the song “Problem” from Hotel Transylvania.
The effects in the film were very well done, if a bit messy in places. This is a problem in many films that use a lot of dust/particle effects and hyper detail (one reason why I didn’t like the recent Transformers films). I especially liked the molten gold effects used to create Goldar. Outside of briefly using a part of the original television series theme song, none of the music in the film was especially memorable.
I expect sequels for Power Rangers. It’s good enough to make enough income for sequels to be viable. However, this film really is just for teens. Old people—like me—just won’t enjoy it as much. It’s a fun popcorn movie, and that’s about it. Now get off my lawn!
Release Date: March 24, 2017 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Alternate Title: Saban’s Power Rangers
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (brief social drinking)
Language: 2 (brief strong, some mild and deity)
Nudity: 0 (though the Pink Ranger does strip down to underwear to go for a swim)
Sexuality: 1 (above-mentioned swim, some innuendo)
Violence: 3 (sentai fighting, fighting giant monsters, significant peril)