Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Rocker and Hall Reviews: Modern gritty Power Rangers

Posted on April 11, 2017 in Arts & Culture, Movie Reviews
By USM Free Press

Lionsgate Films

By: John Rocker and Aaron Halls

In the small town of Angel Grove, five teens discover five colored coins that give them superpowers. They learn from a being known as Zordon that these coins chose them, and that they must become a team known as the Power Rangers and stop the evil Rita Repulsa, who plans on destroying all life on Earth.

What Did We Like?

J: The thing I appreciate about this film is that it tries to develop the characters. Trying to get five characters developed within two hours is difficult to say the least. Each character gets their moment, but perhaps one of the standouts for me was RJ Cyler, who played Billy Cranston (the Blue Ranger). This character provided the moral center of the film and provided several moments of humor and heart. Can’t say that much for the rest of them.

A: Like John, the character development and interaction between the Power Rangers were some of the main aspects of the film I enjoyed. Here the team felt modern in that they were diverse and seemed like actual teenagers facing problems and difficulties they would face at their age. While RJ Cyler was a definite highlight in the cast, I also was impressed by Naomi Scott as Kimberly Hart (the Pink Ranger) and Darce Montgomery as Jason Lee Scott (the Red Ranger) as they, along with Cyler, are very charismatic and the film focuses a little more on the three of them.

Becky G and Ludi Lin are great as Zack Taylor (the Black Ranger) and Trini Kwan (the Yellow Ranger) respectively, particularly towards the latter half of the film when their characters get more development and chances to shine. Overall the whole cast has excellent chemistry and you believe they are actually friends by the end of the film. Also, if you ever watched the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, there are some great references/easter eggs and twists on the original Power Rangers mythology which is very fun to see.

What Did We Dislike?

J: The biggest issue with this film is that it doesn’t know what it wants to be. At times, it’s a serious teen drama, and at times it’s an over-the-top cheese fest. These tones clash and make the film stand out for all the wrong reasons. Does it capture the spirit of the original show at points? Sure, but what good is that when the film goes in a direction that’s the opposite of what has been built up? The story structure also falls for a lot of origin story tropes and doesn’t provide anything new or different. It made the film rather predictable.

A: My biggest issues with the film are in regards to its structure with characters and its pace. The beginning of the film does a great job establishing Billy, Jason and Kimberly as characters and giving us as an audience their backstory. Unfortunately this is not the case with Zack and Trini, as it’s about halfway into the movie before we learn anything in-depth about them. This makes them feel almost like background characters until we have access to this information. I also thought the movie was a little longer than it needed to be as there were a couple of scenes that dragged on and could have been trimmed.

Who Do We Think Will Like This?

J: If you’re a fan of the original source material, perhaps you’ll get some enjoyment out of it. Otherwise, I’m not sure who this is for.

A: Like John said, I think if you were ever a fan of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series, like myself, I think you’ll find a lot to enjoy in this film despite its problems. I think you’ll also enjoy this if you are just looking for a fun movie with great protagonists and that’s a precursor to the upcoming summer movie blockbuster season.

Rating

J: Watch on Cable
A: Wait for DVD