Power Ranger (2017) Review

 

So I saw the Power Rangers film without any expectations whatsoever and it was so much fun. That’s what it was, pure unadulterated fun and I loved that.

While I have seen the previous Power Rangers films, the animated show and even the TV shows, I’ve never been a fan so I wasn’t drawing comparisons between this film and the ones that came before it. Watching the film as just a casual viewer was rewarding if you’re in the mood for something that’s light and entertaining. It was unapologetically campy with just the right amount of darkness and that worked in its favour and it never took itself too seriously. At the same time, it gave time to help develop the team while also attempting to build characters with depth.

I say ‘attempting to build’ because that aspect felt thin and at the same time, considering the time constraints and the fact that there were five characters who needed more time individually than was afforded to them.

There were also some similarities to the 2012 film Chronicle in terms of the tone of the film. While, it is light and fun, there is a sense of realness to the film. The tone really helps sell the film and keeps it from getting too ridiculous. Dean Israelite did a great job balancing the more campy elements of the story with the darker aspects. He did a great job.

“Different colours, different kids… Different coloured kids!”


What struck me most strongly about the film was the diversity of the cast and I loved that. They belonged to different ethnicities and all of them got pretty much equal screen-time. The ranger were as follows: Dacre Montomery as Jason/Red Ranger, Naomi Scott as Kimberly/Pink Ranger, RJ Cyler as Billy/Blue Ranger, Ludi Lin as Zack/Black Ranger and Becky G. as Trini/Yellow Ranger.

There was Billy, the Blue Ranger, who stated explicitly that he was autistic and he was treated with respect. He was never a stereotype, he was the heart of the team. Then there was Trini, the Yellow Ranger who was gay. With regard to her, I liked that it was subtle and gave the impression that it was something she was still trying to understand, given how young she is. After all, it’s not like there’s a manual and it makes sense that she herself kept it very low-key since she hates labels.

Jason, the resident star jock, was also nuanced and most importantly, when he messed up, there were consequences, something not often seen in films/TV shows. Kimberly was the mean girl who discovered her conscience and strove to be a better person. Zack, first strikes us as reckless and careless but is tempered by the tenderness and care with which he treats his mother. I also appreciated that when he realised that Trini was gay, he immediately backed off.

Another thing I appreciated was that the girls, Kimberly and Trini, got along and spent time together. I like that we’re seeing this more often in films and TV shows, it is refreshing and I hope to see more of it. I also liked the dynamic of the group. They were all so different from each other and yet worked well together, making up for each others’ weaknesses. Having said that, I would have liked to see more of them outside of the cave and in their normal lives. I think that was the only thing that felt a little underdone.

I also liked that there was no romance in the film. That would have been too soon considering that not too long ago, all of these kids were virtual strangers. It was more important to establish their strong bonds of friendship and the I think the film succeeded in doing that.

The cast was good, believable and likeable enough that you rooted for them. I’m not really familiar with any of them but I liked them. Bill Hader as Alpha 5, Bryan Cranston as Zordon were good, especially Hader (my computer insists on correcting his name to Vader for some reason) Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa looked like she was a ball being the resident baddie.

I liked the Ranger costume upgrade. It no longer looked like spandex, instead it looked more like an armour with crystalline elements. It looked way better than I expected.

There was a very blatant Krispy Kreme product placement and judging from some online comments, some people hated it. I really enjoyed it, but that probably has something to do with the fact that I love Krispy Kreme. Personally, I found it hilarious.

There is a mid-credit scene that teases the Green Ranger and gives us the name Tommy/Tommie Oliver and a green jacket. There is no word on the casting yet but I would love for the Green Ranger to be a girl. Hope that happens.

Power Rangers was a refreshing take on an old franchise that, I think the original fans will appreciate and new fans will enjoy. It was a fun watch and I would love to see what they do with a sequel. I would like to spend more time getting to know these characters better in their personal lives.

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