Power Rangers Movie Review – Well, They Morphed

Written by Jonathan Strickland
Aye, yai, yai, yai, yai!

As you may know, I am a huge Power Rangers fan; but I can’t let nostalgia blind me on this one. I thought the movie was alright, at best. I know I may catch flak for saying that, because most comic book movie sites are emphasizing how amazing it is. It’s just that I had huge expectations for this film, but felt a little bummed out leaving the theater. Don’t get me wrong, there were some parts that I loved. Please don’t think I’m telling you not to go see it, or that it wasn’t enjoyable at times. I’ll dig a little deeper to clarify what I mean. Obviously, spoilers are below.

I’ll start off with the things I didn’t enjoy. Like in most superhero origin stories, the pacing was slow. That, coupled with a lack of originality, made the movie a little difficult to bear. I felt like I had seen many of the scenes in other movies. The five Rangers were pretty much the cast of The Breakfast Club, right? There’s Billy the brain, Kimberly the princess, Jason the athlete, and Zack and Trini shared a nice mixture of the criminal/basket-case role. The campfire scene seemed, to me, to be straight out The Breakfast Club. I felt like they told Elizabeth Banks to give us a Heath-Ledger-Joker type of performance; except it ended up just being super weird. Nobody thought it was creepy that she was stealing gold teeth from homeless people? Why was her only dialogue for half of the movie just repeating the word “gold”? The end credit scene, when the teacher calls for Tommy Oliver over and over, and he’s not there, bore more than a resemblance to the Ferris Buller scene we all know. If I’m honest, it felt like the Rangers didn’t even morph until the last 20 minutes of the movie. Not to mention, they didn’t even have actual morphers to morph with! They just kind of scream and make arm motions like they are about to power up in a Dragon Ball Z episode. Don’t even get me started on the Krispy Kreme product placement throughout the movie. And what was that gold ooze thing at the end? Was that supposed to be Goldar?

With all the ranting behind me, there were some redeeming parts of the movie. The diversity of the actors, that I wrote about last time, was still impressive. Of all the new Rangers, I felt like RJ Cyler stole the show. He was funny, nerdy, and witty; capturing the original actor’s role perfectly. Zordon was kind of a huge jerk, but I did enjoy the performance. Wall-Zordon was willing to take things into his own hands rather than only acting vicariously through the Power Rangers. The Stark-quality suits and CGI Zords were phenomenal. Despite all the complaints they got for switching things up from the show, I thought the movie was OK. I would give it a solid D; so it passed, in some schools. I did geek out over the snippets of the Power Ranger mythology; like Zordon and Rita 65 million years ago, the protection of the zeo crystals, and the nod to Tommy Oliver. Now that the origin story is out of the way, hopefully they use that space for improvement in the second movie. They shouldn’t have to set up much; so I am anticipating some more depth next time.

Signing off,
Jonathan Strickland