Skip to main content

Dan's Review: "Power Rangers" reboot fails to morph into anything new

Mar 24, 2017 09:57PM, Published by Dan Metcalf, Categories: Arts+Entertainment Movie Reviews


Becky G., Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, Ludi Lin, and RJ Cyler in Power Rangers - © 2017 Lionsgate.



Power Rangers (Lionsgate)

Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, language, and for some crude humor.

Starring Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin, Bill Hader (voice), Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Sarah Grey, Anjali Jay, Patrick Sabongui, Erica Cerra, Emily Maddison, Kayden Magnuson, Jaime Callica, Matt Shively, Garry Chalk, Fred Tatasciore (voice).

Written by John Gatins, Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Michele Mulroney and Kieran Mulroney, based on Power Rangers by Haim Saban and Super Sentai by Toei Company.

Directed by Dean Israelite.

GRADE: C

REVIEW:

Sometime in the mid 70s, a few corporate geniuses figured out a new way to market toys. “Say, why don’t we make a TV show that features a toy, and then kids will whine incessantly until their parents succumb and buy our product?” This method reached its zenith in the 1990s, when Haim Saban adapted the Japanese “tokusatsu” program “Super Sentai” into The Mighty Morph’in Power Rangers, a TV show for American kids. Being a father to a young boy during this time was challenging, especially at Halloween and Christmas, when my boy HAD TO HAVE the newest red (or green, or white or blue) Power Ranger action figure or costume. I found myself scouring every toy store or hobby shop within a 90-mile radius looking for such items, and often found myself in fierce competition with other desperate fathers (most likely the inspiration or the Christmas movie Jingle all the Way). The success of the Power Rangers faded as my son grew, and I hoped that would be the last I’d see of them (I even survived the 1995 feature-length movie from that time). Well, the flks who make movies checked their biological clocks a few years back and calculated that those kids from the 90s are now in their late 20s, so why not reboot the franchise? Hence, a modern manifestation of Power Rangers is upon us in theaters this weekend.

The story is simple. Millions of years ago, Zordon (Bryan Cranston) the original Red Power Ranger (and team leader) crash lands a spaceship on Earth to protect a “Zeo Crystal” from Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks), the original Green Power Ranger who betrayed her team while trying to seat the crystal. The meteoric crash kills off all the dinosaurs, and Zordon’s consciousness lives inside the ship’s computers for several millennia, guarded by the robot Alpha 5 (voiced by Bill Hader), nearby what turns out to be Angel Grove, a small fishing hamlet. Flashing forward to modern times, a group of Angel Grove high school kids are thrown together in detention after getting into trouble. Among them are Jason (Dacre Montgomery), a fallen hero star quarterback, Kimberly (Naomi Scott), a fallen cheerleader, Zack (Ludi Lin) an Asian nerd and recluse, Trini (Becky G) a loner and bisexual and Billy (RJ Cyler) a young African-American man with autism. The misfits are drawn to an old mine on the outskirts of town, where they discover five glowing colored coins (red, pink, blue, black and yellow) that give them superpowers. They also discover Zordon’s ship and learn that they are to become the new Power Rangers, if only they can learn to “morph” their colored armor into existence. Meanwhile, the remains of Rita are dredged up by fishermen, and she awakens, looking for any gold she can find to build a giant monster named Goldar. Repulsa intends to mine the crystal, which is buried underneath the Angel Grove Krispy Kreme (probably the only funny moment in the movie). The Power Rangers have trouble morphing, since they are having trouble getting along. The kids get over their differences just in time to morph, master the controls of robotic weapons modeled after dinosaurs (Zords) to do battle with Rita and Goldar in the center of town.

This new version of Power Rangers is an upgrade from the TV show in terms of special effects and acting talent, but not much else. The movie seems like a drawn-out version of one of the TV episodes, culminating with a lot martial arts posing and giant robots in combat. You even get a short “Go, Go Power Rangers” theme song as the kids pilot their Zords toward the big confrontation. It’s also annoying that it takes up two thirds of the movie to fully reveal new rangers in all their diverse colors and costumes, leaving us with only 10 minutes of actual Power Ranger action.

Power Rangers also tries really, really hard to signal the “strength through diversity” theme with several speeches and contemporary characterizations. This gesticulating gets a little too obvious and may induce eye-rolling. The movie might pass as a mash-up of The Breakfast Club meets Transformers.

I’m not sure how Power Rangers will be received among all those 20 to 30-somethings who grew up with the show, some of who may have little kids of their own. Who knows? Maybe the modern Power Rangers will give those young parents a little payback for all the action figures we had to buy for them. 



Power Rangers Trailer



movies movie reviews Toys


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    07/28/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Guest Author Liv Bartlet

    07/29/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    Twenty-nine-year-old artistic prodigy Kat Porter has golden statues on her career horizon until s...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    08/02/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    07/28/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Guest Author Liv Bartlet

    07/29/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    Twenty-nine-year-old artistic prodigy Kat Porter has golden statues on her career horizon until s...


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    07/30/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    07/31/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • First Day of Utah Crew's Summer Camp Session #3

    07/31/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Utah Crew offers three fun and recreational summer rowing camps where new rowers can learn the ba...


  • Monday Family Night

    07/31/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Pack a picnic and spend a summer evening exploring the diversity in our community. Traditional Af...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    08/02/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • VIP event - Free Treatments & $30 Gift Card

    08/03/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    join us for our VIP event on thursday, august 3rd from 6-9pm. all attendees receive a complime...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    08/04/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Dash for Donation Race

    08/05/2017
    08:00AM — 10:00AM

    Join us for a 5K fun run and 2K walk at beautiful Sugar House Park on Saturday, August 5th. Regi...


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    08/06/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • John Moreland

    08/06/2017
    08:00PM

    Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter John Moreland is touring in support of his latest release,...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    08/07/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Monday Family Night

    08/07/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Pack a picnic and spend a summer evening exploring the diversity in our community. Music and danc...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    08/09/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    08/11/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • Day of Hope Charity Car Show

    08/12/2017
    10:00AM — 02:30PM

    The day of Hope Charity Car Show is the ultimate win! Join Codale Electric, Fox 13 and Ford by sp...


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    08/13/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    08/14/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    08/16/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 62nd Anniversary Celebration & Ice Cream Social

    08/17/2017
    09:00AM — 09:05PM

    Join us for our 62nd Anniversary party! We're going to party like it's 1955! We have 50% off on a...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    08/18/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


 

 

 

Online Edition Holladay
Online Edition Cottonwood Heights
Follow My City Journals on Facebook
Advertise with us

 

City Journals 9500 South 500 West, Suite 205, Sandy, Utah 84070 801.254.5974