Power Rangers, directed by Dean Isrealite, is a reboot of the Power Rangers franchise and tells the story of five teenagers who find mysterious coins and an alien ship which leads to them becoming a team of armored warriors called the Power Rangers, who need to stop the reawakened Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks), who is bent on destroying Earth.
When this film was first announced, I was really interested in this property being rebooted because I, like many people of my age, grew up with the Power Rangers franchise. I hold many nostalgia-fueled memories of watching new episodes on Saturday mornings and pretending that I was one and playing with the toys. Even going back and re-watching the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers series, even being so cheesy and pretty bad, I still enjoy it, which is exactly what I thought this was going to be. I thought that this was going to be pretty bad, but I was going to have some fun with it regardless, however, this is a surprisingly decent film that I really liked.
First off, I have to say that all of the performances from the main cast of five were great. The only reason that I even liked the film was because of them. They had great chemistry and brought a lot of depth to their roles, even if they weren’t given as much to work with as others, namely Becky G as Trini/the Yellow Ranger and Ludi Lin as Zack/the Black Ranger. Both of them had a couple of scenes that expanded on their character and they did really well in their respective scenes, but the story didn’t focus on them like it did the others.
The other three performances though were surprisingly superb. Naomi Scott as Kimberly/the Pink Ranger took the role of the stereotypical girl next door type and did a lot of different things with it and actually turned the role on its head. Dacre Montgomery as Jason/the Red Ranger pretty much did the same as where he took the stereotypical jock role and added a lot of layers to it. In fact, I was almost immediately endeared to him just because of one thing that he does at the beginning of the film and I instantly knew what his character was like and his actions throughout the rest of the film make complete sense. The standout though is RJ Cyler as Billy/the Blue Ranger. Cyler was fantastic and he was honestly the heart of the film, so everything meaningful that happens almost always occurs because of Billy and Cyler does a great job of conveying the exact feelings that he needs to convey in every scene.
Dean Isrealite also directed the heck out of this film. His camera movements are so kinetic and there is always a sense of movement on screen, which kept the film exciting and makes you feel like you are in the film with the characters as well. He also is able to get each character to have specific traits that people could empathize with, whether it is only one character or several of them.
My problems with this film though stems from the story. Nothing new really happens with the story and, in fact, it takes many inspirations from several other films, namely The Breakfast Club and Chronicle. Despite nothing being new though, the execution is really well done and I can slightly forgive it. The ending though is where I didn’t care as much about what was happening on screen. Once they suited up, everything that was happening I thought was cool, but I wasn’t as invested as I was when the team was training and learning about each other and actually trying to become connected with one another.
There are also several cheesy aspects of the film that are more so a callback to the original and don’t really add anything to this film. Added onto the cheesiness though, are several modern songs that are used throughout and, while some worked in the context of the film, others didn’t work at all.
Overall, Power Rangers is a pretty solid film that really doesn’t do anything new, but is a fun, nostalgic throwback that fans of the original will enjoy and those who aren’t can enjoy as well.