Power Rangers is based on the 90s kids tv show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I grew up loving the campy cheesy series and when this film was announced I was intrigued how they would treat the property. Once the trailers and images came out I started getting very excited though.
With a cast of unknown actors supplemented by the more established talents of Brian Cranston and Elizabeth Banks, the biggest surprise in the film for me was the quality of the acting from the five Rangers. Each character is different but likable, with RJ Cyler, Becky G, Dacre Montgomery, Ludi Lin, and Naomi Scott giving great performances in the roles. I normally avoid mentioning every member of a cast but they all deserve credit for taking roles that could’ve easily been taken as a joke and making them into genuine characters you care about.
The developing relationship between the Rangers is what really draws you in and the first two-thirds of the film are all about these characters learning about each other. They start out as five complete strangers but due to the time we spend seeing them interact the camaraderie that’s on show in the later stages of the film is completely believable.
Brian Cranston and Bill Hader provide voices for Zordon ad Alpha-5 respectively and both of them give solid performances. However the performance of Elizabeth Banks is rather strange. It feels at times like she was pulled out of the 90s tv show and put into this film. Whilst towards the end her tone starts to fit a little better with the rest of the film, for the first two-thirds of Power Rangers her character is goofy and over exaggerated in everything she does. When the rest of the film is going for a little bit more of a Chronicle feel (although not as dark as that film), Rita Repulsa stands out and doesn’t feel like she belongs in the same film for a long while.
I say she sticks out for a long while but not all the way through, because there is a point in this film where I think a lot of people will start to wonder what is happening. The film sticks to its more gritty science fiction based tone for a solid 2 acts, and then the words “It’s Morphin Time” are said. From this point until the end of the film, spanning the entire third act, Power Rangers becomes a modern episode of the 90s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers show.
I am confident anyone who didn’t grow up with Power Rangers will find the final act cliché, cheesy, and downright silly at times. You can probably still have fun with it, but things like the occasionally dodgy special effects and the cheesy lines will be bigger issues for you. However, I did grow up with that show, and I loved every second of the ridiculous cheesy madness i watched in the final act of this film.
There is every bit of fan service I could have hoped for, from hearing “It’s Morphin Time”, seeing a Megazord, all the way to hearing the iconic theme, Power Ranger shamelessly delivers them all with a cheesy grin and the nostalgia hit me like a brick.
Power Rangers is a decent all round film. The average movie-goer will find enough to enjoy here to justify the trip to the cinema. However, for the right person, this is one of the most fun times you can have in a cinema. I know that Power Rangers has its flaws, they’re clear and I cannot defend them. The CGI is poor at times, Rita Repulsa is bad, and the product placement is a little too in your face. None of that could wipe the stupid grin off my face though, and for that reason this is one of my favourite films in a long while.
7/10 – GO GO POWER RANGERS!!