24 March 2017 | rgkarim
"Go-Go" Special Effects... and some Comedy.
In the 90's Saban unleashed onto our homes five teenage heroes dress in multicolored, state of the art underwear. What followed was legacy of aspiring actors fighting men in ashen grey costumes, before turning their attention to unique costumed antagonists that tried to stop their quest. And to this day Power Rangers continues to be a hit amidst the adolescent world as Nickelodeon continues to inspire them to fight as the rainbow warriors. So of course, we needed a movie to really seal the deal, based on the original series that started it all. Robbie K here to cover another movie. Let's get started.
Summary: If you were a fan of the series like I was, then you will certainly be looking for that nostalgic adventure you had as a kid. Well the movie is able to bring some of that back as traditional characters (in new, hot, youthful skins) return to fight the forces of evil. But past the new cast, you'll be go go going crazy for all the throwbacks including: Zords, monsters, Rita's dramatic speeches, cameos, and of course the suits. It's fun to relive those childhood moments, making one laugh at all the memories that come rushing back in this new adventure.
But if nostalgia won't make you smile, then certainly the comedy of the movie will be an entertaining factor. Power Rangers surprisingly is funny (and not in the cheesy way the classic series was). Each of the teens has their moments where they put their foot in their mouth or get a taste of humility as they eat pavement. But it is Billy who steals the show, as the autistic youth delivers well-timed comedy that grounds all the drama brought by this new generation of rangers. Yes, you heard me drama, this origin movie has far more drama than the series had back then and with it some surprising character depth. Where the 90's was cutesy love and bullying, this movie goes deeper down the teenage angst path. It works at times and helps expand on what once was limited roles.
As for the action, Power Rangers is also decent in this category as well. This film has some fast-paced karate chopping action, that quickly melds into robot on monster smashing. The special effects are semi impressive, not so much in terms of realism, but capturing the spunk of Power Rangers. The Zords in particular are much smoother, and the modern twist on their design matches the edgier theme of the movie. And of course, there are lots of thrilling explosions and sound effects to bring it all to the front. While not as cheesy as Saban's classic fights, the battles in this film still have that energy we all fell in love with.
Summary: Despite the deeper lore of the series, the teenage issues were also a little eye rolling as well. I know not to expect a masterpiece, but this Power Ranger plot felt like an after school special meeting a special effects show. I'm sure this will speak to many of the modern generation, but these issues just felt out of place compared to those in the 90s. Plus, the rebellious, delinquent protagonists aren't necessarily the ideal role models for the younger generations. Perhaps it was also the darker atmosphere that also detracted it from me. Despite added suspense and danger, the darker moments made the movie less fun for me at times. And to be honest, some of the darker moments were a bit disturbing at times, so please exercise caution if your kids are easily scared.
Speaking of scary, the new direction they took with Rita Repulsa was not the most comforting thing to see. This portrayal was much more nightmarish, replacing Rita's grandiosity with pure insanity and lust as she feasted on "gold" from every source. While the edginess wins points for danger, the creepy (somewhat adulterated) portrayal of Rita did not impress me, nor did the overacting (again dramatic) walks/speeches she made through the movie. In addition, I wasn't a fan of the new Goldar, wondering why they replaced the cheesy (yet creative) chimera design for a CGi
Velveeta monster? Yes, the monsters certainly lacked that design we all loved, for again darker, edgier forms.
In regards to the action, well as always, I wanted more. Power Rangers runs just a little over two hours, but only about twenty minutes of that is actually action. It would have been nice to have a little more investment in the combat scenes to really deliver the promised punch the first 90 minutes promised. For one thing, it would have been nice for all the weapons, not just a random appearing sword, to make an appearance as they fought for the sake of the world. That minor detail aside, the kung Fu scenes could have been longer, and the Zords could have had a little more coordination than just one or two taking a punch. In addition, the edgier Rita needed some more time to show off her skills (other than speeches and walking through CGI streets).
Power Rangers is certainly a fun stroll down memory lane, filled with plenty of nostalgic references to make you feel sort of like a kid again. With a new edge comes character development and special effects that for the most part work. Yet, there are still some balance issues that need work, including stepping back from the darkness and increase the emphasis on action (and story). Still not a bad origins story. Worth a trip to the theater? For the special effects and adventure, definitely, but there are other movies better worth the price of admission.
Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi: 7.5 Movie Overall: 7.0