Power Rangers (2017) Review

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Summary: A group of high-school kids, who are infused with unique superpowers, harness their abilities in order to save the world.
**There may be mild spoilers ahead but I’m going to try not too. Most of the stuff might be pulled from the show or seen in the trailers.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. Of course this film is riding on the five main teenagers, their chemistry with each other, their acting, how they are as these iconic characters and of course them being Rangers. I think they all do a good job in their roles. I can definitely see hints of the original characters in them but they are updated for this time period, and all given character traits that a bit more realistic, not so cheesy and 90s lol. They are different but the nostalgia factor is there.
  • Dacre Montgomery as Jason Lee Scott/Red Ranger. His name is JASON LEE SCOTT! YOU GOT THAT MOVIE!? Anyway, he starts off as a football player, perhaps even the “golden boy” who pulls a prank and goes a bit too far and lands himself in detention. He’s the Andrew of this Breakfast Club. He is struggling with who he is, where he belongs and what his place is in the world. Obviously as the Red Ranger he is meant to be the leader, but he doesn’t start out that way. He has to figure it out and that’s quite compelling for his character. He has to learn his team and learn himself along the way. I think Dacre Montgomery is very handsome but there was something about him that I wasn’t sure I believed. It was inconsistent. There were times where I felt his acting was subpar and he was overshadowed by the others, and times where he did really well. He’s Australian and he does a good job at hiding that.
  • Naomi Scott as Kimberly Ann Hart/Pink Ranger. *Ahem* Kimberly Ann Hart thank you very much (and Claire of the Breakfast Club). She starts off as a mean girl, and we don’t really get to know why that is until later, she hides it which was nice for her. Kim maintained this mysterious air about her in the film at least until she lets it go. I don’t think she necessarily came off as mean but it definitely seemed like a suit of armor she wore otherwise, she is also trying to find out who she is. She wants to move forward, doesn’t know how and feels stuck in Angel Grove. Naomi Scott is so beautiful and she hides her British accent well. I think she played Kimberly well, a girl who needs to find out who she is, someone who is struggling with her past “mean girl” actions and wanting to be part of the team.
  • R.J. Cyler as Billy Cranston/Blue Ranger. He is the smart one of course lol (he’s the Brian of the Breakfast Club), he is also Austistc, which I thought was a nice and interesting addition to his character. He is actually pretty funny too, some of the faces he makes when faced with decisions. However, I think he is the most honest, and probably the most endearing out of all of them. That is evident by a particular scene in the middle of the film. The way he talks about being friends with the others, or how he feels about his father and his mother, it was all handled so well. He was probably my favorite in the film. I’ve seen R.J in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and he was the best thing about that film and he stands out again in this one. It’s easy to tell that he grapples with being strong and confident (though I think he comes off more confident than the original Billy at first), he talks to much but he’s caring and sweet. Definitely my favorite.
  • Becky G as Trini/ Yellow Ranger. Definitely mysterious (also not so much Allison from Breakfast Club but pretty muchand she comes off cold for a majority of the film. She doesn’t warm up to everyone quickly. Kimberly tries and it takes a while, which I liked. They weren’t automatically friends like how every two girl rangers are in each season. She is quiet, reluctant and sassy when she speaks. It’s easy to tell that she doesn’t have friends, and that she may not really fit in anywhere and while she may not be searching, she does want it. She’s strong and headstrong. Being Becky G’s first film, I don’t think it really shows. She doesn’t come off like she’s been doing it for a long time but it doesn’t feel like she’s acting. I was impressed. I also feel she’s the furthest from her TV show counterpart.
  • Ludi Lin as Zack Taylor/Black Ranger. I quite liked him. He has a big personality, impulsive, sassy and says and does whatever he wants. After Billy finds a power coin, Zack makes it his business to get the others out, it’s kind of funny actually. The way he approaches everyone and everything is like a slacker who doesn’t care would, but of course he has personal things that totally shows he’s not always like that. Just like some of the others, he’s also trying to figure things out, and this adventure could help that. I liked Ludi Lin, I wouldn’t really buy that he’s a high school student though, the actor is almost 30 and he looks more like he’s a college student. It’s fine though, (he’s the Bender of the Breakfast Club). His Zack could be really annoying and probably kind of douchey, but I think he manages to stay away from that and keep him likable.
  • Bryan Cranston as Zordon. He is the mentor of the rangers. He is in the morphin grid in order to remain alive. Zordon lived years ago and he’s a bit grouchy about how things are going with the new rangers. It’s actually a bit of a departure from his personality in the show. He has to do his own learning in the film as well, he doesn’t have all the answers. It’s pretty great to have Bryan Cranston because he’s a great actor regardless. I liked how
    • I also liked his design. Instead of being in a tube, he’s able to move around the entire ship wall and his face is easier to see a bit more… emotional.
  • Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa. I was curious how this was going to go considering the show version of her. I liked it though. There’s a bit more backstory for her character, and she’s creepy. The voice Banks puts on fits well with the time period she comes from and what she was. I liked how she stalked into rooms, the scene where she attacks Trini was a great scene. She was imposing but sexy. It was almost weird because when you think Rita Repulsa, you think of the pointy boob dress, the weird hair and the voice. All of that is gone but it’s good.
    • I liked her costume too. So, unless you were just not paying attention, Rita has the Green Power coin, and she has a demented green ranger uniform. Which means Evil Green sequel.
  • Bill Hader as Alpha 5. So I liked him lol. He’s a robot who can transform his body for certain purposes. He was able to move around quickly and he definitely had a dry sense of humor. Thanks Bill Hader. I liked that he didn’t sound like a child, and that while he’s Zordon’s assistant, he also has a bit of a backbone.
    • I will admit, his design was a bit weird when I first saw it, but seeing it in action, I thought it was cool. Yeah, his little pot belly is weird and his little lights look like headlights but for the way he moved around and did things, it worked well enough for me. I just hope that if they continue with these films and come up to Alpha 6 they should alter his design a bit and don’t ever ever do that stupid voice they did in the show.
The Power Ranger Suits. I know these received a lot of flak but I quite liked them. I liked them from the first time they released the in suit photos. I liked that they actually look like armor and look like they can actually protect the people inside them. Don’t get me wrong, I love the original show and their iconic costumes but these are new, fresh and practical. I liked how their vizors could open, I’m sure they did it so we can see that the actors are actually in their suits (they’re not CGI suits, they actually wear them. I think some of the lights and the purple diamond on the chest is CGI) but I thought it was cool. We can see how scared they are, or that they’re in pain etc. It kept us close to them. I also loved how they were able to morph, though I do have some questions about it that I will talk about in my spoiler review.
The Action. So, we see training happening, it’s kind of montagey but not Rocky montagey.  When they’re in their suits its awesome and fun! I liked the idea that they had powers outside of the suits and that it seemed that the suits themselves just protected them while fighting and helped them connect to their Zords. The scene you see in the trailer of them landing on the rock and Billy doing that awesome three kick thing, yeah it’s good. I appreciate that you can actually see the action.
The Zords. Soooo, I again liked the design when they were first shown. I think they’re pretty awesome. I liked that they looked like they could actually fight and do cool things. Watching Trini wreck stuff in that Saber Toothed Tiger and seeing Kimberly flying around in her Pterodactyl I thought was very cool. I liked them all, they weren’t clunky and obvious miniatures.
The Megazord. So, I did not have a problem with the design. I thought it was pretty sleek looking and made sense to be a fighting machine, compared to the gigantic lego man. I liked the fact that when they come together, instead of being in a control room together, they each are in their own pods where they actually have to move a part of the megazord where it really forces them to listen and work together. I thought that was a great addition.
The Friendship. So in the show, the main five started off as friends, or at least they knew each other well enough. They weren’t really strangers to each other. In the film, they all went to the same school and knew OF each other but they weren’t friends. It had to be grown and I liked that they had to work at it, to learn how to trust each other and be a team. It wasn’t already there. Sure, that helps bypass a lot of “origins” stuff but since we’re getting to know many people at once, I liked the fact that they tried to take out time to make sure we knew them and they knew each other. Someone definitely loved The Breakfast Club though because there was a lot of moments that happened that were similar to parts in the film. The scene in particular where they sit around and talk in that circle… most notably inspired.
New Additions/Improvements: I will go more into it in my spoiler review, but there were a few story elements added that I thought were really helpful to the story and the tone of the film. There were a couple of choices they made that I thought helped improve how the story moves forward compared to the show. Don’t get me wrong lol, it’s still a little ridiculous but they handled the additions and different elements well. Just as an example, there’s a different backstory given to Zordon in the film that as far as I know is very different from the show and same with certain elements to the Rangers’ backstory.
Cons:
Weird Camera Movements. I think a lot of my problems were mostly technical stuff. But this bothered me mostly in the first act of the film. There’s a moment where a character gets into a car accident and the camera is in the car with him and it’s spinning all around and what not. I can see why it would look cool but I think it would have been better to see the truck flip over like it did and then fade into the next scene without us seeing the inside. It also just didn’t look good. There was another time when a character is riding a bicycle and for some reason the camera was looking at the road… why? We don’t need to see the terrain he’s riding over. Just let us see him ride the bike lol. There was also some shaky cam at the beginning too which I hate, especially during action scenes.
The Dark Tone. So while I enjoyed the film, I do think it loses the fun that the show had. I’m glad it’s not campy and cheesy, it didn’t need to be but I do think that the fun aspect of the show, the bright nature is lost in the need to be more realistic and mature. I like a lot of the changes and additions but it’s sad to lose the fun and light.
The Megazord Design. So it’s here too, because while I liked it overall, I do think there should have been more color. I’m glad it wasn’t clunky looking, but I think there should have been more. Maybe where the Pterodactyl is, it should have looked more pink and the whole chest part should be red, that bleeds into the yellow.
Krispy Kreme. I wonder how much money they paid to be in the film because they’re brought a lot. Product placement boy! lol of course what Rita was looking for had to be there. There’s a funny scene with her in there but after that, moving on please.
Felt Rushed. The film is 2 hrs and 4 minutes long and I appreciate the time spent on certain character points, but I also felt like it was really quick. It’s kind of weird to be honest, while I liked their friendship and how it grew, it also felt in the beginning that certain relationships formed really fast. There was a lot of tension though, which helped slow it down. It seemed like someone made some weird choices in the beginning but someone else came in and tried to fix them later in the movie lol.
Extremely Cheesy/Extreme Bullies. Now, I know this is based off an extremely cheesy show, but the tone to this is different. It has similar elements of the show but the tone is different and I thought the bullies were super extreme in the way they acted. One of the bullies tries to literally break a character’s wrist and head butt him and the girls cut a character out of their lives… literally. lol that was some Mean Girls extreme stuff lol.
Overall, I really enjoyed and liked Power Rangers. I think it manages to pull away from the iconic show, but not in a way where it seems like it’s embarrassed to even be linked to the show. I mean without the show, this movie probably wouldn’t exist. The characters are relatable and we are able to really connect with them, and we can see that they are not perfect beings. They are young people trying to find their way in the world, and figure out who they are. I liked the chemistry within the group, they fit together once they got together. R.J. Cyler definitely being a standout in the film. The suits were cool and original and were realistic for what they were doing. I liked a lot of the changes and additions made to the story and background of this universe. The designs of a lot of things was different and interesting. The action was cool and easy to see what was going on. On the other hand, there are some weird directional choices, especially in the beginning of the film, it felt like certain storyline aspects and were a bit rushed when they didn’t need to be. While I liked the Megazord for the most part, I do wish they added a bit more color to the design. It’s also unfortunate that the light and fun tone the show had seemed to be traded out for a more realistic and mature approach. I think there could have been a healthy balance.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Power Rangers? Are you even interested?
What is your favorite Power Ranger season and who is your all time favorite Ranger? (So far, mine is Mighty Morphin, Zeo and Lost in Space with Tommy, Billy, Kimberly, Adam, Tanya and Carlos being my faves. I really like the original MMPR cast period).
Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to like and follow this blog! Stay tuned for a spoiler review!
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