Before we get started, I need to make something perfectly clear. I love Power Rangers. I have for years. However, I fully acknowledge that the original series is not very good. There are good episodes and moments, but for the most part, it’s pretty bad. I love it, but I love it in the same way I love Star Wars: A New Hope. I’m more thankful that it led to much better follow ups(Just to be clear, I’m not saying I think A New Hope is bad. Far from it. That was just the best example I could come up with for a comparison.).
While there are things to love in this movie, I hesitate to say that I loved it as a whole. So, yeah, let’s start with the negatives. The biggest issue in this movie is the pacing, particularly in the second act. It really drags and it doesn’t help that the Rangers don’t actually get their suits until right before the climax. And speaking of which, I was really underwhelmed by the Rangers. I don’t know if it was the choreography or the effects not being so great, but it just felt kinda meh. But the rest of the action sequences were pretty fun. But that’s another thing. The effects at times don’t look fantastic. But that I can forgive since the movie only had an estimated budget of $105,000,000. That may sound like a lot, but it’s not nearly the amount a lot of the bigger superhero movies get. But the movie is doing pretty well at the box office right now so that should get the film at least a slightly bigger budget for the sequel.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get to what I did like in the movie. What really makes this movie work is the cast. All the main characters are great and get a lot of good development and the cast has great chemistry. Of the Rangers, the big standout is RJ Cyler as Billy, the Blue Ranger. He gets a lot of great moments and lines and his portrayal of autism is great and really adds to his character. And that’s another thing that’s great with the characters, particularly Billy and Trini, the Yellow Ranger. As I said, Billy is autistic and Trini is gay, but the fact that they are isn’t used as a gimmick or constantly shoved in your face. They’re not constantly going “Hey Look! One of our characters is Gay and another one is Autistic! We’re being progressive! We’re being Progressive!” It’s just part of their characters and they donnt make a big deal about it. Don’t people know that’s what Facebook is for? https://youtu.be/H_NG1yXT6QY Bryan Cranston as Zordon was brilliant. He does justice to the character while also making this version his own. And despite the limits of his character, you’ll see what I mean when you see it, he even has a character arc and it’s done really well. Bill Hader was great as Alpha 5. It’s very different from either version from from the series'(long story), but Hader just brings so much humor and charm to the roll. And then we come to Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa. Personally, I thought she was fantastic. A lot of people have said that the issue they take with her in this is that she comes across as really over the top and cheesy while the rest of the film is more serious, but I think it actually worked as a nice contrast between the villain and heroes. And like with Cranston and Hader, Banks maintains enough of what makes the character who they are, but does enough different to make it new. And I freakin love her new backstory. I won’t spoil it, but it’s really cool and I hope they go into it a bit more in the sequels or maybe the follow-up graphic novel that’s coming out soon.
Power Rangers is not a flawless movie and I would’ve liked more time with the Rangers in the actual suits, but in the end, it did everything I feel it needed and that I wanted it to. And that’s be a movie that does the show justice, while also modernizing it in a way that can connect with a larger audience and not in a way that’s exploitive. It does drag on, but I had a fun time with it and I’ll definitely check it out again. Power Rangers gets 3.75/5 Power Coins.
I have a lot to say about the sequel, so join me next time for Power Rangers 2: How To Do It.