When the small town of Angel Grove is attacked by the evil sorceress Rita Repulsa there is only one team that can stop her, The Power Rangers. The newest Hollywood reboot of some old show or movie people loved 20 years ago, has arrived. It is the new film Power Rangers directed by Dean Israelite (Project Almanac), it is a modern rendition of the classic story about five teenagers who find stones that give them super powers and eventually make them the Power Rangers. It stars Bryan Cranston as Zordon, Bill Hader as Alpha 5, Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa, and the five new rangers who I will discuss later. The last time the Power Rangers were on the big screen was two decades ago and I was a small child. I remember watching the original movies as a kid and loving the show that was always good for a cheesy and campy laugh. Unlike the classic show, this new reimaging is a more gritty and serious story.
The new film is a great love letter to the old movies and shows but makes enough changes to actually be a semi-serious movie. Elizabeth Banks helps to bring in the cheesy aspects of the old classics while the new rangers help to build the more grounded and serious universe. Banks’ portrayal of Repulsa was very welcome and she did a great job not to come off too over the top but also not take everything so seriously that it lost all of the originals cheesiness. Cranston and Hader both do great respectively as the leader of the rangers Zordon and the trusty robot sidekick Alpha 5. The rangers themselves are where things begin to get somewhat dicey. The acting by the rangers is for the most part good with only a few scenes falling short. The writing is what hurts their characters. The Red (Dacre Montgomery) and Yellow (Becky G.) rangers both have very cliché backstory that we have seen in movies about teenagers time and time again. The Pick ranger (Naomi Scott) has a very whiny backstory that is also cliché. The Black ranger (Ludi Lin) actually is given a story that makes the audience care about him and root for him to succeed. However, just like the old shows and movies the Blue ranger (RJ Cyler) is still my favorite. He has the most in-depth and original backstory of all of the rangers and was easily my favorite part of the film.
The film has surprisingly good pacing, for the amount of time it takes for the rangers to actually get their armor. The chemistry between all of the rangers was clearly present and helped the film be more believable when it came to them working as a team. A quiet campfire scene involving the new rangers was one of my favorite scenes in the whole film. The one thing everyone wants to know about though is the action. It is decent as a whole but the big fight that takes place is less than spectacular due to the heavy use of CGI. The putties from the original show are the minions in this as well but rather than being people in makeup they are full CGI creatures. It is understandable but I would have liked to see some more hand to hand combat with real enemies. The old shows may have been cheesy and looked really fake, but they actually had decent choreography and that was the one big thing missing in this film. The big zord fight at the end was okay, but still lacked the emotion that was present in earlier fight scenes.
Overall, Power Rangers was a nice return to Angel Grove that warmed my heart with nostalgia. It was not perfect but was an enjoyable ride and I recommend it to anyone that is or was a Power Rangers fan and anyone who likes action films.
If you would like to see a video review you can watch that here: