It’s Morphin’ Time!

Power Rangers 2017 Movie Review

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MacArthur High School student Zach Cheyney

 

While the original Power Rangers show was known for its goofily scripted action sequences, weak special effects, and overall campiness, the latest film tries to gives the series a more mature tone, with modern takes on characters and darker plot threads.

All the main characters from the original series, apart from comedic relief elements Bulk and Skull (who are absent in the film), have been redesigned for this newest generation of rangers.

The opening scenes of the movie feel a bit forced. Without going into too much detail, it provides backstory for the main character, Jason, in a different way then the other rangers. While most of the characters have their histories told to the audience, Jason’s is shown. This feels awkward, as the film is trying to put more emphasis on one character in a movie about a teamwork.

Before that, the movie doesn’t feel like a Power Rangers movie. The awkward collection of teen angst is more reminiscent of Breakfast Club than the original rangers. Admittedly, it is hard to translate the show into a feature length movie. A 30 minute episode of power rangers typically consists of 10 minutes of story, and 20 minutes of fighting. A 1 to 2 ratio like that does not translate well into a 2 hour movie.

Instead, they dedicate two-thirds of the movie to character development and story, and only in the last 45 or so minutes do we see the giant battles that Power Rangers is known for. This mix is OK, although the final action sequence is the only part that really feels like Power Rangers.

The only character who truly embraces the goofiness of the series is Elizabeth Banks’ character, Rita Repulsa. This darker, more sinister portrayal of the character is a perfect example of what these roles could have been: A character who has the fun of the original show, but with more realistic and relatable character traits.

Despite its flaws, the movie manages to be enjoyable. There are plenty of references to the original show without the feeling of pandering to the fans. And even though the film feels slow, the training sequences that make up the second act are a good way to break up the pace and is enjoyable at points.

And the ending? For those who grew up on Power Rangers, the ending will almost definitely be worth the price of a ticket.

If you weren’t a fan of the Power Rangers TV show, I would not recommend the movie. The execution is poor at parts, and there are rampant inconsistencies in the film’s focus. But if you grew up watching the show and are looking for a nostalgia trip, I can not recommend this movie enough, purely for the rush you feel towards the movie’s end.

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