Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Power Rangers: It's Confusion Time!

  The Power Rangers have been morphing and fighting giant monsters since the early 90's. Different themes, different casts, and different villians. The most popular incarnation was still the original. Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Zack, and Trini get the big screen reboot. The Power Rangers have seen the big screen before, but with far less flair and attitude. My problem is the fact that I cannot seem to love or hate this.

 Five misguided teenagers stumble across and alien ship buried beneath their small town of Angel Grove. They discover new powers and learn of an old enemy. Under the guidance of the mythical Zordon, they must find away to unleash the power they have inside before the world as we know it is destroyed.

 The good thing, well mostly good thing, is that everything gets an update. The ranger costumes, Rita, the tone, and overall look. The biggest flaw is that we spend so much time getting to know the cast that we really never get to know the cast. The story tries to be darker and that is fine, but it fails to give us any real emotional connection to anyone in the cast. They put the burden of leadership on Jason (Dacre Montgomery) which doesn't work because anyone who knows the original show, knows that he was a space holder for Tommy. Zack (Ludi Lin) gets a bit of a darker back story, but it gets slightly washed over. Billy (RJ Cyler) is the ranger that seems to connect the most. He is by far the most likeable. Kimberly (Naomi Scott) never really gets clearly defined. She is more that the damsel in distress, but we never see the real depth of her character. Trini (Becky G) is the character that bothered me the most. I feel like she was made gay just for the sake of being gay. I understand what the attempt was, but it is unnecessary and fails to really work.

 Rita ( Elizabeth Banks) gets a much cooler back story, but is really lame when it comes to villains. She has moments of true evil, but her time on screen feels rushed. I think part of the reason is spending too much times failing to develop the ranger's stories. Rita feels like and after thought most of the time despite Bank's best efforts to have fun with the role.

 Alpha 5 is one of the most loved yet annoying characters of the series. Bill Hader gives him a voice and the update is a really good one. He is far less annoying and is anything but the "Jar Jar Binks," of the movie.

 Zordon (Bryan Crantson) is given a much greater back story than the original series gave him. It was darker than expected, but fit the tone of the reboot. I like the effects that they used on him in the ship and making him flawed worked well.

 The update that I liked the least was Goldar. He is very far removed from what fans of the 90's incarnation will remember. If  I had to pick one big flaw of the film, it would be this one. I am not sure that this movie's version of Goldar is any better than Ivan Ooze.

 The Zords are cooler, the story is adequate, the rangers look better, and the movie is not bad. I would be lying if I said I hated the film. I did have fun with it at times and while it is not the greatest, I expected much worse. Tommy Oliver fans will be happy with the mid credit scene. We don't get Bulk and Skull, hip hop kido, or Lord Zedd. We do get a Jason David Frank and Amy Jo Johnson cameo and a film that resembles the franchise that millions loved. I guess it was almost morphin time!

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