Movie Review: Power Rangers Reboot an Obvious Phoney

Movie Review: Power Rangers Reboot an Obvious Phoney

About the Author

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is a thespian and performer who has worked with theatre, film, and TV across Ontario. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville nearly 20 years. Currently, he studies Journalism at Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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Rangers get ready: Saban’s Power Rangers is going to be heavenly for fans of the original Power Rangers TV show that became a phenomenon in the 90s. Unfortunately, everyone else who walks into the theatre is going to leave annoyed, and even worse, bored.

Nostalgia can obviously sell tickets at the box office – last weekend’s Beauty and the Beast proved that. But this new reboot isn’t reminiscent of the show’s kitschy fun. Instead, the story and its characters come across as unbelievably stupid. Some examples of the humour include jokes about drug testing, nude photos, and a cow with an erection.

The most glaring problem with the movie is how unrealistic and impossible all the elements are. The dialogue is insincere, and the high school tropes, while familiar, are painfully predictable. Even the coarse language is stretched as well as inappropriate for this kind of movie.

When I describe the action as “unbelievable”, I mean that literally. What happens on screen is so preposterous there is no audience so shallow they could suspend their disbelief. The stunts are so extreme there’s no way anyone could think teenagers are doing this. (Somehow, the main character survives two graphic car crashes in the first 30 minutes.)

But the phoniest aspect is how so many unlikable (and unspecific) characters could somehow magically be friends with no setup. About two minutes are devoted to the five teenagers meeting before they’re suddenly best friends. They don’t even know each other’s names until halfway through!

Photo credit: Lionsgate.

The plot is first an origin story, and then a similar to any typical episode of the Power Rangers television series. Mainly, five colourful superheroes with super strength and super friendship teaming up to stop a giant monster from destroying the town. This time, the monster is made of liquid gold, and controlled by an alien supervillain named Rita Repulsa.

That alien, by the way, is a nightmare-inducing performance from Elizabeth Banks. And the other adults are equally embarrassing, including an annoying robot (Bill Hader) and a patronizing mentor on a metallic spaceship wall (Bryan Cranston, once a star of the Power Rangers show.)

In fact, the only two actors who give commendable performances are the warm and interesting as RJ Cyler and Becky G, as the blue and yellow rangers respectively. This is the first time a movie has featured an autistic or lesbian superhero, and both of them are more impactful and emotionally stirring than anyone else in the movie.

Watching the film is painful for most of the two hours, the entire first one not even mentioning “Power Rangers” once. The ineffective editing feels sloppy, and the action is slow and lacking. The most creative fight, for instance, is two teenage girls fighting over a Krispy Kreme donut with their forks in the restaurant.

Director Dean Israelite’s (Project Almanac) vision was likely imagining The Breakfast Club if they had giant robots and got drunk in a Toys R Us. For shallow, eye-rolling wannabe action, Power Rangers has you covered. And for the throngs of fans going to see it this weekend? That might be what they’re expecting anyway.

Power Rangers (or Saban’s Power Rangers)
1 out of 4 stars.

PG, 124 minutes. Superhero Fantasy.
Directed by Dean Israelite.
Starring Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Elizabeth Banks, and Bryan Cranston.
Now Playing at Film.Ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill and Cineplex Oakville & VIP.

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