It’s Morphin’ Time!
What this morphed into exactly I’m still trying to figure out.
Hours after this film’s emergence into my life I tried to view it differently from my initial reaction, which wasn’t good, at all. Is this fan service? Is that why I hated this movie? Is it just not meant for me? I don’t really know. Part of me says yes, the other would like to point out errors that can not be misconstrued as fan service. Things like pacing issues, tone issues, acting issues and so on, I’ll get to all that shortly.
I grew up in the 90’s, I LOVED the Power Rangers. I dressed as the Red Ranger for at least three Halloweens. I know what this show is, was, and should be. While I commend them on their attempt at a big screen adaptation, the final product left entirely too much to be desired. A major problem I have with this film is the tone; is it serious, campy, or both? And if it’s both how do you balance two completely different approaches in a believable manner? The answer is you don’t. You pick one or the other and stick with it. The flip flop like a dying a fish approach makes you head-scratch in confusion and eliminates any chance of taking this seriously. Seriously even in a fun way, if that makes any sense.
The pacing issues; at times it rushes, others, it drags like a dead limb. One minute these are angsty teens hell-bent on defying all authority and the next they’re Power Rangers! Sort of, almost, at about the 90-minute mark. It rushes us into this realm of world-protecting warriors and world-destroying villains and then comes to a sudden halt in order to show just how human, how flawed our heroes really are. And this is fine, I love fleshed-out characters but the suits don’t appear until almost 90 minutes into the film. Now this can be seen as the bad-ass moment our heroes finally come together to open a can of whoop-ass but instead brings us to the most tonally imbalanced part of the film, the third act. To sum up the difference in tone, I will describe two scenes. This may be seen as a spoiler so fair warning. Both scenes are in the third act.
In one scene, the villain has the Rangers tied up trying to extract information from them. Once the information is given, the villain then decides she’s just not evil enough and drowns one of the Rangers. Drowns, tied up, in the water, painfully suffocating. Drowning. Scene two: Approximately twenty minutes later we see the Rangers assembled and in pursuit of their target, Rita Repulsa. Then, this happens… as the heroes leave their lair in their giant robot dinosaurs, the 90’s era Power Rangers theme song begins to blast us all to the past in all its ridiculous glory. From murder by drowning to Saturday morning theme songs, I can’t tell you what they were going for here. Homage is one thing, this is something else entirely.
Aaand to the acting. Sorry, “acting.”
While almost none of these new comers are what one might call awful, there is one particular actor that puts forth a razzie worthy performance. And I promise I’m not the only one who noticed. The Black Ranger, the Asian character playing the Black Ranger, to be specific, is cringeworthy bad in a movie that quite frankly didn’t demand a whole lot in the talent department. They needed to be attractive young people who are willing to hang from wires for stunts. Deliver the lines and move on, but not him, not our Black Ranger. No, instead he decided to make the audience look away from the screen out of embarrassment. I don’t mean to hurt feelings here, I just have to be honest, and honesty dictates I tell of this poor attempt at acting. The rest of this cast is fine, nothing noteworthy, just fine. It says a lot when the best acting is from a man playing a talking wall. I know it’s Bryan Cranston but still, he’s a wall and he’s the best, most sincere part of this film.
So is this fan service? Nearly 90 minutes until we see actual Ranger action. Gritty origin story? 90’s era theme song shaking the theater. Dramatic, exaggerated look at the struggles of teenage youth? Acting that can be described as mediocre at best, CW channel at worst, or best depending on how you look at it.
Power Rangers may not be for me, but putting aside possible fan service, there is too much here, fan or not, to be able to call this good. I was glad when it was over and a sequel sounds like shit (Just learned there are five more planned. Kill me.) If you’re a fan, current, not past, then you will probably find the positives in this mess of a movie. If you were once but no longer a Ranger, steer clear, nostalgia will not save you! Oh and dick jokes…
Rated PG-13 For: sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, language, and for some crude humor
Runtime: 124 minutes
After Credits Scene: Mid credits, yes.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-fi
Starring: Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Becky G, Elizabeth Banks, Bryan Cranston, Bill Hader
Directed By: Dean Israelite
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 2/ Acting: 2.5/ Directing: 3/ Visuals: 2.5
OVERALL: 2 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: No
Check out the trailer below:
Looking for another opinion? Check out Brandon’s video review:
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