Reliving childhood memories can be one of the greatest feelings ever, especially when it comes in movie form. For me, Power Rangers is exactly that, a part of my childhood that I remember vividly. As someone who grew up with Power Rangers, I was extremely excited for this movie. It was a mixture of nostalgia and anticipation for a new take on this series. Of course, I knew kind of what to expect, but I had my expectations and they were met with flying colors.
Power Rangers is directed by Dean Israelite and stars Dacre Montgomery, RJ Cyler, Naomi Scott, Ludi Lin, Becky G, Elizabeth Banks, Bryan Cranston, and Bill Hader. It tells the story of five teenage kids who are chosen to take the mantle of Power Rangers. They must learn to stand together and fight to defend Angel Grove from the monstrous Rite Repulsa.
Right off the bat, it has to be said that Power Rangers is not the greatest movie in the world, however, for someone who is a fan of the series, it was absolutely amazing. The things I got from Power Rangers were the things I wanted to see; relatable and great characters, fun action, building up a franchise, and an overall great time at the theater.
Starting with the directing, Dean Israelite was behind this version of the Power Rangers. Clearly, his vision was to update the classic series and make it something for both kids who will become fans of the new Rangers and old fans who could appreciate the new feel as well. He was successful in doing so and was able to create an amazing new group of Rangers that will be remembered for a long time. Israelite was an excellent pick to direct this movie after he showed he could tell fun movies revolving around teenagers with his feature debut, Project Almanac, which I enjoyed very much. I applaud him for being able to retell something near and dear to my heart and make me extremely happy with the result.
A big reason why I was so thrilled with how this movie turned out was due to the characters, the Rangers themselves. As a fan of the original series, it was clear that the Rangers actually needed some attitude and these new ones sure had some. Jason (Dacre Montgomery) is the Red Ranger and the leader of the team. He is the captain of the football team and everyone knows him around town, but with that fame, there is a certain way people think of him, and that is not how he is at all. For his first big movie role, Dacre showed that he has talent. Other than having a strange American accent during some moments, his performance made me buy into his character completely. There are big things to come for this Australian actor, and it is clear as he will appear in season 2 of Stranger Things. Zack (Ludi Lin) the black ranger, is the reckless bad boy who is down to do relatively anything. He is head strong, so much so it leads him into trouble at times, but deep down he is that way for a reason. Like Dacre, Ludi Lin was a relative unknown and proved he has some acting talent. I was pleasantly surprised with his ability to portray this character and make it his own. Trini (Becky G) the yellow ranger is the odd one out of the group. She feels isolated from the rest of the world which is why she struggles to be around people. For her first movie role, Becky G really surprised me with how well she handled herself. She was the one person I was most worried about going into the movie, but after seeing her, I can say she did a solid job. Kimberly (Noami Scott) the pink ranger, was the least developed ranger in my eyes. Noami Scott was a badass and her performance was really good, however, the way her character was written was the least impactful of all the rangers. The best written and most impactful ranger was Billy (RJ Cyler), the blue ranger. It was so easy to fall in love with the character of Billy and his mannerisms, and the performance RJ gave was the best in the whole movie. He was the ranger I was most looking forward to seeing as I knew he had a lot of talent coming off of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. He definitely delivered, making me even more excited to see what he does in the future. Elizabeth Banks plays Rita Repulsa, the villain in the film, which sadly is one of the weak points of the movie. The performance Banks gives is not bad, but didn’t belong in this particular movie. I felt this interpretation of Rita was a lot more cartoony than I would have liked to see and had very poorly explained motivations. That being said at times she felt extremely menacing, but overall was a pretty weak villain.
For what it was, Power Rangers was an extremely fun time and knew what it was. Yes, it did try to cater to an older kind of audience and its successful in doing so, while also holding some of the original flair that young kids could enjoy. The action, while limited, is very exciting and full of energy and I loved watching it unfold. For a Power Rangers movie, the script was actually much better than anticipated. Not a lot of poor dialogue or unnecessary jokes or cringe-worthy lines. The Rangers themselves were given material that was very believable for their respective characters and the overarching story was told with consistency.
This is by no stretch of the imagination a masterpiece or an all-time classic superhero movie, however, for what the property is, this movie is more than I expected. Rebooting Power Rangers was something I wanted to see, but scared about the end result, but scared no more. This hits all the right beats for both a fan of the original and someone wanting to see a fun movie.