Review: Power Rangers (2017)

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I sometimes forget that I used to watch Power Rangers as a kid. Power Rangers Wild Force in fact, with the Lion, Eagle, Bison, Shark, Wolf and Tiger Rangers. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were a bit before my time and so I entered this reboot of the kitsch nineties series with trepidation. Would it be a silly, brainless, infantile film, or an overly-serious and CGI-heavy Christopher-Nolan-style film? I am happy to report that the film is a mix of the two. And I loved it.

Is this film good? Probably not. Is it fun? Most definitely, and this film gracefully leaped over my low expectations into the wonderland of the guilty pleasure film.

The plot is as follows: a group of high-school students, who are infused with unique superpowers, harness their abilities in order to save the world. (Source: IMDB)

I will start with the negatives. For one, the film’s sense of humour is incredibly dopey for the most part. Any 12-rated film which begins with a joke about mistaking a male cow for a female cow (think udders) is one with humour issues.

The product placement in this film is so blatant that it appals me but I kind of love it. When Krispy Kreme is a major plot point, and I mean major, its a real gamble. I’m not sure it pays off. It is incredibly goofy though.

And that’s it for me. This film isn’t perfect; its script can clunk around like a broken car but I spent all of the film engaged and entertained.

The cast of this film excel for the most part. As the Rangers, Dacre Montgomery, RJ Cyler and Naomi Scott are brilliant as the Red, Blue and Pink Rangers. Scott in particular is very impressive. The other two rangers, Black and Yellow, are fine, but they don’t have the same screen time as the main three.

Bryan Cranston and Bill Hader are fun as Zordon, a giant head, and sassy robot Alpha 5. They bring some gravitas and humour to their roles. Elizabeth Banks gives Rita Repulsa, the villain, a lot of presence but her over-acting can get a little bit too much at times.

I was extremely nostalgic when the Zords were revealed and got very excited when the Mega Zord formed up. The film does get a lot funnier as it goes along (watch out for a good Transformers gag) and the action is easy to follow and pretty well shot.

Director Dean Isrealite uses enough creative shot choices and hits all the glorious cliches with panache. Do you want the Rangers walking in a line in slow motion? Check! Do you want a training montage? Check! Do you want the classic theme music wheeled out at a critical point? Check! In this sense, the film is like a much-worse-written version of Creed, with the classic features mixed in with new ones to hugely satisfying effect.

Overall this film was a blast. It probably wouldn’t be the same for someone without the fairly hazy memories of the TV show as I have. I think my grasp on the mythology was just enough to enjoy it without the frenzied attachment to the TV show as hardened fans. This film will sit on my guilty pleasure shelf alongside Welcome to the JungleHarold and Kumar Get The Munchies and The Happening.

On my tombstone it will read: Patrick hated Deadpool, The Matrix and The Dark Knight. But he loved Power Rangers.

Power Rangers is out now in cinemas across the UK. Image source: News.tokunation.com

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Patrick Crellin

Co-editor of Film and TV 2016-17. Please check out more reviews and opinion pieces on my blog- theblogfromanotherworld.wordpress.com

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