So in this darker, angstier version of the classic live action anime series from the 90’s, 5 teens (Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Trini & Zach) end up discovering a spaceship buried near their hometown of Angel Grove. After discovering the existence of the former alien turned AI Zordon as well as butler robot Alpha 5, the teens discover that they must become the next generation of Power Rangers, armored heroes who must hold down the front line against Rita Repulsa, who seeks their planet’s Zeo Crystal in order to conquer the world!
So this movie sucked. There’s just no way to get around it but man does this movie suck. You want to talk about checking off all of the pandering to millennials check boxes, let’s go through them. An overall dark and colorless setting? Check. Characters so bland, boring and pretty they may as well be stock characters from the last 5 YA films that have been released in the last 6 years? Check. Dialogue that is so chunky and unsubtle you’d swear a 5 year old had written it? Check. Enough CGI to attempt to cover for mediocre storytelling? Check, check and check.
Now I know that diehard fans of this series are going to flock to see this movie, but here is a warning for all of those fans that are going to allow this movie to make over a billion dollars worldwide at the box office: this is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING like the Power Rangers you grew up with. The 90’s Power Rangers TV series, despite its many flaws, was at the very least 100% self aware of what it was: a fun, dumb really low budget Saturday morning live action cartoon that made the best of its very cheap costume design and as much Japanese Kaiju stock footage as they possibly could. This film is so unnecessarily dark, depressing and moody that at times I had to remind myself that this was the Power Rangers remake and not the millennial emo crusade.
The acting was substandard, kind of like this movie. The one thing that I can say that I actually mildly enjoyed was the chemistry between the 5 teens. Dacre Montgomery, RJ Cyler, Naomi Scott, Becky G and Ludi Lin, despite some of the worst dialogue I’ve ever heard and some laughable effects, were absolutely enjoyable to watch onscreen. I’ve seen a bunch of interviews with these guys going as far back as comic con, and I can tell that these guys had an absolute blast working together, and it shows every second onscreen. In terms of actual performances however, the only ones who I got the sense were actually trying to play fully fleshed out characters (trying being the key word here), were RJ & Dacre. Naomi Scott was clearly only hired because of her looks, her character’s motivation was laughable at best, while Becky G’s explanation for her character being a lesbian was one of the most horribly written sentences I’ve ever heard. Also, the other thing that really annoyed me about this movie was the fact that it prides itself on being the first superhero movie to have autistic, lesbian and bilingual superheroes. Well good for you! Now next time, try to make a good movie before worrying about how much you’ll be remembered for changing the game when it comes to how superheroes are personified onscreen.
Bryan Cranston & Bill Hader were both completely wasted as Zordon and Alpha 5, but at least they both got easy paychecks for it. Elizabeth Banks however, as Rita Repulsa, was easily the worst thing I’ve seen onscreen since The Last Airbender. She was overacting to the point of annoyance and beyond, every single one of her lines was laughable, and she made the chick from Mortal Kombat look like she deserved a freakin’ Academy Award. Hands down one of the most laughable performances I’ve seen in a while.
The worst part about this movie is that it couldn’t even deliver on the action because the CGI was horrific. While i should have been at the very least entertained by the Zords punching a massive horrific looking Goldar in the face, I was so distracted by the fact that this was probably the worst CGI I’ve seen onscreen in a very long time. Forget the fact that the MUTOS in Godzilla had more distinct features than Goldar did, when the Megazord finally assembled in order to fight Goldar, I got the equivalent of Pacific Rim if it had been kneed in the balls and given a shot of shrinking fluid. Not good.
A film that was so desperate to capitalize on yet another beloved 90’s product and to no one’s surprise failed miserably. What was once a fun, dumb and extremely colorful Saturday morning action fest has been transformed into a dull, boring, unnecessarily angsty, colorless pile with just the right amount of overacting and Easter eggs to get all of your guys’ money. Please don’t see this movie, I promise you, not worth the price of admission.
This movie also had a piece of product placement that hands down beats out all of the Transformers movies combined. Just saying.