There aren’t a lot of movies I fanboy-out about. Films I get really excited for these days are usually sequels to films I’m already a fan of. I didn’t really grow up on superheroes and most of the stuff I was into as a child aired on Nickelodeon and won’t get turned into big budget film franchises. Besides maybe Star Wars and Goosebumps, Power Rangers is the one thing from my childhood that has that potential.
So as you can tell, I was really anticipating this new Power Rangers movie. I went in with moderate expectations, but high hopes. I know what Power Rangers was like when I was a kid. The action was very basic, the acting was abysmal, and the dialogue was cheesy. If there was any hope for a large scale comeback of Power Rangers, this movie had to be entertaining if nothing else.
And it is! The entire movie is nonstop fun. And not only for fans of the original series. Since the film is an origins story, it will bring new fans on board as well.
The movie hearkens back to the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series, but feels different at the same time. It doesn’t spend too much time trying to give us everything fans want (I’m sure it will all come in time), but it’s not without a few nice surprises either.
Power Rangers takes place in the fictional Angel Grove, where a group of misfit teens unearth magical coins that give them superpowers. Along with these newfound powers come a quick responsibility to stop the evil villain, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks), from destroying the Earth.
Rita is creepy, but it’s more than just the way she looks and her raspy voice. You feel her anger–even if you’re not quite sure what’s fueling it yet. You’re genuinely afraid of her. This, in part, has to do with Banks’ performance. She could have easily phoned it in and let the makeup and effects do all the work, but she fully commits to her villainous persona. One of her rare good performances.
The movie is both fun and funny, with the humor scattered evenly throughout, and for the most part, surprisingly well-timed. The action scenes never drag on for too long and they avoid certain cliches when possible. For instance, a 3 to 4 minute training sequence, which would have normally felt routine and boring, instead has enough content to hold our interest the entire time.
But this is Power Rangers, so it’s not without some corniness and below-par acting–although it’s a huge step up from the original source material.
The main slip-up is the camerawork. At some points we get genuinely dizzy, as though certain creative ideas were used for the amusement of the filmmakers rather than for adding to the quality of the movie as a whole. There’s an obvious overuse of slow motion shots, even early on, so that by the time it finally makes sense for there to be slow motion, it already feels overused.
However, these are minor quibbles amidst a very engaging and entertaining movie. I can’t wait for what’s in store for the next film!