When I first heard that The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers would be getting a film adaptation, I was a bit apprehensive. Hollywood has had a bit of trouble converting many of the themes and issues brought up in a variety of shows into films that stay loyal to their respective franchises.
Fans on social media have often expressed their dissatisfaction with films not staying true to the origin stories or their inabil;ity to retain much of the character and charm that endeared them to their fans. Power Rangers does not suffer from this dilemma. As someone who watched the series as it first hit American markets in the 1990s, I was unsure of how this story would transfer onto the big screen.
It wasn’t something that I was too personally invested in. It was a series in which I considered myself to be a casual fan understanding the background, characters, and general direction of the show. I wasn’t prepared for what the film version offered.
This adaptation is near perfect in the way that it is able to create a modern, mature version that incorporates many aspects into weaving their story.
The basics of the film are roughly the same as the show: it is based in Angel Grove, there are five teenagers serving the role of rangers whose goal is to save the world, and all the complexities that come with being a superhero who has a “real life.”
One of the more remarkable issues related to the film is how the writers and director are able to be inclusive with their characters without being condescending to their audiences old and new. We get a glimpse of a team that is more colorful and diverse. Where the original crew showed a group of youths of different races, the film version does not stop with race as demonstrating the variety that exists within our world. The film allows for the inclusion of people on the autism spectrum, as well as, allowing for the inclusion of the LGBT community. The film shows audiences that there are people just like them or people that they know in the superhero realm. It is not limited by race, gender, sexual orientation, or cognitive development.
Power Rangers itself is a fun movie with depth. As the film continued, I tried to look for areas to pick it apart and find those pieces that really detracted from the story. The film has its faults in a simply developing storyline, but that goes with the franchise. It isn’t supposed to be complex or overbearing. The humor ranges from sophomoric to sophisticated. The film is accessible to those who are new to the franchise and those who have been watching since its inception. Additionally, it is a superhero movie it is not insulting to its audience. It demonstrates the difficulties that exist with teen life, presents real problems that they have to deal with in contrast to the fantasy that they are living out as part of this team.
The film is beautifully shot and the CGI is nearly seamless (the film is not overly reliant on it, either). The fighting and action sequences are as much a part of the story as the characters themselves. Power Rangers allows for audiences to be entertained visually and comedically. Additionally, it allows for those of us who have not watched or followed the Power Rangers in a while to be a bit nostalgic and look back to when we ourselves could not get home quickly enough for “Morphin’ Time.” The film is updated, mature, and will have fans young and old beaming with delight.
Second Review by Chris Daniels.
Sabin’s Power Rangers 2017 is full of nostalgia, and plot holes.
2017 continues a trend of reboots, where the media seems to recognize that the people spending money, are children of the 80’s and 90’s, and according to them, more nostalgic than previous generations. The amount of reboots and remakes is staggering.
The Power Rangers hit the silver screen again, attempting to recapture the magic with a modern twist, and updated CGI.
Bryan Cranston lends his acting talents as the voice Zordon, while Rita Repulsa won’t repulse you so much.
The origin story begins with 5 teens who mysteriously end up at the same place and time, during Billy’s need to do amateur excavation, and the 5 power coins are found and taken. Over night these teens develop stronger bodies, as they are compelled to return to the site, whereby finding a crashed spaceship from age of dinosaurs.
Simultaneously, the body of Rita Repulsa is being found in the murky depths of the ocean, and the fight for the fate of the planet begins, as the teens attempt to become Power Rangers.
If you are expecting a Sci-Fi adaptation with a bit more science and explanation, you’ll be disappointed. If you just want some fun and nostalgia, you’ll be entertained.
This move has a push-pull struggle with being a movie aimed at adults, versus a movie for kids, which the original power rangers was intended to be. There are some adult jokes, but no harsh language There is sexual suggestions, but no skin or explicit sexual action.
There is a huge element of cheese in the writing, which leaves me wondering what could have been, if the writers were allowed to write an adult-focused sci-fi film. Instead, you have this campy piece of work, but its good for a laugh.
Watching this movie made me long for someone to make a full length feature film out of that 14-minute gritty fan film from a couple years back.
Go in with low expectations, and just have fun with it. There’s just to many gaping plot holes and unexplained circumstances to be taken seriously.
2 of 5 stars.