Hey gang, Valkor here. Back in the 90s, when the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" first aired, I would have thought the series would last two, maybe three seasons at best. But here we are 24 years later and the franchise is still going strong. With two feature-films and a buttload of video games, toys, and related items under its belt, there ain’t no getting off this Power Ranger train we’re on. So, in celebration of the series, the powers of Saban and Lionsgate went back to the show’s roots, to kickstart a new feature-film franchise starring the original characters that started it all, with a film simply titled “Power Rangers”. And it’s about to be on! Expect spoilers!
“Power Rangers” focuses on the exploits of Jason (Dacre Montgomery), Kimberly (Naomi Scott), Billy (RJ Cyler), Zack (Ludi Lin) and Trini (Becky G.), who can best be described as (and to steal a line from the original Zordon) “a group of teenagers with attitudes”. They each bring to the table an issue that makes them misfits, standing out amongst their peers. But it’s also their differences that'll bring them closer together as a team. And it all starts when Jason offers to help Billy on an expedition at a rock quarry, with Trini, Zack, and Kimberly in the vicinity, they suddenly find themselves together and near a glass wall where they spot different colored coins. After freeing them from their glass prison, they suddenly find themselves back at home with newfound strength and abilities and each holding one of the coins they’ve unearthed. They realize that their powers must be linked to the rock quarry, so they go back to investigate. Once there they find a ship, with a robotic being running security named “Alpha 5” (voiced by Bill Hader). Alpha asks the rangers to each stand on a spot so that Zordon (Brian Cranston) can be activated. Zordon informs the new rangers that they must use come together and work as a team to protect a Zeo crystal from the likes of Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks). But for the new found rangers, coming together as a team is easier said than done.
This takes us back to the beginning of the film, which also takes us back to the past – some 65 million years into the past; see Zordon was once a ranger as well as Rita, but she turned evil. And in an attempt to defend the earth from Rita’s destruction, Zordon gave his life to ensure earth’s safety. In doing so he also took out Rita. Fast-forward to the present day, now that Zordon is awake; Rita’s awakening isn’t too far behind. And once she awakens, she’ll raise her mighty beast Goldar to seek out the crystal to once again begin her reign of terror throughout the galaxy. Can the rangers come together as a team to stop Rita and Goldar and ultimately save the universe? Of course, they do! But you’ll have to watch the film to find out how. Then again, if you’re familiar with the series, then you already know.
And don’t forget to stay for the mid-credits scene that introduces the Green Ranger into the next film. Plus, there are plenty of easter eggs and cameos to point out. My favorite was the inclusion of “Power Ranger Orchestra” (from the first film), which I had hoped would make it into the film and used as the main theme. It gets tossed in more towards the end, so I don’t have any complaints. But I hope it's more prominent in the next film. But ultimately I was just happy it was there!
Initially, I wasn’t hyped about this new version of “Power Rangers”, especially from the early trailers. It looked to have a darker tone than the bright and campy original series and I wasn't feeling it. Also, it didn’t look as though it’d be as much fun as the original “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” movie or Even “Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie” for that matter. But after seeing the film in its entirety, I have to say “Power Rangers” was simply amazing and very entertaining! It was a lot more fun than the trailers made it out to be, filled with all the campy humor and action that the original series and film were famous for. Actually, it’s when the rangers are in full armor and battling the Putty that you’re truly taken back to the 90s. The story works well, though it does get dicey at times. For instance, it feels forced as the film attempts to gather the rangers together at any given moment. A prime example would be the very first time they all meet at the rock quarry. I felt it was all too coincidental. But I get where things needed to go, so it didn't bother me as much. The pacing was nice and each ranger is given a decent amount of screen time to get their story across. While the plot was just “OK”, it’s all about the action and it’s here where the film does not disappoint! The fight scenes were amazing, the Zord battles were fun, and the Megazord battle was simply bad ass! Now with the acting, everyone did a great job. But I gotta give props to RJ Cyler and Ludi Lin who bring in all the fun. The two were just hilarious throughout! I must also give props also to Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa, who hammed it up nicely. Plus, her version of Rita would make the TV version run away in terror. Finally, Bryan Cranston as Zordon was a wise choice and his version of Zordon is what I would expect from a 21st-century update of the character. In the end, Power Rangers is everything older fans and even newer ones would come to expect – a solid story with loads of action and comedy that’s an all-around good time!
OK, I have a couple of gripes with the film; first up, how is it that when the rangers finally got to pilot their Zords, there was no interaction with them and Alpha 5 in how to ride the things? Is it something like the force and their connection to the coins sort of gives them instructions that make them natural Zord pilots? Naaaah! Finally, that “The Power” remix – just… ugh!! Should’ve stuck with the original by SNAP, because the new version sucks!
“Power Rangers” is still making the theatrical rounds and if you’re looking for a good time before the home release, whether you’re a fan of the show or not, definitely check this one out as it will not disappoint. But especially if you’re a fan; do yourself a favor and don’t pass this one up as there’s so much to love about this new Ranger film! So, out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving Power Rangers a solid 4.