Power Rangers (2017)
Starring: Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Becky G., Elizabeth Banks, Bryan Cranston, Bill Hader
Directed by: Dean Israelite
Written by: John Gatins
Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 2 hr 4 min.
This honestly felt like a product of the 80’s, a wannabe Flight of the Navigator crossed with The Last Starfighter. Only they added modern day cynicism and identity politics, and totally forgot that this was supposed to be a silly action adventure film with clear cut good vs. evil drama, martial arts, and big robots. Kids entertainment.
Not that assembling a diverse group of heroes to fight off the bad guys is a terrible idea, it just shouldn’t feel like the entire point of this film. It’s not something that needs to be spelled out and shoved down the viewers throat. By trying to be more than it needed to be, this 2017 addition to the Power Rangers universe only becomes a Rangers movie during the big showy finale.
Before we get to that, we’re treated to a clumsily assembled opening act, where the film struggles to establish a tone, or deliver characters with a clear angst. The dialogue doesn’t ring true for these characters either. The initial assemblage of our heroes also lacks the kind of proper character development to establish why everyone is where they are or why they do what they do. Important pieces of information we should have had during act one are dropped in at weird random moments during the film, often when you’re wondering when the action is finally going to start.
Keep your expectations low. This doesn’t explain enough to newbies and doesn’t really deliver what fans of the series have come to expect.
The finale wasn’t awful and the chemistry between the main cast works for the most part. Elizabeth Banks is also a highlight as she hams up her performance.