Monday, July 3, 2017

The Strange Review: Power Rangers

This was one of those movies that once announced was immediately polarizing. Ever since the fan-made "Power/Rangers" that was polarizing and showed a gritty, rated R version of the Power Rangers, a "Power Rangers" movie has been on the books for awhile. Initial buzz was minimal just speculating on whether or not this would be it's own original story or a reboot. Over time it was announced that it would be a full on reboot with Jason, Billy, Trini, Kimberly & Zack once again becoming the Power Rangers. Casting was announced with long time Power Rangers alumni Bryan Cranston (who voiced many Power Ranger villains) taking on the role of Zordon, Bill Hader as Alpha 5 and costume/make up queen Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa. With a good cast and a decent trailer, how was this new fully American take on the Power Rangers?

This movie was much better than it had any business being. I'm a huge "Power Rangers" mark so my initial reaction to the trailer and images were tentatively positive. As I said before this could either be really good or really bad and shockingly enough it was quite good, once again better than it had any business being. But I shouldn't have been surprised, Dean Israelite has handled stuff like this before in "Project Almanac" so having him at the helm gave me some confidence and it was well earned. So for a none spoiler review of this film, I give it a B, the characters were likable, and while everything moved pretty quickly, it wasn't so fast that it gave you whiplash. The acting was good, even scenery chewing Elizabeth Banks was perfect as Rita (and honestly with a name like Rita Repulsa it's almost expected). I had a good time with this movie albiet a few problems. That's a non-spoiler review, for a spoiler review go ahead and click after the break!

So spoilers, while I enjoyed the filmed I did have one problem but let's talk about some good things. I love the fact that the rangers have to move as a unit to control the Megazord, I love that their armor is inside of them and I love that it almost looks like skin/scales. I like that the command center is actually a spaceship. While initial images of Alpha 5 didn't work for me, seeing him in action did take the edge off and make him work. Trini is my main concern, all of the rangers had personal problems and backstories with the exception of Billy who was just an all around great guy and generally pure of heart. Jason is a high school jock who was caught by the police in a prank gone wrong, crashed his car (in an excellent sequence) banged up his knee and is no longer able to play football, losing any potential scholarships he may have had. But overall Jason is a genuinely nice guy, coming to Billy's defense and attempting to save Kimberly when it looked as if she drowned.

Zack loves his Mom who may die at any point and he's afraid of losing her. Kimberly was involved in cyber bullying a girl which she deeply regrets, however Trini's main problem is that she's a lesbian and her parents don't know. There is a moment in the film where after Trini truthfully tells her parents about where she's been her mother orders her to pee in a cup. Trini has never mentioned a history of drugs or anything, and it'd be interesting if she got held back because she was in juvie for having sold marijauna or something similar. Also she's shown to have legitimate fighting ability unlike every other character. Would it not have been more interesting if Trini assaulted someone for calling her a "fag" or for what was spray painted on her locker in the trailer (frankly I wouldn't be surprised if that wasn't a deleted scene).

Trini came off as needlessly angsty constantly running away from the others knowing full well she had super human abilities and yet her angst drove her away. It was tiring and annoying and it was a drain of her development. None of the characters needed development outside of Trini (who really didn't). Jason was just a guy who made a stupid mistake, Kimberly couldn't really correct her mistake and Zack just found new friends...I guess Trini's whole thing was that she finally made friends. That aside Goldar is another pressing issue for me. Why did Rita need Goldar exactly? Rita had incredible power, was she not able to dig for the Zeo crystal herself? Also did she not have access to The Dragon Zord? And why does her armor look different? Does it alter it'self based on the needs of the combatant? Because in the beginning Rita was wearing the full on legit armor like every other ranger.

So obviously Lord Zedd is next up to bat as he is the ONLY Non-Sentai creation to appear in Power Rangers and I can only imagine how they're gonna make him look. His appearance is already startling in the main series, putting him here and watch out. Also will they be using the Zeo Crystals to activate their Zeo Powers? Will Tommy show up as the Green Ranger with The Dragon Zord? Will it be a Dragon Zord (seeing as how Dragons aren't real and in this continuity the zords took the form of the strongest beings on the planet). So, so many questions. But as it stands "Power Rangers" as a purely American version of the concept was well done and I'm looking forward to seeing more of this alternate Power Rangers universe. That'll do it for me, I'll catch you guys later!

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