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Power Rangers Movie Review

It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline. FatCat Gilbert is the best place to see all of the latest movies released at the box office including the one I’m lucky enough to talk about today! To see all showtimes and to purchase tickets, you can click right HERE!

Go Go Power Rangers! I’m not the biggest Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers fan of all time, but I do know a little bit about the lore. What I can say is that when I was in second grade, I was hospitalized for a week and a half, and I was bored out of my mind. The nurse brought a portable video game in, and that passed most of the time, but I was still losing it sitting in a bed and eating horrible hospital cheeseburgers day after day. Luckily, I found Power Rangers S.P.D. toward the latter part of my stay, and I wasn’t so bored anymore. If I had to pick the two that I actually know about, they would be Power Rangers S.P.D. and Power Rangers Dino Thunder. So as you can tell, I’m not an OG Power Rangers fan. I think I missed the boat by a couple of years, but I was still psyched to see this movie, so let’s talk about it!

Power Rangers is directed by Dean Israelite and stars Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Becky G., Bryan Cranston, Bill Hader, and Elizabeth Banks. Five misfits all come together and find ancient stones that carry secret powers. They slowly learn that by finding these stones they have been selected to be the next group of universe defenders. Through coming together, becoming a team, and forming a singular bond between all five of them, they will be the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and take on Rita Repulsa, the most deadly threat to their city of Angel Grove and the most notorious Ranger-killer or all time.

Realistically, I wasn’t expecting much from this movie. I wasn’t expecting much at all. I know what to expect from Power Rangers, and when transferred to the big screen and given $105 million, it should probably turn into a campy, bloated mess. Well, while I can see some walking out of the theater thinking that, it turns out that Power Rangers is one heck of a fun time. I enjoyed just about every second of this movie, and it will definitely give fans of the television series exactly what they’re looking for. It stays relatively true to the source material while maintaining the joy that the show brought to each and every episode. I actually really enjoyed the story. I loved watching them come together as a whole and become one for the sake of the greater good. There are multiple great character scenes in this film that build up and flesh out all five Rangers, and I cared about all of them. I was worried for all of them, and they all had moments that yanked on my heart-strings, even if it was just a little bit. Even Jason, the typical bad-boy popular high school hero, turned out to be insanely likable, and Dacre Montgomery has an excellent screen presence that makes him an amazing leader for this team. In fact, there were fantastic performances all around. RJ Cyler from Me & Earl & The Dying Girl might have been the stand out, and despite being intentionally uncharismatic, he came off as possibly the most lovable character. Naomi Scott was also very good, and the three of them take the entire first third of the film over as they learn about each other. Ludi Lin is also great, and his character is a ton of fun to watch. Though I thought that Becky G. gave the weakest performance of all five Rangers, I still really liked her in the role, and her hard shell is countered with so many soft layers inside that I couldn’t help but like her. And isn’t that what Power Rangers is all about? It’s about the team coming together to prove that friendship, love, likability, fun, and good can overcome evil. I even actually had a good time seeing the film shift from a coming-of-age superhero version of The Breakfast Club to an action-packed blockbuster. This is exactly what I want from all of my blockbusters made from childhood pleasures. I wish Transformers was like this. In Transformers, we get dumb, unlikable humans who say things that make us hate them. Power Rangers refreshingly had me completely invested in the story and the characters, and I had an absolute blast with it. I thought that Dean Israelite did a great job at the helm giving each piece of the puzzle so much life and care, and I would actually love to see a Power Rangers sequel.

This isn’t a perfect movie by any means. I’m not even sure I’d consider it a great movie. First of all, when you come into a Power Rangers movie, you have to expect a certain level of camp, you have to suspend disbelief, and you have to prepare yourself to lose most rational thought. I had a very easy time with that for the most part. The characters were fleshed out enough that I could put some of the dialogue to the side and just enjoy. However, I couldn’t put it aside when Rita Repulsa was on-screen. Arguably the biggest name with a live action appearance in the film in Elizabeth Banks gave what I think was the worst performance, and I didn’t buy her character. She could have been set in the television series, and she would have fit perfectly. I don’t think I could say the same about the Rangers. Next, it does take a lot from other films. Power Rangers is essentially a combination of so many other films all combined into one to give a 90s television series life and love. Fortunately, it worked in terms of making me care, and I thought the story was great, but there are pieces that are more than just influenced by other films. Finally, it’s a bit too long. At 121 minutes, I feel like I could have seen about 15 less minutes and been perfectly content. I would take all 15 minutes out of the build up because I enjoyed the heck out of the ending too much to remove anything from it. It takes a long time to see all five Rangers fighting together in suits, and I think that could have been sped up.

Overall, Power Rangers is a blast, and it will please any Power Rangers fan out there as well as the average fan of Hollywood blockbusters who likes to invest themselves in a high quality story with fleshed out characters. Every performance in the film is so great, and the team has fantastic chemistry that makes me want to see an entire franchise. If Power Rangers can continue to bring fun, well-directed action to stories with depth, I don’t see any reason why this can’t be an absurdly successful franchise. My main takeaway is that Power Rangers is fun. You have to put your reality glasses away when you come into a Power Rangers movie, and if you can understand that you have probably seen this before, I think the characters, the visuals, and the nostalgia will be enough to take your mind off the world for two hours. It was a bit long, and I couldn’t buy into any scene with Rita Repulsa, but I loved watching this movie. Also, Krispy Kreme must have paid for a good chunk of this film. I’m not kidding when I say that it’s on the same level of the Papa John’s product placement in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It might even be more in your face. It’s still a great time at the theater, and the finale will make you want to stand up and clap. I’m going to give Power Rangers a 7.4/10.

Will you be seeing Power Rangers? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

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Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at movies@pulseradio.fm