WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
Y’know, going back and watching the original Power Rangers television show, I’ve gotta admit, it’s terrible. The acting is horrible, like really REALLY bad! The action’s cool still, but man is it bad when I think about it now. But hey, it’s a childhood favourite and when we were all little, we liked terrible stuff because we didn’t know any better. Plop enough action and explosions and we’ll think it’s the coolest thing ever.
I’ll admit that when it was first announced that a Power Rangers remake film was in the works, I was so adamantly opposed to the idea that you wouldn’t have caught me dead watching it unless it was paraded as one of the best action films we’d see all year. I’ve had enough childhood loves ruined by Hollywood, why throw another one onto that list? Then I remembered that I have a blog page I write on, so why wouldn’t I go watch a movie that’ll likely piss me off to the point I’ll be writing for a couple thousand words just how shattered the remainder of my childhood memories are.
So the big question is did the new Power Rangers film further shatter my childhood memories? The short answer, is yes. The long answer is while they did ruin my childhood, I still left the theater without wanting to punch a wall. But I did want Krispy Kreme…
The film starts off with a dick joke. I’m not even kidding. It starts off really establishing it’s light-hearted nature, then goes to mature and dark before we really start the Power Rangers story. The backstories of all the Rangers are actually well thought out and well written. Everyone comes off as a troubled teenager, but not in a cliche way, you don’t feel like any of these five are half-assed. In the early stages, the movie delves perhaps a little too far into a The Breakfast Club kind of look to it, but it manages to stay funny enough that it doesn’t quite take you out of it. Once the five gather and find the power coins however, that’s when things start to turn.
At times, the journey to finding the coins and eventually Zordon and Alpha-5 almost comes off like a thriller, even horror movie (especially when Rita’s recovered). I watched a kid next to us get legitimately scared by these moments. Once the reveal of our favourite robot (who I wish didn’t look like he had a beer gut) and face on the wall comes, the film then turns itself into your typical light-hearted action movie with training montages a’plenty and chalk full of our heroes getting smacked around.
From here on out, I’m going to be lighter on the spoilers. If you’ve seen the movie or don’t care enough to watch the movie but want to know what went on, click here for the spoilers post.
Once their training starts, the movie admittedly does a really horrible thing here: It doesn’t start the fighting. One massive problem with this film as a whole, is that the film is so light on action it’s like the writers, while they definitely cared about this product, they didn’t care enough to get rid of the usual Hollywod bullshit with first films, which is heavy on story, light on action. This film desperately needed a first round or maybe even a second round with the Putties, not to mention having other monsters in there as well. You pretty much get it all in the last 15 minutes, not enough time to really settle in and get the best that the Power Rangers series has to offer…it’s fighting. The series was always more about martial arts fights and over-the-top monsters and robot fights. In this movie, you’re limited to at best 20% of the film and I’m being generous with that number.
In terms of the characters, none of the main cast I have a single problem with. The five Rangers were all fantastic, Billy being the easy standout of the group, Jason oddly enough might have been the weakest. Bill Hader’s Alpha-5 actually was a good listen, though again I hate the chubby doll look and Bryan Cranston’s Zordon was very good as well. Hell, I was worried that Rita Repulsa due to her new look would’ve been horrible, but Elizabeth Banks really held it together and even played the old role well, with the cackling and the “GROOOOOOOOOOW!!!” screams absolutely perfect. The cast was not the problem, that’s for sure.
What was definitely the problem was the designs. The CG is passable, but let’s be honest, the suits are too Iron Man-like, the helmets are more than fine, but the overall armor just doesn’t work for me, something just looks off about it. Goldar is an absolute joke, taking a beloved villain and turning him into a growling dripping piece of gold just mystifies me to no end. Lastly, how the bloody hell did these people think that turning the Putties into hulking rock monsters was a good idea?! Explain to me how human beings punching rocks looks good?! There are so many design flaws in this film and it really hurts it.
The worst of all though is how the film takes shots at the Transformers films, like its shit doesn’t stink. Especially when your film in the second half was a walking Krispy Kreme commercial, you don’t get to act high and mighty here. The film acts like it’s better than others and it really does come off that way at times and it’s really frustrating given the care that was clearly taken with the writing of this film.
In the end, I didn’t leave the movie theater all that upset, I wasn’t pissed off, I wasn’t frustrated, I wasn’t visibly mad in any way. But in the back of my mind, I was extremely disappointed. After leaving the theater, I felt good, like I hadn’t wasted my time. But then as I thought about it more, I recalled just how many things were done so very wrong. The film itself is a good watch and if this film was an original, never done before, this would’ve ranked so much higher. But because they took a popular license and proceeded to ignore key fundamentals of what made it so popular in the first place, I can’t ignore it. The film is good, the series has promise, but the execution was poor.
So what did you think of the film? Post your thoughts in the comments below, but try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, post those in the spoiler article!