There are good reboots and then there are bad reboots.
A good reboot comes once in a galactic lifetime and builds upon the source material while doing something new and interesting. A bad reboot is something concocted by producers who just skimmed the Wikipedia page.
Well, I am glad
to say that Power Rangers transcends
the expectations of a reboot and cements itself as a masterpiece of HAHA I'm
just kidding - it's a horrid piece of shit.
Where to start... Well, you know how you would watch a Power Rangers movie to see the Power Rangers? You don't get to see them in their armor for a good three-fourths of this film. What you get instead is three-fourths worth of useless exposition about five teenagers with attitude.
Five teenagers with attitude, indeed. Unlike the hit TV series that it is based on, this movie centers on five punks instead of five well-adjusted role models. Meeting in detention for the very first time, we see the first three members of the team as they expound on their very "difficult" lives.
Jason is a former football player whose career ended up in the toilet because of a leg injury. Kimberly was a queen bee before being abandoned by her so-called "friends". And Billy is an autistic who blew up his lunchbox. They are later joined by Zack (the Asian dude whose mother is suffering from a terminal illness) and Trini (who comes from a very well-adjusted family yet is still troubled because of her sexual orientations). It seems like every Power Ranger needs to have a problem these days.
hooligans eventually stumble on five brightly-colored arcade tokens and become
the superpowered chosen ones of Zordon - a disembodied head of a deceased alien
who looks very much like that guy from Breaking
Despite the fact that they obviously stole the multi-colored Super Mario coins, Zordon bestows upon them the task of defeating Rita Repulsa, and angry old fish lady who seeks a Zeo crystal which powers all life on the planet. It then becomes the rangers' task to prevent Rita, her army of indistinguishable rock Putties, and a very watered-down version of Goldar from getting this crystal; thereby saving the town that doesn't even want them in it.
So why do they want to save it in the first place?
Other than the
fact that they live in it, earlier parts of the film show that the teenagers
can't stand to be in Angel Grove. Case in point: when first coming into contact
with Zordon, the five teens stop at nothing to escape him. Yet after a small
pep talk from an appointed leader none of them really know that well, they
suddenly volunteer to put themselves through rigorous training in order to save
the world. Their individual motivations are nowhere to be found on-screen and
it comes as a surprise that these self-entitled kids deserve their powers at
Not to mention the blatantly obvious plot holes that the movie has. This is most evident in the blackouts the rangers undergo. After getting themselves hit by nothing less than a speeding train, the five unarmored protagonists wake in their rooms without so much as an explanation. They even bring up the topic to each other the following day yet it never gets resolved or mentioned again.
Chalk it up to bad scriptwriting, but the acting in this movie could easily be outdone by a retired mime. The original series' dialogue wasn't going to win it any Emmys in its lifespan, but the fact that this film contains award-winning actors like Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Banks means that it should have at least made use of their talents in the roles they were cast in.
But NOOOOO. In
sticking to an obviously rushed, half-baked script, even Bryan Cranston's
Zordon seems like a whiny, selfish git whose only wish is to return to his
wrinkly old body. That goes without saying that if an Emmy-winning actor cannot
play his role well, then every other cast member's attempts at saving this
movie are as good as a Hail Mary in front of a firing squad.
Now onto the main attraction: the fight scenes.
After spending around an hour and a half wading through a story written by a misunderstood fourteen-year-old, the movie finally allows you to see these adolescents in their color-coded suits as they take on an army of Putties for roughly 15 minutes.
These fight scenes (which are supposed to be the highlight of the film) aren't just short, they are also poorly choreographed and look like they were filmed with a GoPro that was duct taped to a random Putty's left thigh.
In this age of
superhero movies, where Marvel Studios can fit six Avengers on screen and still
make everything understandable, having to decipher the moves of five
brightly-colored figures through a shaky camera is something you should only do
in a poorly-made high school project.
This carries on to the zord sections, which have the Power Rangers controlling their iconic dinosaur theme park rides. Apart from the obviously constructed T-Rex and flying pterodactyl, it's anyone's guess whether the other three prehistoric Transformers are actual robots or pieces of scrap that were glued together with a matching paint job.
And just like
the TV show, the endgame for these five dinosaurs isn't to win alone (that
would be ludicrous), but to combine together into one destructive Autobot that
steals the show by destroying everything in sight.Ã
Morphing into this gigantic humanoid composed of dinosaur parts was the coolest part of each episode, as you got to see each zord twist and contort itself like a yoga instructor to fit in with its other four brethren. But the movie even denies the audience this. After an almost complete absence of the Black Ranger, the five fossilized robots are covered in a shower of explosions and special effects where they spontaneously combust together to transform and roll out.
The movie ends
shortly after they transform and demolish the town they were supposed to save,
and it's no doubt that the film was rushed so that it wouldn't reach Lord of the Rings-like lengths. In
trying to expound so much on the rangers' new whiny backstories, the producers
forgot the reason kids and kids at heart want to watch the movie in the first
place, which is to see a giant robot kick the crap out of a giant monster.
They wanted to portray these rangers in a darker, more apathetic manner but just as easily switch tones like a Chinese knockoff printer.
Unlike the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live action films (this is the only time I will ever use them as a reference) which more or less embrace the campiness of a franchise that stars four turtles and a rat, Power Rangers constantly shifts between "overly gritty" and "downright cheesy". This is a film that seeks to tackle issues like same sex relationships and isolation while at the same time including horrible one-liners and slapstick moments from early 90s cartoons.
So for whom is this movie for?
It can't be for this generation's youth because they haven't undergone puberty yet and cannot relate to the topics discussed. Nor can it be for fans of the original show, since we have all grown up past the point of complaining that the world should revolve around our need for a new phone and a caffeinated drink that is impossible to pronounce. ÃIt tramples all over the source material without regard for the fans who made it famous in the first place. Aside from the nods to names and elements of the TV show, nothing in this movie retains what was good about the franchise.
Power Rangers is bad. Very, very bad. With a plot that is scattered everywhere, actors who play off a horrible script, execution that feels like the cameraman had one eye open, and special effects that were recycled from early 2000s music videos, there is nothing worth watching in this movie.
But hey, you'll watch it anyway, right?
You may think that you owe it to your childhood to see these rangers on the big screen, but the adult you are now will never forgive you for wasting your money and brain cells on something that should never be shown in theaters, much less to children.
There's even a sequel planned, which only makes things worse considering the studio hasn't even bothered to see how audiences will react to the first film.
Maybe a century from now, there will be a good reboot of a show we once loved as kids; one that stays true to what made the original good yet is still relevant in the age it is released in.
Until then, it's morphine time.