REVIEW: Power Rangers (2017)

Theatrical Release Poster – Lionsgate; Saban Films

The following is a review of Saban’s Power Rangers – Directed by Dean Israelite.

Dean Israelite’s Power Rangers is based on the 1990s superhero franchise of the same name. The film follows four High School students who each find a special power coin while running into each other one night.

The kids figure out that these coins have granted them superhuman abilities, and soon they discover an ancient spaceship wherein they’re informed that they must team up as ‘power rangers’ to defend Earth from the evil Rita Repulsa (played by Elizabeth Banks).

I was never a huge fan of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, but I did watch and enjoy the show when I was younger. I was never really super excited for the movie, but I did mean to watch it in the theaters. However, when I was ready to see it at my local theater (during the second or third week of release) it was no longer being shown, which, of course, is not a great sign.

I was pretty bummed out about not being able to watch the movie in the theater, but around two weeks ago I finally got to see it on Blu-Ray. I am happy to report that while it isn’t a great film, it is much better than I thought it would be. I really enjoyed Dean Israelite’s Power Rangers.

I remember being surprised by how much the marketing for Power Rangers made it look like two specific films: The Breakfast Club and Chronicle, the latter of which was written by Max Landis who also worked on an earlier version of the Power Rangers-film.

And, well, that is the movie. Dean Israelite’s Power Rangers is The Breakfast Club meets Chronicle with a millennial twist, and, honestly, it kind of works well like that. But the film is tonally inconsistent. Elizabeth Banks seems like she had fun with the character. She is very over-the-top in the role. That is what she is clearly going for. Sadly, my biggest problem with the film is how Elizabeth Banks isn’t in the same movie as everyone else in the cast.

Her character seems goofy whenever she is put across from young actors that are right in line with the rest of the movie, which seems to be going for a more grounded Chronicle-like superhero film feel, until you get to the third act where the film morphs into a colorful and CGI-heavy Transformers-movie about teamwork.

But seeing an over-the-top Elizabeth Banks take on the Power Rangers is fun because it is a tonally inconsistent and goofy mess. It isn’t a great movie, but it is a fun goofy movie. There is literally a scene where Elizabeth Banks’ Rita Repulsa eats a Krispy Kreme-donut while a giant golden robot-monster fights a bunch of teens. It’s the biggest piece of product placement I’ve seen in years, and it is hilarious.

Power Rangers is a fun experience. If you’re even slightly interested in seeing the movie, then go (go) see it. It’s definitely worth seeing, if you’re willing, and ready, to have fun with it. Dean Israelite’s Power Rangers is the tonally inconsistent ‘CW superhero movie’ I never knew I wanted.

6.5 out of 10

– Jeffrey Rex

 

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