BY RYAN MACKETT
THE latest blast-from-the-past glossy remake comes in the form of Power Rangers, from South African director Dean Israelite. The movie is a modern, high-tech re-imagination of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers TV series from the 1990s.
I can’t truthfully say that it was a good film (it really wasn’t), but I had a blast and thoroughly enjoyed it anyways.
The flawed film worked for me primarily because I was pretty into the original Power Rangers series. I never got into the plethora of spin-off series that followed, but I did own a Red Ranger figure and was glued to YTV whenever the show came on.
The plot was pretty basic, the dialogue was mostly bad, the action was generic and the editing and flow of the film left something to be desired. But the designs of the Rangers and their Zords were super cool and the movie didn’t take itself too seriously. It also dealt with some pretty interesting perspectives on teamwork, friendship, responsibility and self-worth.
The cast of young actors that play the Rangers were all decent, if a little inexperienced. Their performances weren’t great, but their individual stories were pretty compelling and there was a surprising amount of character development. I found myself very interested in their stories, which were reminiscent of The Breakfast Club.
The big name actors involved with the film include Bryan Cranston as Zordon, Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa and Bill Hader as Alpha 5. Hader’s voice acting was terrific, and Cranston was pretty cool as the floating head Zordon. Banks’ performance of Rita was one of the weaker points in the film. She hammed it in pretty excessively and was a bit over the top. That being said, it wasn’t anything too out of the ordinary for a Power Rangers film.
This movie is definitely for kids but it is also appealing to people like myself who may have grown up watching the show. There is no shortage of the exciting nostalgia factor here, which is exactly what the studio is banking on.
The movie is also one of the better “reboots” of classic franchises. I would rank it slightly below the Transformers films, but infinitely more watchable that those two horrendous Ninja Turtles remakes that have come out recently.
All that being said, credit is due here for the filmmakers’ commitment to diversity and inclusivity. The five Rangers feature people of colour, an openly gay character and a character who is on the autism spectrum. These are the main heroes of the film I’m talking about too, not the comedic relief side characters.
Although Power Rangers might be a silly sci-fi action flick aimed at nine-year-olds, it features five heroes that represent certain demographics in ways not typically seen in mainstream Hollywood. It is a nice change and a step in the right direction.
Ryan Mackett is an artist and film enthusiast who resides in Thunder Bay. Email questions or comments to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.