By Jonathan DaSilva (New Bedford, MA)
Ah!!! After nearly 25 years, The Power Rangers plan on yet again to conquer Earth. With a blockbuster-sized budget when compared to the last two Power Ranger films, 1995’s MMPR: The Movie ($15 Million) and its follow-up 1997’s Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie ($8 Million) This morphenomenal reimaging of the classic franchise comes across as a blend of Chronicle meets The Breakfast Club but surprisingly it works! There is still plenty of cheese which Power Rangers is known for but there’s a strong emphasis for character development which I found to be a real surprise since in the original Power Rangers series, that didn’t exactly exist. The film took advantage of the budget in regards to the film’s design and visual effects which were very well crafted. The suits that the Rangers would utilize are fantastic with a great blend of practical effects along with CGI. The Morphing sequence reminded me of Iron Man’s Bleeding Edge tech. When comparing previous PR films, the effects used for the zords blows the 1995 film out of the water and out of the stratosphere.
The film does have its cheeseball moments as I’ve stated. When a film has a scene in the beginning involving a bull and orgasms or notorious product placement, you known what you’re in store for. But despite the film’s flaws, it’s a fun film and great way to reintroduce the franchise to a new generation. The character development in this film really was impressive especially because it made you care about these characters long before they became heroes.
Definitely utilized The Breakfast Club scenario effectively. By the time you reach the third act, you really do know these characters and you care. There will be some that say that the film loses focus in its third act by going route that many films like Pacific Rim and Transformers have employed but with Power Rangers, it makes perfect sense. By utilizing the over the top clichés in its third act, it became a Power Rangers film…warts and all. The action sequences and filmmaking techniques utilized I pretty much expected. I think my only gripe with the film is that there should have been one or two more action sequences in the middle. Something along the lines of the team failing to defeat Rita and her minions in the middle of the film which in turn would splinter the team could have created an interesting concept.
If you go into this expecting for a purist Xerox of what you watched growing up, you’ll be disappointed. But if you go into this with an open mind looking to have a fun time, you won’t be disappointed. I was very impressed with the overall performances of the entire cast especially Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa and RJ Cyler as Billy. Fans of the franchise and even those who didn’t bother to care for it before should watch this. It’s a very fun film that makes you feel like a kid again. As they said in the 90s, it’s Morphing Time!