Like my beloved Transformers films that have preceded this release, such a fan favorite’s big-budget transition to the silver screen is seamless and long-overdue; with a six-movie arc in the works, we won’t be seeing the end of the ever-evolving Rangers universe anytime soon.
With a sick soundtrack to boot—where even the remixes are hip and catchy—Power Rangers is a story about people. The casting is star-studded, yet believable; outside of Naomi Scott (Terra Nova), I’d never heard of one of these kids, which made their standing next to the likes of Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Banks welcome. They’re newbies to the whole Ranger thing, but they learn and grow together. In the end, they’ve decidedly earned the right to stand on equal ground with Zordon and those Rangers that came before them. There are only about fifteen or twenty minutes of actual “Power Ranging”, towards the end of the film; the rest of the plot centers on these five teenagers, establishing their familial connection to one another. Here are five individuals—misfits, all unique and from different walks of life—who manage to put aside their differences and embrace a common goal to protect the greater good, even when all instinct tells them that it’s an impossible task.
Now, that’s something I can get behind, one-hundred percent.
Between the character-building and setting the lore and groundwork for the future of the cinematic franchise, it’s a well-made film. I really felt for these kids, and am doubly-excited to see where the filmmakers take what they’ve begun to build. Dean Israelite seems to know what he’s doing with the property, but has also added his own, unique flavor.
I was expecting another Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), but I was pleasantly-surprised. As with other reimaginings of beloved franchises, this is one that’s grown with its audience. I, myself, grew up with the Wild Force (2002-03) generation of Rangers TV; I’m no über-fan, but I knew enough to chuckle at and appreciate all the references—not just to other Rangers iterations, but other film franchises, as well. Though along the lines of any other “origin story”, this one felt singular, a fresh start. This will be the Power Rangers I’ll show my kids, the one I’ll be proud to follow all the way through to its end.
The cinematography and fight-scene choreography are on-point. Filmed on-location in British Columbia, the film feels like it could take place anywhere. The thing about the Power Rangers is, is that they’re borderless, and—outside of their admittedly-spangly outfits—wholly-colorless. There is no such thing as race or creed in their ranks, and this is reflected in the Anytown atmosphere of the film’s fictional town. Likewise, there’s a healthy blending of new and old in the way the film is played out; there are hints of the cheesy swish-and-kick fighting styles of the older Ranger generations, mixed with the seamlessness of CGI, without either being overused. Any scene where the Rangers are fighting is entertaining, fast, and you can almost feel the impact of each hit they dish out. I can’t imagine the hours of training these actors had to go through to get it right, despite most of their stunt scenes utilizing suited doubles.
A playful, smart, edge-of-your-seat reimagining, Dean Israelite’s Power Rangers has earned its *****/ ‘Risk Assessment. Any die-hard fan will love it, as I do, the same with any newcomer. I can’t wait to see where future installments take me.
Next review: T2 Trainspotting