Director: Dean Israelite
- Directing 4/5
- Writing 4/5
- Cinematography 3/5
- Acting 4/5
- Production Design 4/5
+ Successful reboot
– Slow pacing at times
– CGI heavy
Who would have guessed that a re-envisioned Power Rangers movie would have success in today’s market of franchise reboots? Probably not an award contender, Power Rangers does stand out amongst other reboots.
As a kid who not only watched all of the shows, but also collected all the action figures I could get my hands on, I really enjoyed the Power Rangers series. I was somewhat skeptical when I learned there was going to be a remake. Like any other fans, it had to be approached with caution because the filmmakers are essentially handling a piece of our childhood.
One thing this film does differently than it’s predecessors is that it doesn’t come across quite as cheesy as the shows used to. I remember the TV series being a bit predictable with boss fights, etc… But this movie strays away from that. There is this sense that these are just kids who don’t know anything about fighting bad guys and were chosen to be Rangers.
The filmmakers did a great job subtly tying in references without them being over the top. While there was a sense of familiarity with all of the characters, one gets the notion that the characters were adapted to breathe fresh air into the franchise. Further, the filmmakers tied in key references that are essential to Power Rangers. For example, the actual theme song was used when the Power Rangers went in to fight on their Zords. It was maybe used for five to ten seconds, but that was all that was needed for the reference.
A relevant theme in the movie that is very applicable for today’s time was the group of Rangers coming together. There is a big emphasis on five very unique individuals coming together from different walks of life. In order to really be a team they have to share their stories and learn to work together.
Now in the TV series, the whole team bonding thing isn’t treated with the same care that this film does. The film deliberately takes the team bonding slowly. This places more emphasis on the group coming together without it feeling forced. I really do appreciate that the filmmakers took time to establish the characters of the film. It’s done in a less than cheesy way that allows the viewer to become familiar with them. Rather than focusing on purely Zord fights, the Power Rangers themselves are the stars through character development. Jason’s struggles with leadership are evident and you can see how he develops through the film by taking responsibility for his team.
Overall this slow take on the team bonding of the Rangers is great. You can’t really expect them to be experts at using their powers quite yet. The filmmakers explore this and really allow the Rangers to skirt by in their first test while they explore their powers.
For a reboot, who would have guessed that Power Rangers could make a splash on the big screen.
In regards to cinematographic quality, the film doesn’t stand out as an award contender. The acting passes and there is a ton of CGI at times. But that is quite all right. This isn’t a film made for the everyday movie snob designed to win awards. It’s primary aim is to recapture the Power Rangers legacy for those who grew up on the series, while retelling it in a new light. Notably the Rangers themselves are much more diverse than the original lineup, adding key representation.
This film serves as a clear establishing movie in a possible franchise, or at the very least set up a sequel. It definitely feels more of a coming of age movie for the Power Rangers, who are just in high school. If any other Power Ranger nerds are out there, we can definitely count on a sequel if you saw the post-credit scene.
By adapting to today’s time, Dean Israelite does a decent job bringing the franchise back to life. The emphasis on character development and taking care to readapt to a new era allows the film to succeed as a new installment in the franchise.