Review: Power Rangers
The current myth goes: if you put your ear up to an empty audience, you can hear the hum of the people that wished for a Power Rangers movie in 2017.
Lionsgate pulled the short straw on their reboot ideas with a $100 million-plus budgeted “Power Rangers” reboot.
Who exactly was clamoring for a “Power Rangers” movie decades after its prime?
“Power Rangers” is being released the same weekend as another old television-to-film reboot, “CHiPS,” and the same year as a “Baywatch” reboot. Hollywood seems to be nostalgic after rebooting every possible dated vehicle out there.
“Power Rangers” starts off an imbalanced mess by setting up the main character in the way that all of film’s past classics have: having him lose his football scholarship because he inadvertently masturbates a bull in a high school locker room and gets chased by police for breaking and entering.
I’ve never wished more that I was kidding.
It’s PG-13 and tries to be a serious teenage action movie, but there’s no way an older teenager would be interested in this story. It’s a silly concept meant for children. Trying to give it edge while making it color-soaked doesn’t work.
The actors playing the titular characters are trying with what they are given. Their chemistry made it a rather watchable two hours. You’ve got Zac Efron’s stand in, stiffly played by Dacre Montgomery, for the Red Ranger. Yellow Ranger is the unconcerned one. Blue Ranger is the awkward punch-line deliverer. Black Ranger is the cocky one. Pink Ranger is the levelheaded one.
Serious plotlines, such as a sexting incident as the reason a character can’t reach their full morphin potential, are improper and disingenuous.
Product placement takes control of the third act of the film to baffling results. The plot device revolves around a Krispy Creme. It tries to incorporate this into this dizzy plot on the sly. It turns the movie into a full-blown commercial for donuts while robots fight Elizabeth Banks.
Filmmakers that willfully let product placement dictate their story to this degree deserve to have their films critiqued not as an expression of art but as commercialism.
Elizabeth Banks and Bryan Cranston deserve better than this. Cranston is left to be a CGI mentor made out of Pin Art and embedded into the Rangers’ spaceship.
Banks plays the villain to comical results. A sloppy combination of the hula hoop dancing villain from “Suicide Squad” and Goldmember from “Austin Powers” (gold is her life source or something). Banks’ performance is as enjoyable as it is over the top, but it couldn’t be more out of place in the Rangers’ world of serious heart-to-hearts before fighting rock monsters.
“Power Rangers” feels like an overblown spectacle of the 2012 film “Chronicle” or a CW remake of “The Breakfast Club” (they even meet in detention). They are impossibly attractive actors playing teenagers in Anywhere, America.
Hollywood didn’t need this Rangers reboot and neither did the audience.
Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevTudor