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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Power Rangers (2017) review!

Before I start my own review of the 2017 feature film reboot of Power Rangers, let me assure you right now, if you go ahead and do a quick Google search, you'll see that the 2017 reboot of Power Rangers got TERRIBLE reviews from professional movie critics (I am not professional in the slightest, as my forte is video games, but I digress). However! This movie is MUCH better than what the terrible scores people gave it imply, at least in my opinion. Now I'm not saying that those reviews are wrong, as it's alright to have differing opinions, but this movie is genuinely enjoyable, and it makes me sad to see people hating on it (then again, this might be my inner Power Rangers fan talking). But without further adieu, let's start the review, shall we?

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Okay, so what exactly is Power Rangers? This feature length film is a reboot of the beloved children's show, only with a more grounded and realistic portrayal of the titular heroes, compared to the lighthearted and (sometimes) deliberately cheesy tone of the children's show. Power Rangers was also my second favorite anything ever when I was a kid (the first favorite anything ever is none other than Star Wars!), but now that I'm older... It just lost that charm it had, you know (unlike Star Wars, which is forever)?

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But anyway, Power Rangers (this particular movie, not the franchise as a whole) follows the story of five teen misfits who must become the eponymous defenders of peace to stop a rogue Power Ranger named Rita Repulsa (you can thank the 90's for such a hilarious sounding name!) from destroying the entire planet while also trying to solve problems in their day-to-day lives.

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The story is actually alright. It's basically a less cheesy version of an episode from the show... Only better and less cheesy. The characters are likable and in Billy's case extremely relatable (he's relatable because he's both a turbo nerd and "on the spectrum", just like a certain blogger who is writing this very review). But the thing I must get out of the way first is this...

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Rita Repulsa!

Now when I first saw Rita Repulsa's new design, I was like "She looks like a scalier version of Poison Ivy from DC Comics". But after watching the movie, Rita somehow manages to compete with the D-Reaper for "The most terrifying villain" award. The only reason why D-Reaper is scarier is because towards the final act of the movie she incredibly hammy (you can't have Power Rangers without some hammy bad guys!) while D-Reaper remains consistently terrifying. But seriously, before she gets her full power, she is the stuff of nightmares.

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Pink Ranger!

However, my biggest gripe with this movie revolves around Kimberly, the Pink Power Ranger. And no, this is not a guy hating on the color pink because it's a girly color (First of all, I do not hate the color pink at all, it's actually a very pretty color, when used correctly), but because the movie does a TERRIBLE job of explaining Kimberly's backstory. Which is especially jarring since it managed to really flesh out the other four Rangers in a way that feels natural and well-paced, but I kid you not, Power Rangers struggles to explain Kimberly's backstory so badly I ACTUALLY HAD TO LOOK IT UP ON THE INTERNET to make sense of it. A lot of the confusion comes from the actress (or the script writer) having some really poor word choice. But hey, at least the other four rangers have thoroughly explained, and surprisingly well-written origins and personalities!

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Also I would like to thank Lionsgate for not turning Power Rangers into Twilight. Why do I say this? All the way back when this film was announced they released a trailer, which featured a scene where Kimberly (the Pink Ranger) and Jason (the Red Ranger) kiss, and while I liked the whole concept of a more realistic portrayal of the Rangers it's one of those franchises that should NEVER have any romance whatsoever in it due to being famous for cheesy humor and literally explosive action and putting romance would be a bit too jarring for my tastes. But in the final version of the film there is literally no romance at all. And before anyone asks, I am not counting the quote-end-quote "romance" in Power Rangers: Time Force as actual romance in Power Rangers due to Power Rangers: Time Force following the unspoken rule about it being a heinous and unforgivably immoral act to have two characters kiss (or even hug) in a children's show that plagued the early 2000's. Whether the fact that children's shows nowadays are more chill about romance is a blessing or a curse depends on whether you like romance in your entertainment (like a certain good friend of mine who ships a certain motherly goat and a certain punny skeleton from a certain indie game that I mention way too much on this blog).

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The visuals in this movie were surprisingly good. I know some folks might not like the otherworldly theme literally everything has (the Zords, the spaceship that serves basically as a mission control for the Rangers, heck even the armor the Rangers themselves wear), but I personally love the style they went for. Even ignoring the otherworldly theme, there are some surprisingly good visual effects (the scene where the Rangers-to-be discover a hidden spaceship underneath a lake being one of those). The acting was also pretty good and despite the overall more serious tone of the film, it has some genuinely funny moments, even if one of the funniest was spoiled by a trailer.

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Also, I just got to say... That moment when the (obviously remixed) 90's theme song plays before the Rangers head off to the final showdown, it is surprisingly awesome and bound to hit at least 168,795,420 people in the nostalgia. Speaking of nostalgia, seeing how the original show was intended for ages six years and younger, I see this movie get a lot of flak for not being "family oriented". Although, when the entire concept of the movie is literally a more realistic portrayal of the Rangers, what did those people expect? It's rated PG-13, after all, which is a rating I think this movie earned.

Overall, I give Power Rangers a 7/10. It's an enjoyable movie especially if you grew up with the show that inspired it, but I still hate how the movie does such a terrible job explaining Kimberly's backstory that it keeps the movie from getting a higher score. Also, a word of advice for parents, DON'T THINK THAT JUST BECAUSE THE SHOW INSPIRING THE MOVIE IS FOR CHILDREN THAT THIS FILM IS FAMILY FRIENDLY. If you go in thinking it's like a Disney movie or something because of the family friendly origins, you will be disappointed. But then again, one of my biggest pet peeves is when people bring crazy young children to a theater showing a PG-13 movie because the entire purpose of the MPAA is to tell the audience which age group is best suited for watching the the movie in question. Like when I went to watch this very movie someone brought a BABY to the theater. A. FLIPPING. BABY. So please, if you are going to bring a baby to theater showing a PG-13 movie, DON'T.

P.S. Thankfully, they said "It's Morphin' Time!" and "Make my Monster GROW!!!" in this movie, which makes me happy because those were some of the best quotes from the original show. I don't care how cheesy they sound at first glance (first listen?) because those quotes hit me in the nostalgia harder than the theme song itself!


  1. Glad you looked beyond stereotypes and explored various character traits. I agree movie ratings have their purpose to guide, yet not mislead the audience.

    1. Thank you Nate. Also, have you had that moment when you watch a movie and absolutely loved it then looked up how well it did only to find everyone and their mother claiming that movie is the worst movie ever? Because I've had that exact moment several times. Mostly with the Transformers movies... Which now that I'm thinking about, basically serve the same purpose that the Power Rangers movie served (a more grounded/realistic portrayal of a beloved children's franchise).