Movie ReviewsPower Rangers – A Disappointing and Unnecessary Reboot

Keith NoakesMarch 24, 2017

I am a huge Power Rangers fan so I was excited to hear of a new Power Rangers film. I don’t really see the need for one at this time but it’s still nice to take a trip down memory lane, for nostalgia’s sake.

Synopsis: Saban’s Power Rangers follows five ordinary teens who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove — and the world — is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so, they will have to overcome their real-life issues and before it’s too late, band together as the Power Rangers.   (eOne Films)

Starring: Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, and RJ Cyler

Writer: John Gatins

Director: Dean Israelite

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 124mins


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Was this a necessary reboot? Probably not, but here we are nonetheless. This is a reboot so this film reintroduces these familiar characters and updates them for today. As we all know, they are teenagers and there was nothing new when it came to that. They were misfits, meeting in the detention hall, similar to The Breakfast Club. Each of their origin stories were cliche with the film focusing on three of the five main Rangers, Jason (Montgomery), Kimberly (Scott), and Billy (Cyler).

The problem with that was that it was difficult to ever get invested in any of the characters and because the film depends so much on these characters, that’s a problem. Younger kids may be to able to relate to them but others probably won’t. Instead of developing the character further, the film thrusts them forward into a situation leading to them to change into stronger people who can jump for some reason.

They eventually met up with Zordon (Bryan Cranston) and Alpha 5 (Bill Hader) and then ultimately became the Rangers. But until they can be Rangers, they have to learn to be a team and the film took way too long with this. Being teenagers, they had to be convinced that something was going on, that an evil sorceress named Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) wanted a crystal buried underneath the earth so she could control the universe. This got a little frustrating but they eventually came to their senses.

In order to morph into their respective armors, they had to be connected to one another but that was easier said than done. They had to be a team so the film started to overemphasize the importance of being a team. They fought together as a team but that still wasn’t good enough because they also had to overcome each other’s differences and come together. Since the characters were hard to care about, this wasn’t very compelling to watch.

While all of this was happening, Repulsa was rampaging through Angel Grove, killing anyone in her way, looking for the crystal and finding gold to rebuild her faithful companion, Goldar, to dig out the crystal for her. We also learned that she and Zordon had past history with the two being on an ancient team of Power Rangers, who were tasked to protect the crystal, led by Zordon, a former Red Ranger. She betrayed Zordon and the rest of their team, corrupted by power.

The Rangers eventually became a team and took on Repulsa but that wasn’t until 3/4 of the way through the film which was disappointing. It was disappointing because the amount of buildup did not justify the end result. The final battle lacked excitement and ended much too quickly. The fight choreography was poor and the hit or miss visual effects were distracting at times.

Despite everything wrong with this film, it still could have worked if it wasn’t so cheesy. What was great about the original (and still running) TV show was how silly it was. This film took a different approach, taking in a darker, more grounded direction and it simply didn’t work. It felt like it lacked this self-awareness. What didn’t help was the terrible dialog which often bordered between cheesy and bad.

The acting was pretty bad across the board but it wasn’t necessarily their fault. The Rangers lacked any chemistry with Jason and Billy being the most believable. Montgomery as Jason lacked any charisma whatsoever and looked lost most of the film. Scott was boring. Becky G as Trini, the Yellow Ranger, was the outsider who was just thrown in with the rest and didn’t do much. Ludi Lin as Zack, the Black Ranger, was not believable as the “bad boy” and the cheesiest of the bunch. The best Ranger was Cyler as Billy, the Blue Ranger, actually tried to do something with his character, a smart autistic teen, and was compelling and funny. The bigger names here were Cranston, Banks, and Hader but they all phoned it in here. Banks was the worst, bringing full on campiness with Repulsa and making her unbearable and cringe-worthy.

If you stay tuned, you will find a mid-credits scene foreshadowing the appearance of the Green Ranger, Tommy Oliver, in the next film.

Overall, this was a very disappointing and unnecessary reboot of the popular TV series with a story brimming with cheese, terrible dialog and pacing, spotty visual effects, and bad performances. Definitely one of the worst films of the year.

Score: 4/10

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  • Jason

    March 26, 2017 at 12:33 AM

    Good review. While I saw the movie in a more “positive” light than you did (although it did have some fair problems), I have to agree that one of the worst aspect of the movie was Banks as Rita. Totally felt too cartoony and didn’t fit the more grounded approach of the Rangers.

    • Keith Noakes

      March 26, 2017 at 12:33 AM

      I was not a fan of the gritty, realistic direction it took.

      • Jason

        March 26, 2017 at 12:39 AM

        Well, I think that Israelite and all the major players of the film (especially Saban) had to find a new medium for this remake of Power Rangers that would speak to a modern audience (something that’s not quite dark and edgy, but not kid-ish and lighthearted).

      • Keith Noakes

        March 26, 2017 at 12:41 AM

        But I don’t know if this could ever be like that since what made the series great was that it was silly and didn’t take itself too seriously but it felt like this was trying to be way too serious.

      • Jason

        March 26, 2017 at 12:43 AM

        Well, we see where everything goes when they make the next movie? Maybe they’ll listen to us critics to tweak the movie.

      • Keith Noakes

        March 26, 2017 at 12:45 AM

        I’m still a fan and I look forward to watching it.

      • Jason

        March 26, 2017 at 12:47 AM

        Same here!

  • societyreviews

    March 27, 2017 at 11:32 AM

    Horrible Power Rangers movie, passable popcorn flick

    • Keith Noakes

      March 27, 2017 at 11:51 AM

      A lot of people will probably still enjoy it but I didn’t.

      • societyreviews

        March 27, 2017 at 12:02 PM

        The movie was doomed from the jump because Saban never had a good storyline for Power Rangers even when the original series was out. All of their best bits came from Japanese stock footage

      • Keith Noakes

        March 27, 2017 at 12:12 PM

        This one was way too serious for me.

      • societyreviews

        March 27, 2017 at 12:14 PM

        They should have just given it to Michael Bay

      • Keith Noakes

        March 27, 2017 at 12:16 PM

        This one reminded me of the newest Fantastic Four movie.

      • societyreviews

        March 27, 2017 at 12:30 PM

        Damn, wasn’t that bad. The director didn’t shit on it before it’s release.

      • Keith Noakes

        March 27, 2017 at 12:44 PM

        I thought it was. Still a Power Rangers fan though.

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