Power Rangers - This Movie Doesn't Quite Rock. Doesn't Quite Suck Either
Dir: Dean Israelite
Starring Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Becky G, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Banks, Bill Hader
Go, Go. We Went, went. It wasn’t that bad, bad.
The all-new Power Rangers provides an origin story for the uninitiated and a shed load of contemporary mores to go with it. Thus we have Autistic Power Ranger, Lesbian Power Ranger, even (briefly) Teenage Suicidal Thoughts and Sexting Power Ranger. Whatever will the kids think!
If this latest incarnation of the Japanese all-fighting, all-toy-selling franchise is determined to broaden its appeal even by alienating some of its core fanbase (i.e. the very young) it does it in a better than expected way. It begins by shamelessly but ably ripping off The Breakfast Club – our Morphers to be are now all in detention, where they inevitably bond and then slowly reveal their tough teen backstories. Then it morphs itself into a shameless but able rip off of Chronicle, with the discovery of a spaceship, some magic coins, the dawning of some super powers and a CG Bryan Cranston.
The first two thirds of Israelite’s movie, i.e. The Breakfast Chronicle part, is fairly engaging, the cast are uniformly OK with no one standing out in particular, with the notable exception of Elizabeth Banks chewing all scenery available as super villain Rita (and when was the last time you saw a movie where the super villain was called “Rita”?) It’s when the film hits its big ‘bots battling finale – you can tell because the “Go Go Power Rangers” music kicks in – that things become remarkably, well, dull, to be honest. The battle is nothing we haven’t seen before – it even throws in a Bumblebee joke/cameo to remind us that such is the case. Thus a mildly pleasant tale of today’s teens coming to terms with today’s issues becomes Transformers-lite, and little more.
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