Here we are with the newly vitalized movie franchise for the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers." It's been 20 years since we last saw the Power Rangers on the big screen. I remember the Rangers from the 1993 TV series on the Fox Kids afternoon block hour. At least that's how .
This film definitely gets inspiration from the film "Chronicle" while giving us hints of a nostalgic tone to the 1993 version of the Rangers with a few alterations. Like for instance, Zack (The Black Ranger) is played by an asian character while Billy (The Blue Ranger) is played by an african american character. Also Trini (The Yellow Ranger) is an "openly" gay character in this film. The movie delivers everything that a fan of the original series expects and should provide joy to the newcomers to this franchise. The character development gives us a glimpse into each character's backstory allowing us to get attached to each one.
Some of the best moments were the great callbacks or nodes to the original series – Alpha 5 and his catchphrase "Aye Yai Yai"; Jason say "Let's get 'em" and "It's Morphin' Time"; double kick moves and silly tag-team fighting moves; Rita Repulsa saying "Make my monster grow"; and best of all – the movie uses the original Go Go Power Rangers song and the perfect moment. Even subtle hints are added with each Ranger wearing the same color clothes that their Ranger and Billy clapping happily about something scientific. Audiences will love these and more – especially the great wink to the audience at the end. (Be sure to stay through the credits.)
The film is really great camp fun. Yeah it has it's plot holes, choppy editing and some bad direction, but because the characters are so likable I was able forgive those mishaps. The film really does a great job of delivering home the message that they need to work as a team. That's how the Power Rangers succeed. The show was the same way.
As a kid, I always felt like I was supposed to connect with Zack (The Black Ranger) because he we are both black, but instead I connected with Billy (the Blue Ranger) because he was the nerd of the group. Now with this film I get to be both.
The one character that I didn't really care for was Rita Repulsa played by Elizabeth Banks. She seemed to be playing a character that should have been in a horror movie like the "Grudge." I understand the tone to make it more adult and dark for the villain, but she didn't mesh with my memory of the over-the-top witch of my youth.
My other gripe was the "openly" gay portrayal of Trini. I would say she was closeted gay. I'm tired of these films just allowing the audience to guess at what the director is telling us about the character versus just blurting it out. Yes it's a PG-13 film and targeted to a younger audience but you can say the word gay without causing a stir. Or at least I wish you could. It's like Disney saying they have an openly gay character in the new "Beauty and the Beast" but not openly saying it. Subtle hints in the film but then the director claiming "openly and obvious" terms in interviews or marketing doesn't work for me.
Overall the film is great and just a fun time. It bothers me that I can't get this same style of filmmaking from "Transformers," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," DC Films or "Fantastic Four" for instance. This very well could be like the "Transformers" films where this first installment in the franchise is the best and go down hill from there. But at least they knocked it out of the park in the beginning! It takes a campy 1990 series (that doesn't hold up today) to deliver the fun action for fans and newcomers alike. By the way if you ever want to see what it's like for a MegaZord to do a suplex (yes i said suplex) so great that only Adrian Armour (look him up) can deliver, go see this movie!!!
I'm giving this film a Ka-Boom!
It's not perfect but it morphs into so much goodness!