The concern I had with ‘Power Rangers’ after watching the trailer is the same one I felt watching the film, who is this film targeted at? While the film is clearly aimed at a new audience of young teens and kids, there’s enough nods toward the original series that feel like it’s trying to appeal to “those 90s kids” that grew up with the franchise. In doing so, the film never truly hits its stride despite some good work early on.
The reboot of ‘Power Rangers’ features five teenagers, all with the same names as the original rangers, that stumble upon power crystals deep underground and eventually become the power rangers to stop the evil Rita Repulsa and her monster Goldar from destroying the city. Complete with a CGI army of rock monsters called putties, the teens must learn to work together to stop them before its too late.
Most reboot action franchises like this fail to set up convincing stories for the characters and get the action spot on. Strangely enough, ‘Power Rangers’ is the exact opposite. Right up until the time they morph, there’s some really good character development and chemistry . Hearing the teen’s secrets under the dancing flames of a campfire and seeing these kids develop from tearaway rebels to a cohesive team is surprisingly well written with some good pacing throughout.
Its frustrating really because there’s pockets of greatness hidden in this film. The nostalgic theme of Power Rangers is exciting and hearing Rita yell “Make my monster grow!” are stand out nods to the original series that tease a set up for a great finale but moments later Kanye West’s ‘Power’ blasts through the speakers and the CGI takes over. It’s not that the end battle is bad per-se, it’s choreographed okay for the material that’s here but when the Megazord inevitably shows up, it just feels like a generic glowing robot and the fight is disappointingly short.
After the failed attempts of the Divergent series and the ending of Hunger Games, the studio Lionsgate will be desperate for a new franchise and they may well have found it with Power Rangers. Despite the mediocre film it ends up becoming, there’s enough here to keep people interested in the inevitable sequel and perhaps, like its rangers that struggle to morph throughout the film, ‘Power Rangers’ might just end up becoming the warrior hit it could be given the right direction in the sequels.