A franchise that didn’t really need rebooting, but most certainly did need a new take on things.
When I first heard about the idea of a Power Rangers reboot, I thought “That’s a really bad idea”, I thought that, just like a myriad of other reboots, it wouldn’t work out all that well. Well, very much like the Jungle Book reboot, this film actually came out really well, much better than I expected.
The majority of today’s teens (as well as those in their early to mid, maybe even late, twenties) grew up watching Power Rangers; from the original Mighty Morphin to Power Rangers in Space, Lost Galaxy and Lightspeed Rescue to Wild Force and Dino Thunder, all the way over to Power Rangers Ninja Steel (which started January this year and is set to run till December).
Now when I say “reboot”, I mean that in the slightest sense of the word when it comes to Power Rangers, this is far from a reboot, this is more of a modern re-imagining of the original series (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers). Gone are the plastic Zords and spandex suits with motorcycle helmets, gone are the days when Alpha Five was kinda cute and gone are the days when Zordon was a floating face in a giant test tube.
The Zords now look very much made of metal, the suits look like actual armour (with a little artistic flair, of course), Alpha Five is now very much a creepy (yet, kinda cool) robot with disjointed limbs and Zordon is now stuck inside a wall with moving segments that allow him to make up a face.
Okay, so maybe it doesn’t sound that much better, but in practice it didn’t come out all that badly.
The film starts off with a reason for bringing five teenagers together, and it wasn’t Zordon, it was a mutually shared dislike of rules and what seemed like a lack of respect for others (that excludes Billy, he ended up in detention because of… well, you’ll find out, its hard to explain without ruining the joke). Okay so now these teens are together, now what? How about keeping them together? They decide that the best way to learn about their new abilities (once they have them) is to work together. And then they happen upon a water-filled crevasse, at the bottom of which is the ship on which Zordon (along with the previous Rangers) came to earth.
Then, of course, came the mutual decision to become Rangers and begin training for the imminent return of Rita Repulsa (long-time fans will probably recognise her as the most evil and conniving villain the Rangers have ever faced… and she’s the one that just won’t go away). Goldar, another well known Power Rangers villain, also makes quite the appearance, although his design has seen more change than any of the others in this film.
The Zords look amazing, they look like actual robots. They did seem a little small but that didn’t really detract from how awesome they looked.
One thing I did notice, though, was the lack of signature weapons. Throughout the entirety of the film, we only see one signature weapon, being the Red Ranger’s sword, other than that, we didn’t see anything special.
The film itself wasn’t amazing, but it’s not like it was as atrocious as many thought it would be; I actually found it quite entertaining (sure, I was nostalgic, but the majority of the film had a fairly different story to the original series and so a lot of what the film comprises is completely new material.
The pacing of the film wasn’t too bad, but it would do good to note that the training sequence (the start of the second act of the film) dragged on for longer than was necessary.
The part where the Red Ranger pulls his father from a burning car felt a little forced but was brilliant for nostalgic purposes.
How did people feel about the colour swap on certain Ranger characters? That wasn’t so well received. I certainly didn’t mind, but I feel like it was most definitely done in an attempt to avoid seeming racist.
Overall, this film really wasn’t that bad, I can see how some people might not like it (some of the actors from the original series included) as no movie is perfect, but I can definitely see how one would enjoy it.
Oh, and normally I’d complain about blatant product placement, but this film does it so well I won’t even bother. Might even go for one of those doughnuts myself, actually.