Saban's Power Rangers–2017
A Review of a Reboot of a Childhood Classic
When a childhood cornerstone comes back to the workshop for revitalization, it can instill fear in diehard fans of the nostalgia. I believe the 2017 movie, directed by Dean Israelite was a good homage to the original creation of Haim Saban.
Spoiler Free Review
Let's face it. Growing up with the original Power Rangers in the 90s, and accepting it at face value for what it is gave it special credence in the hearts of young ones. We admired the Rangers, and wanted to be them. Remember Bulk and Skull? It had easily defeated minions in the way of putties, it had bumbling villains, unique themes, and over-dramatic fighting. It was truly a beacon of kids shows for the era.
Then in 2014, (amidst a still-airing contract with Saban and Nickelodeon through 2021), a new trailer is shown for the reboot. The suits are harsher, "edgier," and it has a very realistic feel that dissolves the whimsy of the original.
And it does it for good reason.
Israelite's 2017 Power Rangers is phenomenal. It has an exceptionally picked soundtrack, brilliant graphics, and fantastic actors. More than that, it stays true to a lot of the original themes of the series, while finding ways to expand the perspective we get of the Rangers, Zordon, Alpha, and even the villain, Rita. I recommend this movie to anyone who, even once, said "It's Morphin' Time!" and meant it.
Power Rangers has been on my watch list perhaps since it came out. I've always put it off dreading what they may have done to my nostalgia. Finally, two years after it's release I gave it a go.
They set about for a difficult mark; A superhero movie, involving teenagers, where it feels very real and grounded. It could have become too edgy, too fantastic, or if they chose not to push the envelope enough, it could have ended up as a very boring superhero movie. Instead, they excelled.
The cast of characters are diverse enough in story, although could be a little more so, as some parts of them seemed to be derivative. Trini and Kim could have also done with a couple stronger sections of the script, as I feel they glossed over them a little. The real star, and strongest character is Billy Cranston (Billy Blue), played by RJ Cyler. Cyler excels in his portrayal of "on the spectrum" Cranston, and the character arc he develops as a result of true love and compassion from his friends, the other Rangers. They even made a red ranger that was tolerable and sympathetic. What may have been the most defining moment of the movie is when Jason Scott, played by Dacre Montgomery walks in alone to overhear Zordon talking to Alpha (voiced by Bryan Cranston and Bill Hader respectively) stating that, "When the Morphing Grid is open Zordon could return," insinuating that he has been using the Rangers the entire time.
The music cues are perfect for the visuals, which include lots of special effects, explosions, and fast-paced choreographed fight scenes. They are able to establish a lot of tense moments through the real and dramatic feel they've accomplished, and the humor adds to the overall vision of the movie, rather than taking away from the quality.
Not to mention, the first time Montgomery, as the Red Ranger, says, "It's Morphin' time," did indeed send chills down my spine. He delivers the role with much conviction, and its disappointing others don't get the same treatment.
Overall, a high passing grade. They did a lot well, although could have given the female Rangers a bit meatier parts, as they didn't seem as fleshed out as the male characters. They seem interested in a sequel, mentioning a sixth potential Ranger at the end; Tommy Oliver.