My favorite TV show as a child was the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, so I’ve been extremely hyped for the remake film since its teaser trailers first hit the Internet. Power Rangers is finally in theatres and I had to catch it first day. Here’s twelve touch points on the new movie, but be warned: there are major spoilers ahead.
1. Good: They bothered a lot with character development
I’m surprised that this movie spent a great deal of scenes focusing on the struggles and emotions of the Rangers: loneliness, doubts of one’s moral compass, a parent’s deterioriating health, an identity incongruous with her family’s wishes. While the stories could’ve been better fleshed out, they still succeeded in giving the characters enough depth.
2. Good: Zordon’s an asshole
Who’d’ve thunk it? In the TV series, Zordon was the fatherly figure of guidance and authority. In doubt, you’re rest assured Zordon would have a way. All that is dramatically tossed aside for this movie remake, because Zordon’s now a selfish belittling bastard with little faith in the teenagers that stumbled upon his Power Coins. I love it. I absolutely love it.
3. Good: Rita’s truly frightening
The original Rita Repulsa was a shrieking space witch you couldn’t take too seriously. The new Rita, portrayed brilliantly by Elizabeth Banks, is the highlight of the new film. She looked horrifying, she acted terrifying and she truly felt like a deathly threat to the Power Rangers. Elizabeth Banks stole the show.
4. Good: The opening scene was amazeballs
You see pterodactyls flying across the sky while the Red Ranger of the Cenozoic Era leopard crawls to his comrade, a fallen Yellow Ranger. Red is revealed to be Zordon, who obtains the Yellow Power Coin from his dying alien friend and assembles all the Coins together and plunges them deep into the earth. Rita, in her deformed Green Ranger suit, emerges to attack Zordon, but is apprehended by a planned meteor blast. This is the shit. This is how you start a Power Rangers movie.
5. Good: The zords were spectacular
Well done to those that designed the zords for this movie, because they looked crisp, great and their color accents were on point My only problem was the Tyrannosaurus Zord, which was sizably comparable to the other Zords (it’s usually the biggest of the five). The best Zord was undoubtedly the Pterodactyl Zord, the only airborne vehicle that did a lot of crucial assault work. Its wings even became the swords the Megazord would deploy in the climax of the battle.
6. Good: They snuck in the Power Rangers theme song
It may only have been for a couple of seconds, but the 1995 movie version of the Power Rangers theme can be heard playing when the Zords are unleashed to rescue Angel Grove. Total chills-down-my-spine moment and possibly one of my favorite parts of the two-hour film.
7. Good: The various easter eggs and references to the TV show
The plot is centred around a conflict to find the Zeo Crystals. The Rangers are asked to focus their willpower to access the Morphing Grid. Alpha 5 goes “aye-aye-aye” multiple times and even Rita yells “make my monster grow!” This is still a Power Rangers film after all.
8. Good: Those cameos
After the battle is won, Angel Grove civilians emerge from hiding and whip out their smartphones to Instagram and tweet about their awe of the Rangers and the Megazord. Among the crowd are Amy Jo Johnson and Jason David Frank, the original Pink and Green Power Rangers. I was starstruck. These actors are my childhood heroes.
9. Bad: There wasn’t a lot of fighting
The movie was heavy on character development, but it compromised on fight scenes and action sequences. Most of the action is reserved to the last half-hour, and while I’m okay with that (excessive fighting is mindless), I’d understand why it’d be disappointing to other moviegoers.
10. Bad: The morphing sequence was a letdown
The entire film builds up to the Rangers’ morphing scene more than it does to the battle against Goldar, but the actual morphing sequence was unsatisfying to watch. It’s effectively the same as the snippets in the trailers, where the Rangers’ suits (or armor, as it’s called) materialize around their bodies. I don’t ask for a cheesy sequence similar to the TV versions, but I would’ve liked a cooler morphing scene.
11. Bad: We don’t see the Zords forming the Megazord
This is easily the worst part of the movie. Either they weren’t creative enough to figure out how the Zords would mesh together, or there was a budget cut in the FX department, but the highlight of the zords has always been their formation of the Megazord. This is omitted in the film; when the Megazord first appears, it’s already a gigantic humanoid ready to take on Goldar.
12. Bad: The story was ultimately predictable
You know how the rest of the movie plays out once Alpha 5 informs the Rangers that Rita will strike in 11 days. The Rangers train will against simulated Putties and all that culminates in a battle against Goldar; in fact the trailer already shows these. Funnily enough I didn’t expect the film to be The Dark Knight-level brilliance, but I wish the story unfolded less typically.