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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was one of the biggest shows of the 90’s. Its popularity was phenomenal. It reached levels of popularity all over the world that some shows could only dream of. It was that big of a deal.
As you’ve learned from a previous blog, I never watched Power Rangers as a kid. I’ve since watched the first three seasons – The Mighty Morphin Era – and now have a greater understanding of the show. By the way, thank you all so much for the feedback to that blog. Much appreciated.
I was late getting to the cinema, I was actually waiting for a friend who was having problems trying to park his car. As a result we missed the trailers and we got into the movie just in time for the movie to start…….and holy shit……
There’s so much I want to say, so much about this film that’s fresh in my mind. Remember, like always, this is a non-spoiler review, and I will keep it that way. When you hear the words “remake” or “reboot” you tend to roll your eyes or get nervous over what they’ll do to make it relevant for modern audiences. A lot of these remakes and reboots always fall flat on their faces (RoboCop, TMNT, Total Recall) but in this case, the movie worked as a reboot.
Is this movie any good? In the words of Alpha Five: “AYE-AYE-AYE”.
I had little to no expectations going into this and I had a blast throughout. Watching 145 episodes and two movies in five months was worth it.
One of the reasons why I enjoyed this movie so much is because of how flesh out the five Rangers were. Keep in mind that they don’t suit up until about three-quarters of the way into the film. It bugged me at first, but when I look back I totally understand because they need to flesh these characters out and they do a solid job of doing so. I’ve never seen nor heard of these actors before but they were amazing.
The other reason why I was so invested in these characters was because they are flawed, multi-layers, damaged characters. They’re so far removed from the goody-goody kids from the TV series who always do well in school, doing charity work, and looking after the environment. You won’t catch the Rangers in this film saying their prayers, and eating their vitamins (BROTHER!!!) Think of this as The Power Rangers meets The Breakfast Club. The chemistry is there. Everything clicks into place. There’s this touching scene where they’re all sitting around a campfire and they begin to open up to each other, revealing why they do what they do, and why they act the way they act. I’m not going to lie, I choked up. There was also another tearjerker scene during the big fight with Goldar (more on him later). Don’t get me wrong, I love a good cry at a film…..but Power Rangers?
So we see them become the Power Rangers by working together as a team and harnessing their powers, and the beauty part is that their suits come from within. It’s all organic, it’s not made of Armor. It comes from within, it comes from the heart.
Out of the five Power Rangers, I liked Billy the best. Never thought I’d catch myself saying that after I was critical of the guy in my other Power Rangers Review. This version of Billy is nothing like Classic Billy. He’s on the Autism Spectrum, and there’s this child-like innocence about him. He’s funny without realising it. I also liked Trini. She was a real renegade with a troubled past. Zack had his moments, too.
However, the real star of the show has undoubtedly got to be Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa. The term ‘show stealer’ doesn’t come close. I thought she was great! I had a grin on my face and a stiff in my pants when I heard those four iconic words, “Make my monster grow!” It was clear that she was having the time of her life in the role. Her performance is quite similar to the over the top nature and cheesiness of Rita from the show, but she does make it her own by being more sinister and creepy and evil. There’s a backstory explaining why she’s evil and her relationship with Zordon. Throughout the movie, she’s looking for gold in order to create Goldar. One scene involves a guy with gold teeth – which leaves a lot to the imagination- and also this other scene which takes place in a Jewellery store. At times she was damn right scary. There are times where small droplets of water fall on a person’s face, they’ll look up and Rita pounces on them. Just like an RKO, it comes out of nowhere!
The best part of all? They included the theme song…..the original theme song. Not a remix or a dub-step or a Three Man Band version but the original 1993 theme song. Oh My God (Joey Styles). With the theme tune playing and all the Zords on screen, man, it was fucking beautiful!
This isn’t a perfect movie. I do have some gripes that I want to share. The pacing of the film; sometimes there were some scenes that went a little too long which was unnecessary. I mentioned Elizabeth Banks does a great job as Rita. She is cheesy, but the Rangers are doing a pretty good job of being serious. These two tones just don’t mix. There wasn’t a solid commitment between the two styles. They should have gone down one route 100%, but they don’t and it causes a lot of conflicting emotions.
The action sequences are okay. Too much slow/fast mode that you see a lot in Michael Bay movies. The stuff with Megazord (who’s appearance I didn’t like at all. Looked too much like Optimus Prime and Ultron) and Goldar I just didn’t buy. At least we got to see Megazord give Goldar a German suplex. I think Brock Lesnar shed a tear.
Speaking of Goldar, I’m mixed. You see, I’ve always viewed him as Rita’s sidekick/ henchman. I would rather have had Goldar being the one who finds Rita’s body and assisting her in creating another monster altogether. Why doesn’t he have a face in this film or any dialogue? It kind of bothered me. As for him being the main, big monster, it was fine. It works for him, but please don’t do that for Lord Zedd (still can’t believe that he and Rita are married. Bet they had a blinding honeymoon).
I didn’t like Zordon. He came across as a dick who had zero confidence in the Rangers. He does redeem himself later on.
No Bulk and Skull, which I’m disappointed about. I guess the idea of a bully in 2017 is far, far different to that in 1993. There is a bully character, but he’s nowhere near as good as the original ’93 duo. I could be wrong, but I’m certain that I saw Jason wearing a t-shirt with the word “Bulk” written on it. So there’s a little Easter egg for you. Also Trini is wearing a shirt that has the year 1973 spread across it. 1973 being the year in which Thuy Trang, the original Yellow Ranger, was born. (She was killed in an automobile accident in 2001. She was just 27 years old). I would love it if Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy (the guys who played Bulk & Skull) were to make cameos in a future Power Rangers movie as cops, in reference to what they become in the third season.
Speaking of cameos, keep an eye out for Amy Jo Johnson and Jason David Frank. And also keep an eye out for the Krispy Kreme product placements throughout. I can’t really explain it because it’s a major spoiler. That’s how integral it is to the story.
I enjoyed this movie a lot. I think hardcore MMPR fans will be satisfied with the film overall. I was glued to the screen, I was invested in the story, and you really do care about the characters. They really dive deep into the mythology of the Power Rangers, it’s quite amazing that they would dare put certain stuff on screen. I think it awesome that we finally have a superhero movie where one of the main characters is a lesbian, and the other is on the Autism Spectrum. It’s an area that these types of movies don’t touch or even attempt to go to. That’s ballsy, and I commend them for that.
I highly recommend this movie. You have to check it out.
Rating: **** (Champion)