‘Power Rangers’ Film Review – What Critics Have To Say
Warning: Content below might content movie spoilers.
Stars: Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler
Directed by: Dean Israelite
Story: Matt Sazama
Screenplay: John Gatins
A group of high-school students, who are infused with unique superpowers,harness their abilities in order to save the world.
Review by Justin Lowe on Hollywood Reporter:
Dean Israelite (‘Project Almanac’) directs this reboot of the teen superhero franchise.
Twenty years after the last Power Rangers theatrical release, the sci-fi series returns with an updated visual style and reconfigured storyline, as the Saban Entertainment property moves from 20th Century Fox to Lionsgate. Unlike the TV program (still running after 24 seasons), the feature films faded away after 1997’s Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, the follow-up to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, released two years earlier.
The current version creatively reimagines the Power Rangers’ origins by establishing them as a team of intergalactic protectors, which certainly provides a high degree of flexibility for potential future iterations. However, a proliferation of memorable teen action-adventure movies have solidified their own loyal followings over the past two decades, leaving the impression that a revived Power Rangers franchise may lack the distinction necessary to sustain a full-fledged relaunch, although its worldwide appeal should assure satisfactory initial results.
Click here to read the complete review on Hollywood Reporter.
Review by Mike McCahill on The Guardian:
colour-coded superpowers revealed in goofy origins story
It may be the most unlikely and least welcome superhero movie of the year – or even the decade – but this reboot actually benefits from lowered expectations.
You can rationalise and contextualise and say that the Marvel effect means any Lycra-clad saviour with an iota of brand recognition is now apt for revival in some format. Once the lights dim, however, nothing can prepare you for the ontological strangeness of watching a Power Rangers movie in 2017. Especially one that is – forgive me if my voice rises an octave here – not entirely terrible? That is, in fact, basically harmless, if you don’t object to feeding your kids pop-cultural leftovers, with odd flickers of charm besides? In an age of hype, some films are bound to benefit from massively reduced expectations; this would be one of them.
Being a 21st century reboot, of course, director Dean Israelite’s hands are tied by the deadening demands of the origin story, yet this remains one of the goofier ones, chortlingly realised: five small-town kids assuming colour-coded superpowers after trapping themselves beneath a slough of prehistoric alien space rock. If the group’s trajectory from detention through training montage to final, city-trashing battle is diagrammatic, Israelite senses it’s silly enough not to belabour the throwaway plot points generated. “Any questions?” asks Bryan Cranston, operating behind a Blu-Tack carapace as galactic guardian Zordon. “Nah, I think I’m good,” responds wiseacre Blue Ranger Billy (RJ Cyler). That’s the spirit.
Click here to read the complete review on The Guardian.
Review by Robbie Collin on Telegraph:
sadistic, ugly and incompetent, this reboot is even worse than The Fantastic Four.
The Power Rangers are sexting, if you’re wondering what they’re up to nowadays. They’re slut-shaming too. They’re also talking about inserting crayons into bodily orifices and pleasuring farmyard animals. If you think that last one’s an exaggeration, buy a ticket. Five minutes in, you’ll come face to ashen face with the all-mooing, all-hoof-stomping truth.
Quite who thought a graphic joke about “milking” a bull would be a promising start to a Power Rangers film is anyone’s guess (the screenplay is credited to five different people). But there’s no doubt it sets the tone for what must be the most flabbergastingly misconceived reboot of recent years. Never mind 2015’s Fantastic Four, which became a mangled shadow of its cast and crew’s original intentions en route to the screen. Power Rangers may actually be like this on purpose.
Click here to read the complete review on Telegraph.
Review by Owen Gleiberman On Variety:
A ’90s-nostalgia r Robbie Collineboot gives the teen superheroes a makeover and an endless origin story, but — alas — no more personality.
After 90 minutes of hip and hollow teen banter, woefully generic origin story, and molehill-posing-as-mountain-size triumph (our heroes spend half the film learning how to morph, when all that comes down to is getting their color-coordinated chintzy plastic sci-fi armor suits to snap into place), “Power Rangers” finally uncorks one of those high-flying digital-blitzkrieg action finales that was mocked in “Birdman” as the essence of blockbuster decadence. It is indeed, but to put it in movie-junk-food terms: Just because you know a sequence like this one is bad for you doesn’t mean that it’s not fun to watch.
In the battle royale that’s the big payoff of “Power Rangers,” our heroes face off against Rita Repulsa, the alien supervillain from the TV show’s first season — this is no mere retread; it’s Power Rangers classic! — who is played, by the redoubtable Elizabeth Banks, as a leering and mottled punk dominatrix serial killer with a fixation on gold that marks her as a witch-princess for our time. She wanders into a jewelry store and literally eats the gold finery, melting it down into her crystalline gleaming-gold staff; she’s got hunks of gold wedged into her face, as if it were part of her biological ecosystem. She does everything but write an editorial for The Wall Street Journal arguing that America should go back on the gold standard — though depending on how this franchise, and the Trump administration, works out, just give her time.
Click here to read the complete review on Variety.
Review by Chris Nashawaty on Entertainment Weekly:
What’s old is new again…again. Following in the childhood-exhuming footsteps of Transformers, 21 Jump Street, and now CHIPS (or, if you’re old-school, CHiPs), comes Hollywood’s latest high-risk wager on low-brow nostalgia, Power Rangers. Set your expectations low enough and you might just be entertained. Back in the ‘90s, this squad of candy-colored teen superheroes became a kids TV hit on Fox despite its slightly schlocky production values and timelessly chipper theme of all-for-one-and-one-for-all teamwork. If you had asked me back then if anyone would want to resurrect the Power Rangers 20 years later or, frankly, even remember them, I would have laughed. But here we are.
The first thing to know about the new Power Rangers is that it’s no longer a cheapo proposition. It’s been given a spare-no-expense makeover replete with slick CGI effects and big-name stars giving the sort of broad performances that remind you that everyone has to work for a living. It’s still schlocky, but not intentionally so. It’s also essentially two movies in one. The first is a surprisingly fleshed-out team-assembles origin story that brings together five high school kids who are all troubled in their own way. There’s Dacre Montgomery’s Jason (Red Ranger), the school’s star quarterback with authority issues; Naomi Scott’s Kimberly (Pink Ranger), a repentant mean girl ex-cheerleader; RJ Cyler’s Billy (Blue Ranger), a picked-on brainiac who’s on the autism spectrum; Ludi Lin’s Zack (Black Ranger), a wild child with a soft chewy center and a dying mom at home; and Becky G.’s Trini (Yellow Ranger), the new-kid-in-school loner who fills the Ally Sheedy role. In fact they, all feel like teen archetypes lifted right out of The Breakfast Club. Not surprisingly, a few of them meet for the first time in weekend detention. All that’s missing is Simple Minds on the soundtrack.
Click here to read the complete review on Entertainment Weekly.
Review by Alonso Duralde on The Wrap:
TV Teen Superhero Reboot Musters Some Spark.
“Power Rangers” is baloney through and through, but as baloney goes, it’s better than you might expect. It packs enough zing to make you forgive the origin-story clichés. And the predictable save-the-world stuff. And the insanely ubiquitous product placement.
(Seriously, whatever Krispy Kreme paid to be an actual plot point in this movie, they got their money’s worth.)
The latest American version of the Japanese show “Super Sentai” — there have been two previous movies, as well as something like 20 TV series — reboots the by-now familiar tale of five teenagers who discover colored coins that imbue them with special powers. Directed by Dean Israelite (“Project Almanac” — another tale of teens stumbling upon life-changing technology) and written by John Gatins (“Real Steel,” “Flight”), this new “Power Rangers” feels like a cross between “Chronicle” and “The Breakfast Club,” and that’s meant mostly as a compliment.
Click here to read the complete review on The Wrap.
Review by Brian Truitt on USA Today:
‘Power Rangers’ is stuck in a mire of nostalgic cheese.
Zordon, Zords, Megazord, Goldar and Repulsa.
No, a cat just didn’t walk across the back and forth on the keyboard. For fans of the supremely campy 1990s TV phenomenon Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, these are very powerful proper nouns — ones that loom large 20 years later in director Dean Israelite’s big-screen reboot.
But Power Rangers (** out of four; rated PG-13; in theaters nationwide Friday) only somewhat lives up to its nostalgia trip. It takes about 90 minutes of angsty teen-superhero origin story before it figures out that, hey, it’s a Power Rangers movie and therefore requires the most ridiculous action-movie climax in recent memory.
A giant robot bumps and grinds, folks. You can’t unsee that.
Click here to read the complete review on USA Today.
Review by David Ehrlich on Indie Wire:
For all of its surprising relevance, “Power Rangers” feels hopelessly lost in time.
It really isn’t that weird that someone spent $105 million on a “Power Rangers” movie in 2017. What’s weird is that someone spent $105 million on a “Power Rangers” movie in 2017, and then decided that it should open with a gag about a teenage boy inadvertently masturbating a bull.
Yes, we live in an an infantilizing age of blockbuster cinema that sustains itself by selling people overpriced echoes of the songs they sang as kids. Yes, Hollywood is growing desperate for previously established properties it can exhume, refurbish, and sell back to the public as mega-budget franchises with international appeal. And yes, the studios are starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel, throwing money at anything that boasts even the faintest glimmer of brand recognition (the next few months alone will see big screen versions of “CHiPS,” “Ghost in the Shell,” and “Baywatch”). But “Power Rangers,” which feels so distant from the zeitgeist that it seems like NASA should be forced to hold a press conference every time it comes into view, admittedly makes a certain amount of sense.
Moviegoers old enough to buy their own ticket may not know this, but “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” — a kitschy, brilliantly resourceful kids TV series that debuted in 1993 by wrapping an original story about a fresh-faced team of American superheroes around the oodles of colorful, exaggeratedly dubbed battle footage that it borrowed from a popular Japanese show — is still on the air. And while the program’s current iteration probably doesn’t politicize this point, there’s no denying the timeliness of a saga about a multi-racial squad of high schoolers who can only achieve their true power and transform into a giant robot (Megazord!!) by “putting down their masks” and working together to defeat an ancient evil. And yet, for all of its surprising relevance, “Power Rangers” feels hopelessly lost in time. There is an audience for this movie, but this movie has no idea who that audience might be.
Click here to read the complete review on Indie Wire.
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