Power Rangers movie review: Nearly every plot thread is borrowed from Marvel movies

Mihir Fadnavis

Mar 31, 2017 17:57:28 IST


A ‘serious’ movie adaptation of one of the cheesiest TV shows of all time doesn’t instill munch confidence when you walk into the movie theater.

Surprisingly, Power Rangers is not an awful movie – there are a couple of fun moments in the third act, but it isn’t nearly memorable enough to warrant a genuine recommendation.

Directed by Dean Israelite, who made the mildly interesting found footage sci fi teen thriller Project Almanac, Power Rangers is a brave attempt to turn the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers property into a big blockbuster franchise in the vein of Tranformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles.

Power Rangers movie review: Nearly every plot thread is borrowed from Marvel movies

The Power Rangers movie.

The teens in this case are as archetypical as they come – there’s a former football hero (Dacre Montgomery), an autistic genius (RJ Cyler), a recluse (Ludi Lin), a lesbian (Becky G), and the pretty one (Naomi Scott) who, like in Chronicle, somehow stumble onto great power that turns them into the Power Rangers.

Naturally there’s an evil villain – an alien named Rita (Elizabeth Banks) who wants to possess a gem stone of some kind to destroy the Earth. The heroes must assemble together and defeat the villain once and for all.

If all that sounds painfully familiar to you – it’s because it is. Nearly every plot thread in the film is borrowed from other, better movies – mainly the Marvel ones. One could postulate that the Marvel movies arrived many years after the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers so the lack of originality could be attributed to the Marvel slate simply coming before this film.

There’s a slight John Carter syndrome in this case, where a beloved property seems crummy because someone else got there first. In any case if you’re looking for a great story, a movie called Power Rangers isn’t somewhere you should be checking.

What is surprising, however, is that the film works in the scenes where it embraces the cheesy origins of the original show.

The bonkers mayhem is fun and tongue in cheek enough to get you through without being too bored. When it’s ‘Morphin time’ and giant CGI monsters begin stomping the screen it’s easy to enjoy the simple harmless pleasures the film offers. The only problem is that the mayhem arrives after nearly an hour of character development which includes irritating teens being angsty and mouthing some truly awful dialogue.

None of the teens cast in the movie are particularly likable so it’s hard to care when their lives are in danger. The only interesting human element in the film is ironically the father figure alien Zordon voiced by Bryan Cranston, who is clearly in this film for the easy money but is such a great actor that he hides this fact effortlessly.

If there’s a genuinely positive element in the film it’s Banks as Rita Repulsa – clad in the most ‘comic bookey’ costume possible she embraces the over the top nature of her character with grinning unhinged glee.

If the heroes of the film followed suit and didn’t take themselves this seriously, and the script took a more ironic approach to the source material like 21 Jump Street or Men in Black did, it would have been a much more entertaining and memorable film.

Updated Date: Sep 27, 2017 11:25:17 IST