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‘Power Rangers’ movie adds depth to characters, unlike original

May 26, 2017

 

Dacre Montgomery, RJ Cyler, Naomi Scott, Ludi Lin and Becky G portray the Power Rangers in Lionsgate’s new movie. – Lionsgate Films and Temple Hill Entertainment

Bryn Young
Staff Reporter | bjy001@latech.edu

 

Though met with mixed reviews on release, “Power Rangers” does well bringing a new look to the classic children’s show characters through reimagined Rangers, a wonderful cast and cinematography to rival other superhero blockbusters.

 

The new movie forsakes the old low-budget look and two-dimensional character development for Rangers with depth behind the masks and some jaw-dropping effects. The shiny reboot maintains most of the cheesy humor and childishness that made the series such a hit, even with its new attempts at a darker take.

 

“Power Rangers” follows the tale of five misfit teens in the town of Angel Grove who come together as friends and team to fight the evil forces of Rita Repulsa, played by Elizabeth Banks.

 

The film starts with Red Ranger Jason Scott, played by Dacre Montgomery, being kicked off of the football team after a failed prank and an off-color joke involving a bull that many probably wouldn’t have expected from a film based on a children’s show. That joke, however, seemed to show that while this was a more serious take on the beloved characters, it was not going to take itself too seriously.

 

The film progresses with a much more character-focused plot than the original show was known for, seeming a bit drawn out at times and forcing viewers to wait what seems an eternity to see the team morph into those gorgeous armored suits. This eternity is worth it, though,when we get an origins story that makes the teens with attitude more than cardboard cutouts.

 

Each of the teens has his or her own backstory that gives them some relatability to views of all walks; even Zordon (Bryan Cranston), Alpha-5 (Bill Hader), and Rita Repulsa are more than just exposition machines as they carry their own diverse backstories and struggles.

 

The other four Rangers each bring a new set of dynamics to the team, the smart and lovable Blue Ranger, Billy Cranston (RJ Cyler), the aloof Pink Ranger, Kimberly Hart (Naomi Scott), the boisterous and funny Black Ranger Zack Taylor (Ludi Lin), and the quiet and tough Yellow Ranger Trini Kwan (Becky G).

 

The film also keeps up the series’ tradition of diversity with a multiracial cast, but makes strides in its own way with both Billy, who is autistic, and Trini, who is gay, making this one of the most diverse teams in the series’ history. This isn’t diversity for sake of it as the two characters hold their own and even outshine the others on the team instead of taking the backseat in the team’s quest. 

 

Dean Israelite brings the story together well but misses the mark occasionally throughout. Some scenes come off as forced and Rita’s henchmen appear to be merely filler compared to Banks’ spine-chilling portrayal of the villain.

 

This is made up for slightly in the atmosphere presented through both music and cinematography. The carefully curated soundtrack perfectly backs up the action on screen, going so far as playing the original theme song as the Zords take their first strides together in a scene that will bring tears to the eye of any longtime fan.

 

Overall, “Power Rangers” does its job rebooting a beloved series. It contains enough charm to maintain the show’s childish feel while giving it a new depth and, even better, a new appearance. It is truly a trip for both nostalgia and emotions that is worth a watch.

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