Saturday, March 25, 2017
Children of the 90s can rejoice. Your childhood will not be besmirched by a film that takes your memories and mangles them. The new version of Power Rangers should be exactly what you want. It takes a stupid premise, removes the ridiculous, adds some real teen angst, and comes up with a popcorn film that won't make you hate yourself for going.
My kids were just the age for the show when it first aired. They liked it well enough but they never obsessed about the "Green Ranger" the way some kids at the time did. As a dutiful dad, I endured the cheese factory that was "The Mighty Morphin Power rangers Movie" in 1995, but I have not revisited it since then. My kids grew up and out of this phase and we moved on to other things. I thought I was done with all of this, but nostalgia isn't what it used to be. The film makers of today are the children of yesterday, and apparently they needed to have a worthy Power Rangers reboot. OK, here it is.
There are two things about the movie I'd warn you about, after that, everything else is on you if you are interested. First, there is a crude old joke used in the introduction of the first of our soon to be hero kids, that is disgusting and probably not something that should be heard by anyone under thirteen. My guess is that it was included to get the film up to a PG-13, because a PG rating would just not be enough for the cool kids. Every other reference to a four letter word is turned into a joke without actually saying the word. So the film pushes the edges by playing it safe. The second warning is that the film is long. It is over two hours, and the Rangers don't morph until well into the second hour. That's a lot of back story, exposition and set up for the comic book action we will want. It does however give the movie a little more seriousness and it feels like a movie, not a cartoon show simply blown up to the big scree.
That said, if you don't mind weird monsters and karate mixed with some Transformers style effects and action, you should enjoy this film. Elizabeth Banks and Bryan Cranston add a bit of depth to the cast, which otherwise consists of five young actors I've never heard of before. They all seemed perfectly acceptable for their roles. Billy and Naomi are the two with the most interesting background. The film gives a nod to special needs communities and also makes a plea for redemption of stupidity. None of which should be taken very seriously but it was nice anyway.
I doubt that I will ever see this again, except in passing as I scroll through channels, but someone out there is going to love this. It takes something completely disposable, and treats it seriously for two hours before we can dispose of it again. Millennials may now celebrate, now let's get some Junior Mints and remember the past as being better than it really was.