Rating: 4 ½ out of 5 stars
Ah, the 90’s. The time where love was loved, freedom was still being fought and Furbies rained as the supreme kids toy on the market along with Snap bands and other funny bits and pieces that kids could smash up to their heart’s content and to the disappointment of their parents and their wallets. But in 1993, the dynamics of the 90’s suddenly changed with the introduction of 5 teenagers with attitude, blasting onto the screen in technicolor and bringing forth a new generation of superheros. Superheros called ‘Power Rangers’.
Jason Lee Scott, Billy Cranston, Kimberly Hart, Trini Kwan and Zack Taylor were suddenly the number one superheros on the block, winning the imaginations of children everywhere and also their hearts. Their popularity seemed to skyrocket with every new episode and whether it was Rita Repulsa trying to stomp on top of Angel Grove with Goldar or Lord Zedd pulling the strings on a monster to do his bidding, the Power Rangers were always there with a weapon or their morphinominal and positive spirits to save the day.
Unfortunately, as the older generation moved on and the younger generation rolled it, Power Rangers stalled as a popular and marketable franchise, with more children wanting or preferring better superheros, like those from Marvel or DC Comics. This lead to both a rights purchase by Disney in 2003 to try and reboot the franchise and failing, a buy back from Saban, the original holders, to do the same and getting mixed results and this movie, which outraged many classic Ranger fans for it’s updated pseudo Iron Man style, darker backstory, re-shift of main character stories, personalities and physical traits and the redesign of main characters such a Alpha 5 and Rita Repulsa.
Thankfully, the movie was well directed and well put together for a whole new reboot into the series that captured so many 90’s kids and probably forced a number of them to beg their parents for karate lessons. It also featured and touched on briefly on some key topic issues that are heavily integrated in society today, such as homosexuality and the autism spectrum. While the suits were a bit too detailed and plot rather complicated, the Zords were improved from what they used to be and the non hesitation to keep quite graphic scenes uncovered in the movie was a good call on the director’s part.
The actors, while unlikely to have been chosen by classic fans and rather young, were very brightly skilled and good in their roles for their rebooted Ranger personalities. High praise goes towards actor RJ Cyler, singer/actor Becky G and actor Dacre Montgomery especially, who showed that all Rangers are equal, no matter what affects them from the past or the present.
With a surprise classic Ranger fan’s wet dream at the very end (you gotta have super speed to notice it!), coupled with the mid credits scene revealing more for the future ahead, it’s going to be a small wait to see if Lionsgate can pull out another bunch of dark superhero films out of their overly rich behinds to worldwide acclaim once again.