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Film Review: Power Rangers (2017)

Go, go Power Rangers! Mighty Morphin’ Nostalgia Rangers! Oh yes, it’s true, we’ve gone back to the 90s and this is a great time to be alive. From a complete revitalisation of Pokemon, to DragonBall Super and now we’ve got Power Rangers back. I feel like a little kid again, because all of these fantastic films, series and games have been coming out, giving new life to 90s classics. However, if you are looking for a nostalgia trip without getting your old VHS tapes out, it’s time for you to don your bodysuit, put on your rangers helmet and check out the brand new Power Rangers film.


Overview

Studio Lionsgate
Genre Action/Sentai
Release March 2017

Review

Story

When the original Power Rangers fell, it wasn’t because of anything they faced, but from dissension within the ranks. The original Green Ranger, Rita Repulsa, turned on Zordon who was the Red Ranger. Zordon, in a last ditch effort, managed to defeat Rita, but at the cost of his own life. After hiding the power gems away, Zordon and Alpha-5 are waiting for the next chosen ones to appear, to fight Rita again before she can create the mighty and powerful Goldar. With the powerful witch Rita being reborn and a bunch of disruptive teenagers having found the power gems, Zordon and Alpha-5 have to train up their newly formed team of Power Rangers to fight off the evil Rita Repulsa. Will they be able to handle her immense evil, or will she be too much for the team?

Animation and Style

To begin with, the animation isn’t perfect. What? I never said everything in this film was perfect, but let me go on to explain that it didn’t really matter too much. A lot of people gave a lot of flack to the new Power Ranger suits and actually, I really liked them. Same with the brand new Zords – They looked excellent. It’s worth explaining though that when you go to watch a Power Rangers film, or TV show, you’re not expecting a film that excels all animated movies. You’re not expecting the cleanest style, because it’s known for having a frenetic energy, which was demonstrated perfectly by a child sat in front of us. During a fight scene, when the Power Rangers were able to kick butt, the little boy raised his hands victoriously. It reminded me of when I was a kid and that was probably one of the most powerful moments in cinema for me. Few other films can make a kid so enthused with joy that they throw their hands way into the air.

There was a vast amount of diversity in the film, which reminded me of the old Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers series. The five main characters were of different races, along with this, they represented different walks of life. We have the LGBT character, we have a genius on the autism spectrum, we have the sporty kid who everyone likes and we have the hyperactive one. The diversity is what I can’t stress enough; but people will criticise the lesbian girl in the film, as she never outright says the words “Yes, you heard me, I like girls”. I’ll go further into that in my summary. All I can say is, the diversity really helped bring these characters to life for me.

Audio

Go, go Power Rangers! Go, go Power Rangers!

Wait, what am I saying? Am I completely foregoing the entire films audio over this one part?

No, I’m not, it’s just that one part really stands out, because that was one of the songs that made up the soundtrack of my youth! But the music throughout was ambient and upbeat, never detracting, but rather enhancing a scene. With music from current musicians, such as Twenty One Pilots and The Raconteurs, there’s plenty of good music throughout. The “Go, go Power Rangers!” part that I’ve mentioned with so much enthusiasm, is not a main piece, but rather used to enhance a specific moment in the film. Clever!


Overall

I’d like to start my summary by pointing to a negative review by Uproxx. There are absurd moments in the film and that, I’d never argue. What I will argue, however, is the fact that they call it so jarring. They talk about having modern superhero films, which are superior to Power Rangers, but this film was made a 12a for a reason. It was meant to bring back the silly humour we’re accustomed to, whilst also opening it for a slightly more mature audience. They didn’t want to go the full shebang and just make it a kids film, nor did they want to make it purely for the original fans. There’s an odd scene, where the soon to be Red Ranger talks about fondling a “cow”, which was silly enough to remind you: These are teenage kids doing (weird) teenage things. The diversity in the film was abundantly clear and if anyone thinks that’s a bad thing, then I think you need to consider what Power Rangers is to people. They’re supposed to be teenagers, going through life, whilst defending the Earth. Their issues can be personal to them without it being a bad thing. Not everything needs to be clearly stated for the implied to be true.

The Power Rangers are back and the way the film ended could easily set up a brand new relaunch of films. I’d be very happy with this, considering the immense joy this film brought to me. It was exactly as nostalgic as it should have been; It even went as far as to bring back the “Go, Go Power Rangers” music we all know and love for a brief cameo. Power Rangers in 2017 isn’t something you’d have expected a couple of years ago, but I’m glad they’ve brought it back into our lives in such a powerful way. I also never expected to look to Power Rangers and say “yes! This is diversity in films done right”. If you’ve had a troubling time with all of those films that are typing their cast entirely on big names, then Power Rangers is a breath of fresh air. This film was a triumph and I’ll probably be talking about it for ages yet. Now, time to make a Power Rangers outfit? As always, we love to hear your opinion – so if you’re excited for Power Rangers, or perhaps you’ve seen it already, let us know what you think in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.

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