First Impressions: POWER RANGERS (2017) - Once More With Attitude!
This film got a lot of flack from the fandom as soon as concept art started hitting the web. I mean a lot. Between complaints over the Power Ranger suit design, the reimagining of Rita Repulsa, down to automatic cries of, “This movie is going to be terrible.” Now artistic design is arguable. I’m going to sidestep those first two items for now and focus on the third.
There's one thing I've learned about fandoms during this nerd renaissance though, and it is that they'll complain and be bitter about anything if it's different or a reimagining without giving it a single chance. If you have watched the original Power Rangers again past turning the age of 20 years you realize that the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers series didn’t have too much to it. The show was catered towards seven-year old kids who wanted to see roundhouse kicks and robot dinosaurs fight monsters. That show delivered what it needed to to get merchandising sales. I personally went into the theater not expecting much at all past that, yet walking out a lot more fulfilled. The crazy thing about all these comic book remakes since Iron Man (which I believe set today’s formulaic standard for all these adaptations and remakes we see every year) is that after about nine years of putting stuff out, other studios are realizing that story is key.
The Power Rangers movie exemplifies that, it's not as heavy on the action as I expected until the third act, however I didn’t mind it one bit as the movie brings a new twist on the superhero origins story formula by taking good time to tell the backstory of each of our rangers, bringing up a Breakfast Club vibe. While we have a PG-13 rating the movie pushes the boundary at times with its overall themes and portrayals of violence. These are teenagers with attitude because of real shit going on that a lot of teens today can relate to, and that only serves to connect the audience with the story. The original tv show was pretty campy. This movie knows that today’s audiences prefer stories that hit closer to home.
Now don’t get me wrong, this movie isn’t Requiem for a Dream with Dinozords. Jokes are well timed, pop culture references take jabs at other major franchises, and there are definitely one liners, cameos, and certain shots that are 100% Grade-A fan service. However those moments all just made me smile and relive the nostalgia of watching the show for the first time. I’ll be honest, this film was a sleeper for me. Its not academy award material, but I’d still place it up there with Logan and John Wick 2 as one of my favorites for 2017. Hopefully the rest of the year delivers, but all I can say right now is go see it. You’ll enjoy yourself in less of a Michael Bay sort of way than you’d expect.
Also you’ll learn why I wanted to make a bunch of Krispy Kreme references in this first look, but no one would have gotten it so I ditched that.