Length: 124 minutes / 2.06 hours
In one of the many gritty reboots of a nostalgic 1990’s franchise, I didn’t have much expectation for Power Rangers (2017). The original show was pretty campy, with a tried-and-true plot structure that didn’t change much from episode to episode. In fact, I probably couldn’t tell you the specific plot of any of the episodes. They’d usually follow this format: the main villain would go about trying to obtain some goal via their minions/henchmen, the Power Rangers would morph and fight the minions/henchmen, the minions/henchmen would grow large and start destroying everything, the Power Rangers would call their Zords out to battle, and (finally) the Zords would combine into the Megazord and the foe would be vanquished.
While Power Rangers did follow some of the structure of the television show format, it also managed to create characters with some depth and background to them. From a disgraced football star to an autistic teen who doesn’t get jokes to a cyber-bully cheerleader to a (possibly) bisexual loner to a reckless mother’s boy, the five teenagers certainly have their share of angst and diversity. I do give kudos to the scriptwriters for including characters that feel distinctly modern without being too preachy about it.
And yet, while Power Rangers has a lot going for it, including plenty of action and a modicum of nostalgia, there are still a few flaws. Some of the humor is a bit juvenile, especially for a PG-13 film. I also couldn’t help but recognize the quite familiar setup of The Breakfast Club (1985), even to the point where I wanted the film to end with the Red Ranger holding a defiant fist in the air while “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” plays in the background. Was this supposed to be a reboot of The Breakfast Club instead of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers?
A surprisingly well-done nostalgic reboot, I give Power Rangers 4.0 stars out of 5.