Power Rangers (2017)

Now before I start, let me just make it clear that before I saw this film, my head was in two places: One, I thought that given the incredible effects achieved in cinema today; a new Power Rangers film could be a great idea. Two, I thought it was going to be an absolute catastrophe! I was a bit miffed originally at the idea of a new Power Rangers movie, as I thought of the idea of one a few months before it was announced. I was watching a trailer for Pacific Rim with the Power Rangers theme in the background, and while watching, it just popped in my head. But sadly someone got to it before me. Any who, I moved on and contemplated upon the idea of what such a film could be like.

I liked the idea of Lionsgate doing it as they are one of my favourite studios, plus given their success with The Hunger Games, I thought a teen fiction orientated and targeted franchise in their hands was a good move. I did though have one massive reservation which sorts of overshadows the idea of a Power Rangers Movie, and that was the previous two movies were pretty bad.

IMDb

The first movie – Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie; was made pretty soon after the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers made their TV debut. Power Rangers at the time was a phenomenon and proved to be very popular; so a movie was bound to happen sooner or later. The TV series and the Movie had one major difference between them, in fact one whole country. Power Rangers was, has, and pretty much still is an Americanized spin-off a Japanese TV Series called Super Sentai. Super Sentai’s fights and big monster moments would be sent over to America, where they would be spliced into a show featuring the American cast of Power Rangers. Nothing wrong with that, it worked well, and Power Rangers became a phenomenon. However, the film was an entirely independent production and didn’t feature any blokes in monster suits, instead opting for the new Hollywood trend of using CGI thanks to its success in films such as Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Jurassic Park – personally I think the suits were better, and would have been cheaper.

IMDb

The effects look pretty weak; back then in the mid 90’s maybe not so, but in comparison to surviving effects such as the Dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, they look terrible. In fact the designs used in the film looked pretty shoddy by comparison to the  TV Show they were based on and supposed to replicate. It just looks wrong. You could argue that the film had some good points, but given it was supposed to be a movie of the TV series and featured a villainous extra character who was never seen on TV before or since, plus an all-over the shop plot, it doesn’t inspire much hope for the future.

IMDb

Another movie was made – Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie; which was more of an extension onto the TV Show and would feature an upcoming villain for the TV series. It worked a little better I think (it has been a long time since I have seen it), probably due more to it’s better production connection to the TV Series, but it doesn’t scream out much for attention. As you can see , I was rather wary of what the future was going to hold for another attempt on a Power Ranger Movie. In my mind I was wanting/hoping for it to be good. It felt like a great opportunity and one that was probably going to be wasted all over again. These thoughts kept going through my head even as I walked to the cinema.

IMDb

I Loved It! By that point I had already seen a good number of films in 2017, but all of them felt like thinking films. Less films to entertain, as more to teach. They were more Dramas on social issues. They weren’t bad films; Logan was a really good film, so was A Monster Calls (I was crying before the movie finished). Kong: Skull Island was fun and ranks amongst my favourites of 2017. But Power Rangers, was something else. It was just so much fun. It was more entertaining than the others, it felt like it was the first film of 2017 I wasn’t trying to understand, or working to get; it was a film I could just sit down, relax and enjoy. I came out of the cinema wanting a sequel, and wanting it then and now. I wanted everyone to go see it, because I absolutely loved it.

It had a good plot to get going, it had characters that I could easily connect with, and their development was just brilliant. It kept in touch with it’s source material, but allowed itself the opportunity to create its own story and ideas. The set-up was a lot like The Breakfast Club (have only seen the beginning), with kids in detention, with an attitude that is more in terms of what attitude ridden teens are like today, compared with the meaning of attitude from 1993. They are a colourful bunch with their own problems, but it’s through circumstances that they grow together and become a group of good friends who take on the galactic responsibility of being Power Rangers. For me, the stand out was Naomi Scott as the Pink Power Ranger; carrying her own level of attitude, she remained this less of a delinquent, more of a counsellor. She was in a life of darkness with mystery, but comes to learn a new response thanks to what her new life is like, moves on from her past, and just becomes a friend that we all want. She was just terrific! The rest of the ranger cast were great, each with their own identity. The only downside in the cast came from the more veteran members of the cast – Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Banks –  who I felt were more overacting than anything else.

The effects had their issues, but were still good enough not to cause a problem. The action scenes were great, the training and scenes of the group becoming friends, beginning to come together are simply brilliant. The soundtrack was used well helping just to make those scenes, plus the old theme of course makes a resurgence. I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed the film after leaving the cinema. All those previous worries just evaporated as what I got was this superbly enjoyable film. For a time it was my favourite movie of 2017, eventually ending the year in my Top 5 at number 2. I did worry that perhaps this was simple phase and I wouldn’t enjoy it a second time round, but I saw it on DVD with some of my friends (I pre-ordered the DVD) a few months later, and I enjoyed it just as much.

IMDb

It’s really hard sometimes to really explain just why I enjoy a film, and thus can be hard to recommend without a strong reason, but I seriously can’t say enough as to how much I enjoyed this film. Altogether you could argue that films like Logan, or War for the Planet of the Apes were much better films; but to me, they just weren’t as enjoyable as Power Rangers.

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