The reviews for this film…man.  “A 100 million dollar pilot.” “How can you take a movie seriously with a bad guy named Rita Repulsa?”  DO YOU PEOPLE GET THIS IS THE POWER RANGERS!?!??!?!?!

NOW – I’m not a huge Power Rangers fan.  I watched it on and off occasionally but the show premiered when I was a college freshman.  I had better things to do then watch a couple of kids try to battle some monsters while they had these “zords” that formed like Voltron.  BUT I did dig the show.  My poor ex-girlfriend….she actually got dragged to not one but TWO Power Ranger movies that came out in the nineties.  And let me tell you something…both the Power Rangers movie from 1995 and the Turbo movie that came later were awful.  AWFUL.

My kid got into the Rangers when he was a kid so I ended up watching a ton of different Power Rangers shows.  I couldn’t believe how they kept this franchise going.  Long before they had this crap on Netflix he would make me buy him the DVDs of Mystic Force, Operation Overdrive…and so on…and so on…

He saw my Voltron and was like, “MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS!”  So I let him play with it and he…broke Voltron.  I told him it was okay.  But man…my 80’s Voltron.

The kid eventually grew out of watching the Rangers and playing with the toys.  On to bigger and better things, right?  But then…they announced a movie.  New kids playing the original characters.  Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa?  BRYAN CRANSTON AS THEIR MENTOR ZORDON?

And then the first trailer came out and I was astonished.  I was hooked.  They made Mighty Morphin Power Rangers into…it was like Breakfast Club meets X-Men.  My kid and I were at the movies when we first saw that trailer and I looked at him.  I asked, “Do you want to see that.”  He replied yes.  I’m glad he did…because if he didn’t…he would have been dragged to the theater.

The bad reviews came out and I didn’t care.  I really don’t.  I pretty much love reading bad reviews for films and, wow, it seemed like a ton of critics just didn’t get it.

Was is Power Rangers?

It’s a big budget version of a cheesy TV show.  They tried to bring some realism to it all and good for them.  But at the end of the day?  It’s about five kids in costumes doing karate and fighting in giant robots.

Did I like it?  Oh yes I did.  I had a fantastic time.

Was it a perfect movie?  No it was not.  It definitely had its flaws.  But I think it has the same flaws that most origin movies have.  Enough with the origin crap.  Just get into the costumes and get going.

The film opens with what actually happened with the Rangers before the current team while also giving an origin to both Rita Repulsa and Zordon.  Now they could have had an origin previously but, again, as I wasn’t the biggest fan of the old show I just never knew what it was before.

After a prank gone wrong star football player Jason Scott (Dacre Montgomery) finds himself off the team, on house arrest, detention every Saturday morning at school, and all his college prospects completely gone.  He ends up meeting an autistic kid named Billy (RJ Cyler) who ropes Jason into taking him to this mining company right outside their town of Angel Grove.

They end up inadvertently running into a few people including Kimberly (Naomi Scott) who was a popular girl who seems to be on the outs with everyone, Zack (Ludi Lin) who doesn’t really go to school and just hangs out at the mines, and “the new girl” Trini (Becky G) who just keeps to herself and happens to hang out outside of Angel Grove as well.

Billy ends up blowing up part of the mountain and the group finds these different color “coins.”  The coins end up making them super strong and they soon find out that they are to become the new Power Rangers – brought together to defeat the evil forces of, um, evil.  This includes the newly resurrected Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) who wants to destroy the world.  All she needs to do is resurrect a gigantic monster and the Earth will be destroyed.

With Zordon (Bryan Cranston) and a robot named Alpha 5 (voiced by the amazing Bill Hader) the kids try to train themselves to be Power Rangers.  There’s a few problems with this.  Most of them have never been in a fight.  They aren’t really sure they can defeat someone who is bringing on the destruction of the entire Earth.  They aren’t even sure if they really like each other.

Therein lies the problem for them.  It seems the only way for them to draw their powers out is to do so together.  And there isn’t enough trust amongst this group of teens to do so.  So it doesn’t happen.

The problem is as the kids try to figure out how to master their powers, how to fight, and how to trust each other, Rita Repulsa is out there getting more powerful and getting ready to destroy the world.

Again – I think the bad part of the film is the wait for the kids to get in the costumes and kick ass.  You want them to get in their zords and kick more ass.  Finally you want to see the Megazord.  You want to see all of this and by the midway point you just want it all to get on the way.  It’s the same problem I have with Batman Begins – it is a brillinatly done film but I have problems rewatching it because I don’t want to see a training sequence for the thirty seventh time.  I want to see Batman beating up thugs at the docks.

Elizabeth Banks certainly doesn’t look like Machiko Soga who is well known for playing Rita Repulsa.  Where’s all the outcrying that they whitewashed this role?  I mean…they did!  They totally took as Asian’s job on this one!  But I guess everyone is too busy worrying about Iron Fist not being Asian to worry about Rita Repulsa.  Banks did a great job here.  It was such a different role for her and it really looks like she had a ton of fun being a total bitch to these kids.

The five kids all don’t get a story arc.  Two of them kinda do.  Jason certainly gets the most.  As the Red Ranger he is instantly the leader.  But before that he ruined his chances for college with his little prank.  His dad (The Office’s David Denman) just doesn’t get the kid and is really pissed off he threw away his future.  Billy gets a bit of exposition as well, how his autism affects his every day life, and how he gets on after losing his father.  The other three Rangers we get to know just a little bit, enough for us to kinda understand them, but we don’t leave the theater fully knowing our five Rangers in and out.

This may be a spoiler but there is no Bulk or Skull.  Man I loved those two idiot characters.  They were total comic relief and this movie is actually kind of serious.  Maybe a bit too serious for a movie about five teenagers driving robot dinosaurs.  I did miss them not having those characters.  The movie did have Ed Sheeran as a high school bully.  Well…he looked like Ed Sheeran’s American stunt double.  That kid was just a dick but he certainly gets what is coming to him in the flick.

Basically the film is one long origin story and even after they get their costumes and robots the Power Rangers are just newbs.  I did love this reboot and I certainly hope it brings in enough money worldwide for Lionsgate to make another sequel.  I say hop on it quick – while these kids still look like they kinda sorta still kinda look to be high school age.

RANK: B+