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Movie Review: Power Rangers
By Brian W. Carter, Staff Writer
Published March 26, 2017
Power Rangers Courtesy of Lionsgate

“Power Rangers” Courtesy of Lionsgate

“Go-Go Power Rangers” and cue that well-known theme music from the television phenomenon known as “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” (MMPR). If you grew up during the 90s, then you probably watched the popular TV series or at the very least remember the multi-colored super heroes. Currently within its 24th season on Nickelodeon, Power Rangers has garnered two cinematic films, “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie” in 1995 and “Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie” in 1997. The TV series recently returned to the big screen with a more modern take on the Power teens dealing with real life situations—and Rita Repulsa.

Power Rangers is a reimagining and reboot of the MMPR with the iconic Rangers: Jason (Dacre Montgomery), Zack (Ludi Lin), Billy (RJ Cyler), Trini (Becky G) and Kimberly (Naomi Scott). Ultimately, the Rangers mentor, Zordon (Bryan Cranston) along with his robotic assistant, Alpha 5 (Bill Hader) must lead the teens to becoming a force to oppose Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) who is searching for a powerful artifact known as the Zeo Crystal.

(L-R): RJ Cyler as Billy, the Blue Ranger in Lionsgate's Power Rangers and David Yost as Billy, the Blue Ranger on Saban's "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers." Courtesy Photo Collage By Brian W. Carter

(L-R): RJ Cyler as Billy, the Blue Ranger in Lionsgate’s Power Rangers and David Yost as Billy, the Blue Ranger on Saban’s “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.” Courtesy Photo Collage By Brian W. Carter

One of the more prominent changes is Trini who is portrayed as an LGBT character and Billy, who is portrayed as being on the autism spectrum. Most of the Rangers have also received a race swap with Billy, the genius of the team, being portrayed as an African American character in this cinematic reboot as opposed to the television series, where he was portrayed by actor David Yost.

Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa in Lionsgate's Power Rangers Photo Courtesy of Lionsgate

Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa in Lionsgate’s Power Rangers Photo Courtesy of Lionsgate

Cyler, Becky G, Montgomery, Scott and Lin deliver believable performances putting you in the center of their world, which at times is drama-laden but relatable. Banks and Cranston deliver solid performances; Banks makes Rita scary and dangerous while Cranston delivers a stalwart and human Zordon. Hader as Alpha 5 is much more laid back and interesting with a more alien design as opposed to his TV version.

Power Rangers is the perfect popcorn-action-hero flick that is popular right now. Fans of the show will definitely find Easter eggs and references to the television series throughout the film. This reboot definitely plays around with the history of what most fans know about MMPR. The beginning of the film sets the scene for this new cinematic Power Ranger Universe and the rest of the film builds on it. Ultimately these teens have to earn their powers and establish a bond between themselves which is eventually tested. Power Rangers sends the message loud and clear that anyone can be a hero to someone—and save the world.

Power Rangers gets a A-/B+

This film features some violence, language and intense situations.

Power Rangers is rated PG-13

Categories: Entertainment | National
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