Power Rangers is an odd movie. The film certainly had the potential to be one of the worst and most cynical of Hollywood’s retreads, and while the film ultimately falls apart by the end, it’s a lot better than it had any right to be. While a lot of the actors have charisma and there’s some decent character bits, the film’s third act defends into CGI camp and the inherent ridiculousness of the source material wins over.
The film follows five teenagers: Jason (Dante Montgomery), Kimberly (Naomi Scott), Billy (RJ Cyler), Zack (Luis Lin), and Trini (Becky G.), who upon discovering a mysterious spacecraft in the forest, take upon superpowers that transform their strength. Guided by a mysterious leader named Zordon (Bryan Cranston), the team is lead to discover the legend of a mysterious team of warriors destined to protect Earth. Although there’s a lot of problems with the film, the characters aren’t one of them; all five leads, Montgomery in particular, give a lot of personality and charisma to the role.
The initial section of the film gives us some insights into the characters and gives a fairly standard origin story, packed with more than a few cliches and some heavy handed exposition. The actors’ chairsma manages to sustain blows by the weak dialogue, but ultimately it’s the plot elements that undo the film. The main villain Rita, played by Elizabeth Banks, takes the film to a ridiculous level of camp that contradicts the genuinely enjoyable elements of the film’s first half.
Power Rangers truly had the potential to be absolutely terrible, and while it’s third act elements ultimately prevent it from being recommendable, I can’t say that there’s not some redeeming elements. Perhaps with tighter writing and more emphasis on bringing out the characters, this could be a franchise worth following, but as of now, it’s not quite there. Grade: C+