“Power Rangers” Can’t Find Its Audience

Power Rangers

“Power Rangers” is directed by Dean Israelite and stars Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, Elizabeth Banks, and Bryan Cranston.  The film is about a group of teenagers who stumble upon rocks that give them superhero abilities, and they must us those abilities in order to save humanity as they know it.

The Power Rangers were something that I never really got into as a kid, so my excitement was relatively low coming in.  That being said, I was hopeful that this movie could purely be some mild entertainment with some solid action sequences in between.

The Good

Elizabeth Banks shines in the villainous role as Rita Repulsa, and she was easily my favorite part of this movie.  Banks manages to be charismatic and entertaining to watch without going ridiculously over the top, and I found her character to be way better than expected, and she made the film, as a whole, better from her presence.

Of the group, I found RJ Cyler, aka the Blue Ranger, to be my favorite.  Cyler has a quirky, upbeat attitude that was the most energetic of the five, and he was the one that I most enjoyed watching.  Cyler proved to be a young actor to look out for after his great supporting performance in “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”, and he continues to show that promise here, easily giving the best performance of the five young heroes.

Though it takes a long time to get there, once the action comes in, the sequence is as entertaining and light-hearted as I had hoped.  Seeing the Power Rangers come together and take down a gigantic enemy may be a bit dumb, but, with my expectations lowered, I found the fight to be incredibly fun to watch, while also being pretty well shot with some above average special effects.

The Bad

The action scene may be cool, but the fact that there’s only one real fight involving the Power Rangers in their full glory is quite disappointing.  The first two acts are strictly the teens out of suit going through life and eventually growing a friendship, and it all just dragged along until the fighting finally picked up.  Aside from the occasional joke that paid off, or the quick scenes regarding Elizabeth Banks, this was a slog to sit through when you take away the finale.

RJ Cyler may have impressed, but I was not a huge fan of any of the other four rangers.  Dacre Montgomery in the lead wasn’t terrible, but, with the way the film is sequenced, I was immediately against his character from the start, as he seemed to be a douchey jock who thinks he’s invincible, and I could never get on board with him being the leader of the team.  Becky G was probably my least favorite of the bunch, as I found her annoying more than anything else.

While I didn’t necessarily expect much of the young, inexperienced cast to shine, I expected Bryan Cranston to be a standout, as that dude is good in literally everything he has ever done, but he is totally wasted in this film.  Cranston is forced to be there solely to explain the backstory to the audience, and it all feels incredibly forced.  Anybody could have been given the role of a talking wall, but they had to get Cranston in here to get my hopes up, and I just wish they gave him something more to do to add some entertainment value to the film.

The main problem that “Power Rangers” has is with its’ target audience, because, quite frankly, they have no idea who this movie is for.  This film could have been a kid-friendly superhero movie aiming towards a new audience, or one with a nostalgic feel to get the teens and adults who loved Power Rangers as kids into the seats.  Sadly, this movie doesn’t land in either of those camps, instead adding a few moments of clear nostalgia, and then leaning towards the childish end, but never committing all the way there until the final fight.  I don’t know how much potential this source material really has, but I do know that this is not the film that lifelong fans or little kids wanted, and that’s a major disappointment to people of all ages.

Conclusion

“Power Rangers” has an entertaining fight scene at the end, and is forever grateful to Elizabeth Banks for keeping me on board, but aside from a few cool moments, there is just too much exposition and dull character building to maintain interest for a full runtime.  I didn’t feel much of anything for any of the leads, and this should have been a movie done to please fans at the least, but “Power Rangers” can never really find its momentum, and falters by playing it too safe for too long.

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Get tickets and showtimes for “Power Rangers” here

What did you think of “Power Rangers”?  Comment below with your thoughts.


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