Goodness, I just finished watching the best episode of Degrassi ever– I mean, Power Rangers!
Sorry, I got my franchises mixed up because the much-hyped reboot of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers feels more like a teen drama than Power Rangers, per se.
This is not a bad thing, it is just more adolescent problems than I was expecting. But, seeing as how the name of the game is teenagers, I supposed it makes sense. Though, this is not to say that I lack issues with the film, because I do, however minor they seem.
So… let’s just list them off; it’s been a long night and I don’t feel like going into detail in an essay format.
(1) Alpha-5: the design is too generic. His character– and this time around it is a he, for some reason– just feels too much like any other sci-fi robot; but, I can’t rip on Alpha too bad because, really, this is the problem with the whole film from the suits to the zords: simply said, the aesthetic, though coherent, just feels like the directors and artistic lead were trying too hard. Rita’s design, though not bad, is just sort of odd. It feels like Star Wars met Steampunk. What was wrong with the old designs?
(2) Narrative: it is not bad but it feels forced. The idea that Rita was one of Zordon’s Rangers who wanted more power and then betrayed him… yawn. Seen that, done that. In the context of Power Rangers, though, it feels awkward, at least when we consider where the franchise came from and Rita’s original history.
(3) Story: basic but it did the prolog idea well. The Rangers did feel like they had to go through challenges to becomes the Power Rangers and the lead-up to the final battle felt appropriate. There was a genuine connection between the teens and genuine growth which handled sensitive social issues well. Though I can’t say too much about the Autistic take on the Blue Ranger, issues such as these could have been handled far worse. Diversity and difference took center stage without it becoming prachy, a hard combination to pull off.
(4) Rita: part of me loved her and part of me hated her. I loved her lust for power and cool staff and arrogance; in short, I liked her power as a space witch. What I didn’t like though was how she was treated– like this lusty, demented space pervert who combined violence and sex. It was weird and a fine line. Furthermore, though, this archetype has been played to death (Suicide Squad, anyone?) and I was expecting more. They reduced Rita to just a cardboard cutout and that is disappointing. Still better than Goldar, though, who only exists as an expressionless giant gold automatron.
(5) Writing: this was where the film shined. The writers weren’t afraid to make some dirty jokes, some of which, like in the beginning with the cow, bordered on the obscene, and they handled the stingy subject matter well (teen warriors to save the day? Lord.). None of the writing felt overly trite; yeah, there were moments, as is expected, but those moments were far in the minority. Thankfully. Provided, I feel this is only so because the writers opted for the teen drama route. If there is a sequel, we will see how well the cohesion is maintained.
To conclude, I enjoyed this reboot.
There were moments of nostalgia mixed with a real attempt to make an original product out of an absurd nineties premise. Could the film have been better? Sure. But so can many films. At the end of the day, I was entertained. If there is a sequel, I will watch it. A solid 7.5/10.